New artwork offers a bird's eye view of local Dundee substation

One of our substations in Dundee’s West End has been given a specially commissioned makeover by local artist Paco Graff.

The substation in Magdalen Green, which supplies power to 136 nearby homes and businesses, had been plagued by unsightly graffiti over the years, so much so that SSEN engineers were visiting the site 3-4 times a year to re-paint the walls.

In an attempt to brighten up the area and hopefully deter any further vandalism, Russell Pepper, Community Councillor for the West End approached SSEN with the idea of arranging for the substation to be re-decorated by well-known and respected graffiti artist, Paco Graff.

Russell explains more:

“I run a street art project in Dundee called Open/Close, and I thought that rather than SSEN regularly having to clean up the graffiti on the substation, we could commission an artist to do a piece of work to cover the substation and hopefully not only discourage further graffiti but also create some beautiful artwork whilst we're at it. 

“Graffiti artists tend not to go over artworks that have clearly been made with talent and taken some time to do, and they’re also unlikely to go over well-respected artists. In Dundee we are very lucky to have Paco Graff, who is a very-well respected and talented graffiti artist and so I approached him to see if he would be willing to work with us to re-decorate the substation.”

Samantha O’Connor, SSEN’s Customer Relationship Manager, was immediately supportive of the idea when Russell approached her and hopes that the fantastic finches will deter further vandalism. She said:

“Paco’s finches really are amazing, and it’s great that his work is already being well received by the local community. We want everyone to enjoy Paco’s handiwork, but also to remember that even though the outside is now looking very appealing, the equipment inside the substation still has the potential to cause serious, potentially fatal, injuries to anyone who shouldn’t be there. If you see anything around the substation that doesn’t look quite right, or someone acting suspiciously nearby, please call us on 105 and we’ll send a trained engineer out to investigate.”

West End City Councillor Fraser Macpherson said, 

“The mural is absolutely fantastic and another great example of Paco’s superb work.  Feedback from the local community to this project has been immensely positive and I have received a deluge of positive comments about it.

“I am very grateful to everyone at SSEN for making this possible because without SSEN’s support this project could not have happened and grateful thanks also go to Russell Pepper of West End Community Council for all he did to make this wonderful project a reality.”

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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