As part of a year of events to mark the centenary of Leith’s amalgamation with the city of Edinburgh, under the banner of Leith100, LeithLate has announced a series of outdoor live events this Autumn, as well as the launch of its new online Virtual Tour of Leith’s murals and art studios.
For 10 nights, between 25 September to 4 October, LeithLate is bringing back the Light-Up Leith History Mural, a unique projection event that breathes new life into the Leith History Mural that was painted on a North Junction Street gable end by Tim Chalk and Paul Grimes in the 1980s.
Leith-based Double-Take Projections have animated this piece of art and created a bespoke soundscape that plays underneath it. The community event, made in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Curating Conversations across the Arts research project, with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, invites audiences of all ages to experience this local treasure in a whole new light.
To coincide with the return of Light-Up Leith History Mural, Cameron Foster, the original tour guide of the popular Leith Mural Tours, will be conducting what may be his final ever in-person tours of Leith’s murals. These will run in the afternoon of Sunday 27 September and Sunday 4 October and are priced on a pay-what-you-can scale of £0-£4.
Cameron’s well-researched tours will be archived for posterity as LeithLate launches its permanent online resource LeithLate Virtual Tours on 28 August. This interactive digital map has been created in collaboration with the Culture and Community Mapping Project, with funding from Data Driven Innovation and Edinburgh Futures Institute at the University of Edinburgh.
The online map showcases the many murals and art studios found across the Leith community. Users can click and explore the map, revealing entertaining and informative audio histories of the sites from Cameron Foster and many of the original artists plus video tours of studios from the artists who currently create there.
LeithLate Virtual Tours, that go live from noon on Wednesday 26 August on the LeithLate website, will continue to grow as more murals, studios and voices are added into this virtual tapestry mapping Murals and Studios in Leith.
Culture and Community Mapping Project were able to support 18 creatives during this difficult time by commissioning videos and audio from mural artists Tim Chalk, Kirsty Whiten, Rabiya Choudhry, Richie Cumming and Fraser Gray and studio artists Louise Smurthwaite and Jessica Kirkpatrick from St. Margaret’s House, Khadea Kuchenmeister from Rhubaba, Megan Chapman and Mairi Brown from Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Juli Bolaños-Durman from Custom Lane, Jacqueline Bell and James Donald from Coburg House, Sharon Quigley and Bridgid Collins from Albion Business Centre, Helen Miles and Judy Clark from OOTB Abbeymount Studios. LeithLate has also worked with Matchbox Cineclub to add subtitles which makes the entire experience as accessible as possible.
Alongside this, LeithLate is collaborating with the band of community volunteers who have responded to the Covid-19 crisis by turning donated surplus food into nutritious meals for those most in need, Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts (EKFH) who are hosted at the Leith Theatre.
EKFH has been delivering free meals every day to over 500 individuals facing food insecurity, as well as offering free walk-in lunch and dinners daily to hundreds more. This collaboration will allow people to enjoy one of the meals they provide to so many in need, with the opportunity to donate towards their organisation to let them continue their vital community work.
On 4 October, LeithLate will host the special closing event at Into the Future with Food – a night that’s part discussion, part dinner but all celebration and suitable for all ages. In collaboration with The Pitt street food market, the event promises food, drink and a discussion on the future of the beloved history mural originally titled “Into the Future with a Strong Community”. Tickets for the event, priced by donation, will be released in September.
LeithLate founder and trustee Morvern Cunningham said, “We are thrilled to be able to return this autumn with further events both online and in person in this unprecedented year for both ourselves and our communities. We are particularly delighted to be able to support 18 artists during lockdown thanks to the Virtual Tours, at a time when grassroots support of creatives is needed more than ever.”