pgc all green working and signpost with lettering new colour 2
pgc all green working and signpost with lettering new colour 2
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First stop on last Saturday's "Southgate Launches" event was the library, where artist Dan Maier recently completed her third building transformation in the town centre, adorning the windows with a vibrant artwork showcasing Southgate's rich horticultural heritage.

Southgate Library festival of industry artwork daytime Dan Maier 9.3.24 002Southgate Library shows off its colourful new windows that reflect the site's historical connections with Cuthbert's Seeds (photo:Dan Maier)

Commissioned by Enfield Council as part of the Festival of Industry, Dan has invigorated this declining building with a stained glass-effect artwork designed to bring warmth to the grey streetscape and lift spirits in the area.

Responding to the community’s desire for a greener Southgate and her own love of plants, she decided to take inspiration from Cuthbert’s Seeds, one of the UK’s best known horticultural firms, which was founded in Southgate.

Southgate Library Left window at night 1a Dan Maier 29.2.24 002The journey on foot from Scotland to Southgate by the founder of Cuthbert's Seeds is symbolised by a long winding stem with a Scottish thistle at one end and an English rose at the other (photo: Dan Maier)

“It was a revelation to discover there was a plant nursery here for over 130 years and that they were the largest horticultural supplier to Woolworths for over 60 years,” she says. “Cuthbert’s Nursery spanned the land all the way from the library and sorting office to where Southgate Station now stands until London Transport bought the land to build the iconic station, which opened in 1933.”

Southgate Library inside Dan Maier 002The same window seen from inside the library during daylight hours (photo: Dan Maier)

Dan is a firm believer in the positive impact public art can have on people. “I’m over the moon with the response. Seeing the beaming faces of both library staff and users as they describe how the artwork cheers them up is the ultimate reward.”

Dan has been blazing a trail with her colourful art on the Piccadilly Line at Southgate, Hounslow West and Hatton Cross stations and was delighted to be asked to create something for another building in Southgate, where her studio is based.

The history behind the library artwork

front of historic cuthberts seeds packet radishesThe story goes that in 1797 James Cuthbert walked from his native Scotland to London to seek his fortune. He stopped a few miles short at Southgate, which was then a village surrounded by open fields. He established his company providing landscaping services and garden supplies for aristocrats. He subsequently branched out into cultivating and supplying seeds, bulbs, shrubs and trees.

James Cuthbert’s epic journey from Scotland to England is symbolised by a long winding stem with a Scottish thistle at one end and an English rose at the other. Other elements in the artwork are imaginative interpretations of flowers and vegetables that Cuthbert’s were known for cultivating.

About the artist

Dan Maier at colourful crossing in Southgate photo by Helen Masacz

Dan Maier inaugurates a colourful redesign of a pedestrian crossing at Southgate Circus in 2020 (photo: Helen Masacz)

Dan Maier’s work has sold internationally for over 20 years. Working from her studio in Southgate, she creates bespoke artwork for public and private buildings, theatre and window displays. Her work has appeared on Royal Caribbean International cruise liners, tube stations - Southgate, Hatton Cross and Hounslow West - as well as at the Old Vic and National Theatre. Her lighting designs have been sold throughout Europe and America as well as in UK retailers including Harvey Nichols, Liberty and John Lewis.

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