2007 - 2021

Local Treasure In A Whole New Light

Art galleries have been closed during lockdown. But, there are works of art in public view that we often overlook. Bella’s newest feature is a monthly look at public art that you can see for free around Scotland.

This month I look at Light-Up Leith History Mural.

Edinburgh’s grand gable end mural, situated on the corner of Ferry Road and Great Junction Street, was painted in 1986 by Tim Chalk and Paul Grime. Originally called ‘Into the Future With a Strong Community’, its fading palette of blue, beige and brown tells the story of Leith and its varied social history.

For ten nights, from Friday, September 25th, the piece will have new life breathed into it by the globally-renowned, Leith-based Double-take Projections, who have expertly animated the mural through projection mapping, and created a bespoke soundscape which will play concurrently. This free and family-friendly, community event invites audiences to experience the local treasure in a whole new light!

Attendance to Light-Up Leith History Mural is free but ticketed. Time-slots are bookable in advance in order to ensure attendees will be able to maintain a safe social distance. Tickets are available here : https://ctzn.tk/LightUpMural

To coincide with the return of Light-Up Leith History Mural, Cameron Foster will be conducting an in person tour of Leith’s murals. This will run on the afternoon of October 4th and is priced on a pay-what-you-can scale of £0 – £4. Cameron’s beautifully crafted and researched tours will be archived for posterity online. This interactive online map will showcase murals and art studios found across the Leith community, revealing entertaining and informative audio histories and video tours.


Comments (5)

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  1. david churchley says:

    Is there any Arts & Culture shows that may be on the horizon that may include work’s by disabled artists ?



    1. Iona Lee says:

      Hello David,

      Iona Lee here. Off of the top of my head, I know that there is a series of creative writing sessions happening, hosted by Alice Tarbuck for Open Book called ‘Off the Beaten Track’, over zoom. They will be looking exclusively at the work of BAME, LGBTQ+ and disabled writers. I believe that you can find out more on their twitter @openbookreading and their website http://www.openbookreading.com
      I will have a look about for other happenings.


      1. david churchley says:

        Thank you very much.


  2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

    I had a wee hand in the making of ‘Into the Future With a Strong Community’. The tableaux that comprise the mural were informed by the testimonies of the Auld Leithers who had largely been cleared from the town to the peripheral estates at the beginning of its redevelopment. Leith Lives, a community-led local history project, which employed me as its outreach worker and, latterly, as its project manager, collected and curated those testimonies from an office in [Queen] Charlotte Street. Tim and Paul ‘raided’ our archives for photographic images and stories to incorporate into the work. Local worthies were also engaged through our networks as consultants on the installation.

    Funding for the Leith Lives project dried up around 1990. I had left by then, but I was invited back to help campaign for the archive of recordings, interview transcript, photographs, and other artefacts to be kept in Leith rather than appropriated by Edinburgh. Trinity House was mooted as a permanent home. Unfortunately, the campaign failed and the archive was absorbed into The People’s Story/Huntly House Museum, where it has over the decades fallen into decay.

    I had cause to access the archive a couple of years ago, to help research material for a work that was being produced at the Leith Festival. The experience would, as they say, hae gart ye greit. The content of the archive had become scattered and much of it lost; its integrity as a record of a community’s experience over the best part of a century of living memory had been destroyed. The experience was doubly distressing because the archive and its contents were artefacts of my own biography too.

    Thank goodness the mural remains. At least Edinburgh couldn’t steal that! And hasn’t it aged beautifully?

    1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      MInd you… If memory serves me right, the mural was called simply ‘Leithers’ back then.

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