Saint John’s Church on Princes Street has been painting large murals commenting on social and moral problems for many years. It’s been a little while since I saw a new one, but noticed today a fresh one had been painted, celebrating the diversity of multi-cultural Scottish society and timed to coincide with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year – in an especially nice touch the figure on the upper right pays homage to Raeburn’s 18th century painting of the Reverend Robert Walker ice-skating on Duddingston Loch in Edinburgh, now famous as the symbol of the National Galleries of Scotland:
Spotted out of the corner of my eye in park near me this afternoon, a woman sitting on the bench in the wee park – bit unusual when it is raining. Even if you do have an umbrella. But didn’t want to stare. Passed by that way on return from shops, same figure in same spot, hadn’t moved an inch, paused, look properly this time – it’s a cardboard figure dressed up in clothes, sat on the park bench, with an umbrella strapped to the back of the bench to give ‘her’ a little protection from a rather dismal, gray, wet day:
Why? No idea, perhaps someone just did it for the pure fun of it, a bit of guerilla urban artwork. Well, it worked for me and made me smile on a dull, wet day. On a related note a couple of weeks ago I saw this ‘ghost bike’ on a cycle stand by the Tron Kirk:
even the tyres gone, everything white, from rims to frame and even the d-lock. I don’t know if it is an official installation piece of street art, but doubt it since there is no sign saying who did it or which agency sponsored it etc. So I think more likely that one of those sad sights – poor, old bikes that are left locked to a bike stand in town for months and months and never claimed, eventually bits being stripped off them – was spotted by someone who decided to turn it into some impromptu art to brighten the place up (and see who noticed – some folk gave me odd looks as if to say why is he taking photos of a bike rack? Because I actually look at things, that’s why!). But again I was quite delighted to see it, a little bit of fun brightening up the street (click to see larger pics on my Flickr).
One of my photo chums on Flickr left me a comment on the pic saying there was another one not too far away from this, so I have been keeping my eyes open for it then saw it a few days ago. This one on the bike racks by the Sheriff Courts, right across from the Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. It still has its tyres (also painted white) unlike the previous one, again no sign to say what it is about or who did it or why, although photo friend thought there may have been a small note on them originally but they have vanished now. But regardless, it’s fun when people do things like this and brighten up the streets a bit. I just came across these on the walk home from work, made a routine plod home after work much more fun.
Close to the Potterrow Student Union facilities by Edinburgh University there is a section of wall hidden behind some carriageway between the Uni and the back of the National Museum on the other side of the road, mostly just boring concrete and breeze block, which is always covered in graffiti. It seems to be an unofficially official kind of spot for street art in that for years that plain, concrete section behind nicer old buildings has been allowed to remain a spot for street artists to cover. The graffiti on it constantly changes as one new set overpaints older stuff, so every now and then it is worth me having a quick walk past to see if there is anything new. Quite often, disappointingly, it is just large examples of lettering – not bad in itself, some done rather well, but I get rather bored from seeing piles of graffiti that is simply some big 3D lettering, I’d much rather see someone creating some visual art, like these two recent examples I noticed when walking past.
Some amazing pavement art outside Register House at the start of Princes Street. It’s been there since just around the end of the Festival and despite rains and wind I noticed it was still mostly there the other morning, wonder what materials they used on it for it to last like that? Presumably not just the usual chalk pavement drawing.
Saw this stencilled onto the expensive wall of a Georgian building in Edinburgh’s West End (tagging buildings is one thing, but really, street art wallahs could you not do it on listed, historic buildings, please?). I’d have thought Gordon was too busy watching his own Cabinet colleagues for sharpened daggers to watch us right now, but then he doesn’t have to I suppose given the huge increase in surveillance and diminishing of civil liberties he and Blair have overseen during their corrupt regimes (for our protection, naturally).