LeithLate is a visual arts organisation based in Leith, responsible for various public art projects such as The Shutter Project and The Mural Project, and the annual LeithLate festival. LeithLate originated as a one-night event that saw grassroots art spaces in Leith open their doors later than normal to showcase their exhibitions, alongside live music, spoken word performances and film screenings across a number of local businesses in the space of the same evening. The success of the first event prompted LeithLate to become an annual festival, growing from one evening to two days in 2014, and then to a four month extravaganza during 2015. LeithLate16 runs from 23-26 June 2016 with a series of events including exhibitions, installations, on-street interventions, panel talks, tours, and the return of the one-night event on the evening of Thursday 23rd June. For a flavour of the night, check out the video below:


The Public Poetry Project (2016):

The Public Poetry Project was launched during the run-up to LeithLate16 in association with Edinburgh City of Literature and City Centre Posters. Six poems by contemporary poets about Edinburgh have been displayed on advertising sites around Leith, with specially designed surrounds by LeithLate designer David Lemm. The poets featured in the latest LeithLate public art initiative are: Rachel McCrum, Michael Pedersen, Harry Giles, Stewart Conn, Valerie Gillies and the city’s Makar Christine De Luca. The poems will be displayed for the month of June 2016.


The Shutter Project (2012, ongoing):

The Shutter Project was launched at the 2012 edition of the LeithLate festival with the project’s first shutter artwork by Jamie Johnson on Gamesmaster on Leith Walk. A further 9 artworks have been installed in Leith since then, with Fraser Gray on Word of Mouth, Bernie Reid on Fair Trade Coffee, Skint Richie on Origano, David Lemm on Paradigm Shift (business now changed hands), Liana Moran on Inner (City) Sanctum, Omar Zingaro Bhatia on Cafe Nemrut (business now changed hands), Fraser Douglas on Blue Tiger Tattoo (artwork now altered), Erin McGrath on Elvis Shakespeare and Natasha Russell on The Sonic Lodge. The Shutter Project links up contemporary artists and local businesses to create a bespoke work of art on the shutter, to be displayed outside opening hours. The Shutter Project is ongoing, supported by the City of Edinburgh Council, the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership and Leith Decides.


The Mural Project (2013, ongoing):

The Mural Project was launched in July 2013 with the first mural to be painted in Leith in almost two decades. The Leith Aquatic was painted by the artist collective Blameless on a derelict site at the bottom of Halmyre Street, and was produced in community consultation with some older residents of a local housing association. The resulting artwork included various Leith references, old and new, and was launched at a street party for the local residents. Participating artists included: Rabiya Choudhry, Fraser Gray, Martin McGuinness, Richie Cumming, DUFI and Fraser Douglas. The mural was funded by the Community Safety department of the City of Edinburgh Council, the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, the Port of Leith Housing Association and Scotmid.

LeithLate’s second mural was on Leith Walk (on a site soon to be taken over by Origano) and was painted by international street artist Guido van Helten. The artwork referenced a Edinburgh Festival production of The Seven Deadly Sins from 1961 with Cleo Laine and Anya Linden as the two female leads. Although no longer in situte, another smaller mural by Guido installed during the same time period can still be viewed in the outside area of the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, depicting one of the last survivors of the Gretna Rail Disaster of 1915.

The third LeithLate mural was by Russell Dempster and a mixture of paste-up poster, paint and pastel on Henderson Street. The artwork was a portrait of one of the founders of British Pop Art who was also a little-known Leither, Eduardo Paolozzi. The artwork was funded and installed by City Centre Posters.

In 2015, LeithLate facilitated a number of mural artworks. The first in nearby Abbeyhill, can be read as a timeline of the local area and is located under Abbeyhill railway bridge. The artwork was a collaboration between artists Fraser Gray and FiST after a series of consultations with the residents of a local housing association and the project was funded and supported by The Student Housing Company, the City of Edinburgh Council and Viewpoint Housing Association.


Leith Walkers Outdoor Exhibition (2014):

The Leith Walkers Outdoor Exhibition was exhibited in June 2014 as part of the LeithLate14 festival. In collaboration with Leith Walkers, a photography project taking portraiture of people on Leith Walk. LeithLate produced posters and corex portraits which were displayed on advertising hoardings along Leith Walk, taking the images back onto the street where they were taken. The exhibition was funded and supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and City Centre Posters.


Kirsty Whiten @ LeithLate15 (2015):

As part of the LeithLate15 opening exhibition, LeithLate facilitated a number of public art interventions around the Leith area including paste-ups on Union Street, a hand-painted mural on Dalmeny Street and a poster tower on Leith Walk. The artworks all referenced Kirsty Whiten‘s WRONGER RITES: The Quing of the Now Peoples exhibition, where dancers and groups of crazed costumed figures with animal heads converged in unison. Kirsty’s public art projects were funded and supported by Leith Neighbourhood Partnership, City Centre Posters, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Lovely video by STV Edinburgh on two of the most recent murals in The Mural Project: the Abbeyhill timeline by Fraser Gray | Artist & FiST under Abbeyhill railway bridge, and the WRONGER RITES mural by Kirsty Whiten on Dalmeny Street.

Posted by LeithLate on Tuesday, 23 June 2015