Monday, 2 June 2014

Edinburgh: Shutter Art

Considering how much time I spend walking around Edinburgh, it's rare that I see much street art. I'm not sure why it's not as prevalent as in other cities - even Glasgow is getting on board nowadays. Maybe I just don't spot much of it because it's tucked away down side streets. Although there has been a lack of guerrilla talent popping up on Edinburgh's streets, there has been a more concerted effort to bring condoned, authorised colour into the city.

I really love the painted shutters along Leith Walk, they're a brilliant way of adding a bit of extra colour to one of the city's busiest main roads. Leith is one of the most densely populated areas in Scotland, with tightly packed tenements squeezed in between two main thoroughfares in and out of town. It used to be a separate town, and still retains a strong sense of community, complete with its own mini arts festival, LeithLates. The Shutter Project was part of the festival in 2012, and has slowly been added to ever since. Such a fantastic way of celebrating the increasing artistic nature of the area, while adding vibrancy to what would otherwise be a standard city street.
I've also spotted painted shutters in a different part of town. Dumbiedykes is a small estate, squeezed in between Holyrood park and Old Town, with beautiful views of Arthur's Seat. Despite the city centre location though, the area has developed a bit of a negative reputation over the years. As part of a local regeneration scheme, a local designer worked with youth groups during school holidays to create a mural on an unused shopping parade. 
I love this idea. Giant canvases for community projects, reducing the likelihood of graffiti and damage to the buildings, and adding personality to otherwise grey and somewhat generic estates. It's impossible not to see them and smile.


  1. I love these, but especially the last one with the mountains. Oh, and the gorgeous stripes in Leith. I really noticed the lack of street at in Glasgow, which struck me as odd considering it has such a strong artistic heritage in other ways.

  2. I love the mural - and also that you got a photo of Nemrut before they got rid of the lovely shutter art. I miss those shutters.