Desire Line

desire line n. An informal path that pedestrians prefer to take to get from one location to another rather than using a sidewalk or other official route.

Passion is the theme for the 2015  Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (SMHAFF) which takes place in venues across Scotland from 10th – 31st October.

One of the world’s largest social justice festivals, with annual attendances of over 20,000, this year’s SMHAFF will see over 300 events staged throughout the country, including film, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts.  The Festival aims to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

This exhibition displays the work created by a group of students who attended Outlook’s adult education program during the summer. The digital media workshops, ‘DeCode’ offered the opportunity to learn skills and explore the concept of ‘Desire Lines’ …what are the paths we take to help maintain our health & wellbeing.

Margaret Drysdale, from The Outlook Project helped organise these artworks and this Porty Light Box installation.  Outlook wishes to thank all participants involved in creating the ideas for this installation as well as the Outlook tutor who supported those who were involved.

This piece of work is made of three individuals and their chosen route taken, a comfort or an adventure, their desire line. 

Panels created by; Sherlockbell, Kelb and Tameeza L

Desire Line

Desire Line

Desire Line

Desire Line


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Art Walk Porty – “Osaka Reflections”

“Osaka Reflections” is part of “Art Walk Porty” and is a collection of photographs taken earlier this year in Osaka, Japan, by the photographer, Mark Timmins.

There is a river which runs through Osaka and at night it becomes inky black and reflects the neon cacophony that goes on either bank of the river. The reflective surface of this inky black river ripples and fractures the reflections and creates an amazing collection of abstract colours and patterns.

To see more of Mark’s photography, please feel free to follow him on Instagram:

For more information on “Art Walk Porty 2015” please go to which has details of the festival, which runs in various venues in Portobello, from the 3rd to the 6th of September 2015

Osaka Reflections

Osaka Reflections

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Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Local photographers Margaret Drysdale and Peter E Ross have created another installation in the Porty Light Box and have installed a series of photographs taken on and around Portobello beach –  if you get a moment please wander down and take a look.  Margaret and Peter (who also created the Porty Shoe Box installation), have compiled a series of photos of the beach taken over recent years.  There are some superb images including the popular Pyramids on the Beach artwork and of swimmers heading out into the winter sea.  Some great photos, and a reminder to all of us of how lucky we are to have such an asset on our doorstep.  Let’s take care of it folks! Thank you!

© P Ross/Chiaroscuro

© P Ross/Chiaroscuro

© P Ross/Chiaroscuro

© P Ross/Chiaroscuro

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Edinburgh International Science Festival #ReadingExperiment

Head down to Portobello and check out the on-street exhibit for The Edinburgh International Science Festival – the Porty Sci-Box.   The Science Festival have taken it over for The Reading Experiment and added an interactive screen.   The Reading Experiment unites the worlds of science and words and the Science Festival is working with a host of literary types to bring together an exciting range of events which dive into the creative nexus where these two genres meet.  You can also take part in their ‘Sci-Ku’ competition – taking inspiration from this years theme of “light and enlightenment”. There are separate categories for primary and secondary pupils along with another one for the rest of us – you can even tweet your entries to #ReadingExperiment – each tweet will be displayed on screen installed within the phone box.    The Science Festival will also be out and about around Edinburgh as their mobile bookshelf travels to cafes and bars across the city.  Find out more here

Photo 21-03-2015 19 52 56 Photo 21-03-2015 19 53 36

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Older female relatives celebrated in new photowork for International Women’s Day.

The photo collective ‘Not Finished Article’ has chosen to celebrate International Women’s Day by creating a new work especially for the Porty Light Box. Not Finished Article’s work ‘Exquisite…#MakeItHappen’ is a homage to significant older female members in the family.

Comprising of three full-length portraits of personal significance to three members of the collective, and linked together by a purple figure of ‘8’ to mark the date, NFA hope the Portobello community will do their own remembering, celebrating of Grandmothers and Great Aunties on International Women’s day.

About NFA

Not Finished Article (NFA) is a collective of four established women artists based in Scotland: Nicky Bird, Alicia Bruce, Caroline Douglas and Sylwia Kowalczyk. As a collective they have distinct, yet complementary practices which together incorporate photography, moving image, the found photograph and the museum collection. Portraiture and community collaboration also play a distinctive role. NFA meet regularly to share work in progress, attend events such as the Recontres Arles photography festival, and have more recently contributed collective works to 2014 Frames projections at CCA, GI Festival and Street Level Photoworks.

Contact NFA:
Email us:
Tweet us @notfinishedart
©Sylwia_photos IMG_3754

Older female relatives celebrated in new photowork for International Women’s Day

Older female relatives celebrated in new photowork for International Women’s Day © 2015 Not Finished Article

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What a pane…

Photo 06-12-2014 13 27 15

As some of you know the lightbox was vandalised twice this week.  On Tuesday night a single pane was smashed – it was quickly replaced on Wednesday during the installation of The Shoe Box.  Then on Friday night nine panes were smashed – the Friday night frenzy appears to have coincided with other acts of vandalism in Portobello.   Unfortunately we only have 3 spare panes of glass, not enough to repair this damage.

The good news is that the positive support and response from the local community has been really amazing.   A very quick fundraising appeal has raised over £185 which will go towards replacing all the broken panes. If people would like to contribute towards the repairs and further maintenance/exhibitions please use the link below.

We are considering alternative ways to mount the glass to make the panes easier to install and we are looking at using modern plastics as an alternative.

Until we have time to fully clean out and repair the glass, we’ve wrapped up the lightbox to protect the box from the elements and to prevent small, inquisitive fingers getting cut on any remaining pieces of glass.

Also, we would like to hear from joiners/carpenters who may be able to help improve the fit-out of the inside of the lightbox to make it more efficient in changing the art installations (and getting in/out to replace broken panes!).

Once again thank you all for your support!


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If the shoe fits…

The Porty Light Box has been transformed into ‘Porty Shoe Box’ by local photographers Margaret Drysdale and Peter E Ross. They invited a variety of Portobello people to have their oldest pair of shoes photographed and displayed for all to see in the Porty Light Box at the junction of Bellfield Street and Portobello High Street.

The photographers see old shoes as having their own personality but also as somehow reflecting aspects of people’s identity and life experience. Some of the shoes are from the 1980s and some from just this year and every one of them suggests its own little story.

“It’s just a bit of fun really”, Maragret said, “but interestingly it has captured peoples imaginations and has sparked off some interesting conversations about shoes.”

The inaugural exhibition ‘Beach Delights’ by Marion Preez was this time last year and since then there have been a number of displays including the most recent ‘Power to Communicate’, which was one of a series of exhibits throughout the city by Outlook Project students as part of the Scottish Mental Health Art and Film Festival.

The site specific artwork ‘Porty Shoe Box’ will be on show throughout December and January.

[Written by Peter Ross for The Portobello Reporter]

IMG_0636 IMG_0624 IMG_0626

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