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Eduardo Paolozzi Mural in Leith: Planning submitted

12.05.2023

GRAS is delighted to have supported and has recently submitted a planning application on behalf of a local community group, the Friends of Water of Leith Basin, for the replacement of the existing and now rather dilapidated mural of Scottish Artist Eduardo Paolozzi at 73 Henderson Street in Leith.

The existing mural was commissioned by Friends of the Water of Leith Basin and installed in 2014 with the support of Leith Late, a Scottish Charity supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and Bailie Gifford. It sits within the frontage of a vacant shop unit that has lain empty and unused for many years, and depicts a portrait of Eduardo Paolozzi, the internationally renowned Scottish Artist who was born in Leith in 1924. The mural has since deteriorated and become badly weathered and is now beyond feasible repair. It is therefore proposed that the mural be replaced.

The new mural will remain a portrait of Eduardo Paolozzi, this time as an older man, with some recognizable Leith landmarks in the background portrayed in the Pop Art style, based on Paolozzi’s work. The artist is Halla Groves-Raines, who studied at Glasgow School of Art and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The proposed works will include taking down the existing mural and support, building a new subframe, fitting the surface boards, scanning, printing, and mounting the mural. This is the same method that was used last time, albeit using more durable materials, including marine grade plywood for the surface boards and stainless steel fixings.

Henderson Street is located in the heart of Leith Conservation Area. The C-listed building of which the shop unit forms part dates from 1891 and is a particularly fine and well-designed example of a traditional Edinburgh ‘tenement’.  Constructed of a distinctive red sandstone, it features an array of interesting and unusual gothic architectural detailing.

This area of Leith is currently being remodelled, reducing vehicular traffic and encouraging pedestrian and bicycle use. The Friends have already donated trees and paid for the upkeep of the benches on the nearby public area at the southernmost end of the Shore. Once again the Friends of the Water of Leith have approached Leith Late who have an excellent record in supporting Public Art Projects, particularly in Leith. Leith Late are very enthusiastic about this project. It is remarkable that until the recent deterioration, the mural has suffered no graffiti at any time in the past 9 years. It is a clear mark of the quality of the mural and the respect shown towards it by the local community. By replacing the mural public art is maintained in the area and the memory of Eduardo Paolozzi is kept alive.

Project team:
Architectural Assistant: Ellie Jane Walden
Director: Dr J Stewart Stirling