Having found time to dig out my old Praktica and, find a day where it wasn’t raining heavily (even in Scotland in mid-July that’s quite unusual…) I set out to take in two of Edinburgh’s latest mural artworks.
The first, under the Abbeyhill railway bridge near the Royal Mile, was the location for Fraser Gray and FiST to set about completing their collaborative mural with the help of design inspiration from local elderly residents via Viewpoint Housing and Edinburgh’s public art pioneers, Leith Late.
The stories and memories of the elderly residents of the area heavily influenced the eventual outcome of the mural, which certainly still retains the flavour of Fraser’s past mural projects.
The mural was made possible thanks to the help of the anti-graffiti initiative A1derful Abbeyhill that works closely with local businesses, schools and residents to clean up the area.
Great, then, that they chose this style of mural artwork to help deliver the message. However, I can’t help but feel given the ultimate root of art of this sort is tagging and graffiti, that it’s slightly ironic…
Maybe mural art of this sort has gotten to the stage in Scotland where it’s become sufficiently detached from its origins, and holds up in its own right.
I jumped on my bike and set my sights for the People’s Republic of Leith, the location of Kirsty Whiten’s latest mural (her previous in Edinburgh adorning the gates of the latest home of the Bongo Club).
Painted to coincide with the launch of her latest exhibition, Wronger Rights: The Quing of the Now Peoples, Kirsty’s mural combines half-human half-animal dreamlike creatures seemingly in the midst of a tribal routine.
They’re oddly unsettling, in that way where you really can’t take your eyes off them.
Speaking to the Evening News last month she said “I’ve been working on a lot of ritual, rite-based figures, I wanted to have something ceremonial and mysterious going on.
“I’ve found that people respond to the animal/human hybrid, and I believe it goes back to classical, ancient, even primitive art.”
Brightening up the wall that previously read ‘Scotish Art’ [sic] and not much else, Kirsty’s mural really is one of the standouts of the whole spectrum Leith Late public art projects in town.