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
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.
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 www.rencontres-arles.com, and have more recently contributed collective works to 2014 Frames projections at CCA, GI Festival and Street Level Photoworks.
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Older female relatives celebrated in new photowork for International Women’s Day © 2015 Not Finished Article
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!
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]
This month sees the launch of the 8th Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (1st – 19th October) . This October is all about power. The power to create change. Within Edinburgh and Lothian, there are many exhibitions and short films planned, with “Power to Communicate” being one of them. “Power to Communicate” is an exploration of the power of communication through creative writing, photography, paper folding and digital art. The series of exhibitions are the culmination of various workshops held throughout Edinburgh for socially isolated people and those with lived experience of mental ill health. Here in Portobello, two students of the Outlook Adult Education Project have produced an outdoor exhibition of digital artwork exploring the power of communicate. This is currently on display in the Porty Light Box now.
It’s been a long time since I posted anything. The phone box is still there at the corner of the street, but slowly reverting to being a simple item of street furniture, seen but not seen. The rainbow images were created back in March. I arranged to go into Towerbank Nursery and asked the children to help hand paint the rainbow. That was fun and I think the simple charm of the children’s artwork really works.
Still, plans are in the pipeline for a new installation. This time by the Edinburgh Outlook project as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, now in its 6th year. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Power’ and Outlook will be creating work on the theme of ‘Power to Communicate’ – very fitting for the Lightbox. Watch this space.
Rainbow by children from Towerbank Nursery
Good luck Cheltenham not one but ten city centre phone boxes to be converted to art installations! I always wondered if the phone boxes on the Edinburgh Royal Mile could have a similar treatment. Any suggestions on who to contact at the local council? I doubt they’ll have any spare cash what with the tram project though….