Muralist takes social media by storm with art treasure hunt in Renfrewshire

A Houston artist has embraced the term ‘one man’s trash, another man’s treasure’ to launch a Renfrewshire-wide art hunt which has captured the community.

Stephen Blackmore, who is the man behind Bmore Sketchy Artwork, has been using his talents to upcycle bits of junk and turning them into works of art.

Car doors, wooden pallets, scrap metal and old spray cans are just some of the items which have been given a colorful overhaul as part of the project – which Stephen then hides in different locations in the area for people to find.

The One Man’s Trash project has proved a hit with art lovers and treasure hunters, who keep a watchful eye on Stephen’s Facebook page for clues to the latest quest.

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So far, three pieces have been given away, including a 1963 Hillman Imp car door which was manufactured in Linwood until the 70s.

Stephen has been hiding artwork across Renfrewshire

Dozens of people have been offering up plenty of tatty pieces of junk and scrap for Stephen to use as his latest canvas.

The talented muralist, who is well-known in the community for his paintings which can be seen on many buildings throughout Renfrewshire, started the movement last week after finding an offcut of wood in his shed.

He was inspired by similar projects he had seen in the past and decided to hide the piece in Houston.

Speaking about the One Man’s Trash movement, Stephen said: “I’m not the first artist to do it but basically in an effort to reduce waste I’ll be painting on things which would normally be thrown out as trash, giving them a new purpose as a unique piece of upcycled artwork and hiding them in communities around Renfrewshire.

“Other artists have done similar things such as Free Art Friday but I can’t commit to that every week so I wanted something I could do when it suited me that people would still enjoy and it gives them a chance to have a unique piece of art.

“It’s not very often I get to paint for myself anymore and I don’t get to do small commissioned pieces because of the murals so this has been great.”

Stephen said the project has been an “incredible experience” so far knowing people are out in the community hunting for his artwork.

The second piece was found in just 10 minutes in Erskine

So far he has hidden art in Houston, Linwood and Erskine – with some of the pieces being found within just ten minutes as those desperate to get their hands on a piece eagerly wait for the clues.

Stephen added: “People have been finding them really quickly.

“I hid the first one in Houston and I hung about and had a coffee and watched as someone came running along with their dad and found it.

“And there were people running about in Erskine and Linwood with their phones out trying to figure out where it was from the picture I posted.

“The response has been wild so far.

“I’ve loved doing it.”

This is the next piece which will be hidden for art lovers to find

He has no plans to stop the venture either, but does plan on upping the stakes to make it harder for people to find.

He hopes to turn the treasure hunt into a full blown scavenger hunt to make it a fun experience for those who take part.

The canvases he is using are also sparking a huge interest from those who are following along, with many people offering up their rubbish and even tagging Stephen in Facebook posts advertising scrap.

Stephen joked: “It’s been great seeing everyone’s suggestions for things which I can paint on.

“I’ve always got my eye out for rubbish when I’m out to see what I can paint next!”

 Head to Bmore Sketchy Artwork on Facebook to see where the latest art piece will be hidden later this week.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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