Boarded-up spaces made into bright paintings

Bernie Reid's work in Constitution Street has been likened to Edvard Munch's Scream masterpiece. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Bernie Reid's work in Constitution Street has been likened to Edvard Munch's Scream masterpiece. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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A city artist has been turning heads after using boards designed to cover up broken windows to create a work of art that has drawn comparisons to Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream.

Bernie Reid used his skills to transform a boarded-up shop in Constitution Street into a “positive” piece of art for the area.

Mr Reid, 42, who has a studio nearby, currently has a show where he is experimenting with wood and said the original idea came about when he noticed the boarded-up 
windows under the Four By Two design company office.

After chatting to the company’s creative director, Adam Storey, and architect Ben Ingle, a plan was put in motion to produce the wooden men.

“I haven’t done street art in a long time but I was looking for a different way of putting these up on walls because there’s a lot of places that use that board when the place is shut down,” Mr Reid said.

“If there’s a part of a street that does not look nice it helps to make it good for people. I hope it’s not going to be viewed as vandalism – it’s something to help cheer the place up.”

Mr Storey said he and Mr Ingle had already been thinking of ways to transform the “sad” windows when they were approached by the artist.

“We are a creative company and proud of Leith so we started thinking we could do something with them,” he said.

“We contacted the owner and he did not mind so we got together in the pub having a pint and Bernie mentioned he had drawn something up.”

The company provided the materials for Mr Reid and then let him take over, and Mr Storey said they were delighted with the result.

“I think it’s totally unique and also quite dark and mysterious,” he added.

Mr Reid, who has also been involved in the LeithLate Shutter Project, where he was one of six artists to transform the shutters of a businesses on Leith Walk, said he was pleased with the result.

“I was quite happy with it and I don’t follow social media but I’ve had a lot of people in the area making comments,” he said. “I just knew that these were the first in a long series of figures so I wanted to keep the basic shape very simple.”

And when asked what he thought of them being compared with The Scream, he said: “I guess I like Munch but it was not a conscious influence – it’s a compliment.”

katie.richardson@edinburghnews.com