Archive images from Scran were exhibited this weekend as part of the 10th annual Colony of Artists event at Abbeyhill in Edinburgh
Colony of Artists takes place every September when residents of Abbeyhill Colonies, a series of streets in the east of the city, open their doors to the public to show a varied collection of artworks that they have produced. More than 30 artists in 20 venues open their homes, to show painting, drawing, photography, mixed media and much more. In recent years this mix has grown to include music, storytelling, baking and street performance.
Scran’s images were first used in last year’s event when Neil Gregory of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), joined forces with Abbeyhill resident Hilary Burwell to produce a pop-up exhibition about the history of buildings in the area. This showcased some of the area’s now defunct industries, churches and former school buildings. Many of the photographs in this exhibition came from the archives of RCAHMS and were taken as part of the organisation’s remit to survey and record Scotland’s built environment, particularly sites under threat from demolition or radical alteration. Scran was able to offer a social historical perspective to the show, as Neil Gregory pointed out: ‘The images on Scran, especially pictures from the Scotsman archive, were perfect for adding social context to the pictures of local buildings that we were showing, and it triggered so many memories for residents.’
This year saw Hilary scale-up the exhibition, moving venue from her own home in the Colonies to the nearby Artisan Bar. Moving images, oral histories and portraits of local residents also formed part of the show and residents were encouraged to contribute their own archive material to the event.
A favourite Scran image on show featured a lorry crashing into the Artisan pub building on London Road. ‘This really got the stories going,’ commented Neil Gregory, ‘A lot of people remembered this event from 1969 and the near catastrophe that could have happened if the driver hadn’t had his wits about him as his vehicle careered down Montrose Terrace!’
Images © N Gregory, The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk