My Story

As Paisley waved off its bid for UK City of Culture 2021, the bid documents themselves were all given a unique twist.

Artists, designers and groups with links to the town were invited to design bespoke front covers for the documents.

Bound with thread donated from Coats, the company to whom Paisley’s fortunes were tied and which is still a global force, each has its own Paisley inspired design.

As they are handed over to the judging panel of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who organise the competition, we can reveal the inspiration behind some of the 25 covers.

Read boredomresearch's story below.

Internationally renowned digital Artists Vickey Islay and Paul Smith  - aka boredom research - created Paisley Pearls.

It’s part of an art project which will generate 7.3 billion unique versions of the Paisley pattern for everyone on earth.

Part of the White Cart Loom design, a digital art commission funded by Renfrewshire Council and the University of the West of Scotland, it’s also inspired by prized fresh water pearl mussels that used to thrive in the River Cart running through the town.


Vicky said that Paisley’s diverse textile history made it a place of ‘exceptional cultural value where human creativity radiates inspiration’ and added:  “It has been a privilege to spend time working in Paisley with diverse groups in age and background, to form a new vision of creative potential.”

She said that the Southampton-based duo’s work can take them to the far reaches of the globe – but they rarely meet anyone who isn’t familiar with the Paisley pattern.

Vicky added: “From coffee makers in Colombia with the Paisley tear drop motif tattooed on their arms to children of those who worked in the textile industry. The opposite is true for the freshwater pearl mussel and we are yet to find a person not fascinated by its story. Scotland is the world's most important location for this critically endangered organism and it has been a pleasure to raise awareness of its plight using the universal language of art with the Paisley pattern.”