Gumnut —


Thomas Muir was born in Glasgow in 1765. He trained to be an advocate. Dispatched to France during the Revolution, he represented the British reform movement in Paris. On his return he was tried for sedition. Transported to Botany Bay, he fled joining whatever ship he could. Eventually he made it back to Europe. Injured in a sea battle, he died from the wounds he sustained. He’s buried in an unmarked grave in Chantilly.

Gumnut. Commission for East Dunbartonshire Council. Produced by Esmee Thompson. Public artwork. Heritage trail markers for Trails + Tales project. Five large cast concrete, eucalyptus seedpods. A reference to local heritage candidate Thomas Muir, first political prisoner sent to Botany Bay.

My family are from Glasgow. In 1965 my dad was teaching building trades at Clydebank Technical College. With the financial security provided by this job, my parents took out a mortgage on a Wimpy house on a new build estate at the edge of the city. This was Bishopbriggs. Thomas Muir moved from Glasgow to Huntershill in 1782. After being convicted of sedition in 1793 he never returns. Many people in Bishopbriggs have this experience of arriving or leaving the area. Thomas Muir’s drawn profile, eye patch and name has become relatively visible in the Bishobriggs area over the last decade. I’d like to propose a new metaphor in relation to this tale. The Gumnut. Thomas Muir was among the first Europeans to value Australian flora and fauna, with enlightened principles he observed and drew what he saw during his imprisonment.

Five large concrete cast seed pods acting as walking trail markers.