New Waverley GrafJam
November 5, 2014
By Avril Tait
Graffiti and street artists from across Scotland have converged on a construction site in Edinburgh’s city centre to launch the country’s largest street art project.
In a unique partnership bringing together community activists and the developers behind the city’s New Waverley scheme, a vast ever-changing canvas spanning almost half a kilometre is being created right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
The ground-breaking project is being led by Work In Progress Edinburgh (WIPE), a community arts partnership made up of local residents and city artists. The group has linked up with Artisan Real Estate Investors, the developers behind the New Waverley scheme which is now beginning construction on a revitalised city centre district linking the capital’s Canongate area and Waverley Station with the Royal Mile.
WIPE’s inaugural project, entitled the Canongate Plot, will see the group using a national network of street and graffiti artists to create a huge collage covering the majority of the development’s external facings as construction begins. This includes a row of arches and hoardings along East Market Street, a 200 metre hoardings strip along New Street, and scaffolding on the Royal Mile.
The project will combine permanent ‘story-telling’ artwork by renowned Edinburgh artist Chris Rutterford with an ever-changing tableau of graffiti art, self-regulated by WIPE’s own Code of Conduct committing all participants to the highest standards of public art and behaviour.
The Canongate Plot’s first stage, starting at The Arches on East Market Street and inspired by the theme of Bonfire Night, was launched on Monday (3 November). It brought together around 60 graffiti artists who began spray painting the previous day and completed the inaugural artwork in less than 12 hours.