Kev Paxton and LETi chair Kim Proven
Kev Paxton and LETi chair Kim Proven

Blacksmith plants psychedelic weeds on BLiSS trail

A 12ft bunch of colourful metal flowers have sprouted beside the A84 in Stirlingshire.

They have been crafted by Kev Paxton of ArtFe Blacksmiths – created in collaboration with Glasgow graffiti artist EJEK, for Loch Earn Tourism Information’s (LETi) award winning BLiSS art trail, linking Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans in central Scotland.

The latest art installation to cheer up locals and visitors on the Scottish Thistle Award winning BLISS trail, stands proudly on the A84, outside The Golden Larches restaurant, Balquhidder Station.

The idea for Weige Weeds was inspired by a set of Glasgow street lights with flower petal surrounds, that appealed to Kev Paxton’s sense of fun. His sculpture ignores society’s negative attitude towards weeds, by characterising their colour, beauty and place in nature.

Kev Paxton invited Glasgow street artist EJEK (Danny McDermott) to add eye catching graffiti styling to the Weige Weed heads. EJEK has a global following for his art techniques including thermal imaging.

In common with Kev Paxton, an opportunity to pursue and share creative talent changed the course of his life. EJEK is known as the artist who created the Stan Lee Mural in Glasgow and he is one of the Main Street artists of the Glasgow Mural Trail. Professional street artist EJEK, who had free reign to give Weige Weeds a makeover, included a cow hide pattern in reference to ArtFe’s popular metal ‘coos’.

BLiSS trail started as an innovative tourism project in 2016 when LETi first collaborated with Kev Paxton. They share a love of Scotland’s natural surroundings, humour and a common aim to capture people’s attention and make them smile as they go about their day. LETi is proud to have four permanent Kev Paxton installations on the BLiSS trail available to view against seasonal landscapes all year round.

Kev Paxton and LETi chair Kim Proven

Since 2016, LETi has won three trophies that applaud BLiSS trail including the coveted Scottish Thistle Award for Innovation in Tourism. The business group worked with GeoTourist smartphone app technology to enable a story telling route finder for their art and architectural installation trail.

Kev Paxton has gone on to attract a global customer fan base, picking up trade stand awards including 5 stars at Chelsea Flower Show 2019 and he has made numerous appearances on television programmes including, BBC Money for Nothing, BBC Flipping Profit, CBeebies Junk Rescue and Scrap Kings on Quest TV.

LETi chair Kim Proven said: ‘Kev Paxton and ArtFe Blacksmiths have invested considerable time, skill and belief in LETi tourism project commissions since BLiSS trail launched. We love working with the team as there is always fun and laughter. We’ve watched Kev and ArtFe’s reputation grow considerably so it was fitting to hear people say “It is that bloke off the telly” as the ArtFe team erected Weige Weeds in the Golden Larches restaurant car park.’

There are 25 installations to discover on BLiSS trail, now including Kev Paxton sculptures; Weige Weeds at Balquhidder Station, Highland Cow Drover’s Bho in Strathyre, West Highland Terrier Ewen Westies of Craggan and Blawn Wi The Wind thistles sculpture in Lochearnhead.

The trail can be split into manageable routes by bicycle, car and on foot using the downloadable GeoTourist smartphone routefinder app that triggers stories in front of each installation. The BLiSS trail map also highlights cafe and restaurant stops along the way.

Find out more by clicking HERE.