Mural unveiled on Meadows wall after graffiti

Heather Goodare, artist Astrid Jaekel and poet Rachel Woolf in front of the Meadows mural. Picture: Lesley Martin
Heather Goodare, artist Astrid Jaekel and poet Rachel Woolf in front of the Meadows mural. Picture: Lesley Martin
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A PUBLIC artwork designed to brighten up an area blighted by graffiti has been unveiled in the Meadows – with help from the Evening News Get It Sorted Together campaign.

The historical work of art – which covers the back of the Scottish Power substation at the junction of Middle Meadow and North Meadow Walk – celebrates the culture of the much-loved green space in a colourful mural.

The wall was previously a target for vandals, but it is hoped the new facelift will provide a splash of untouched creativity to the area.

The mural was officially opened to the public yesterday afternoon during a launch party hosted by Heather Goodare, chair of Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links.

Mrs Goodare praised the new mural as “a piece of fabulous art”.

She said: “The wall is beautiful now. I’m amazed that it all seems to have come together at one time – it’s been a very busy week.”

The intricate design, which features various symbols linked to the history of the Meadows, is the brainchild of Edinburgh-based artist Astrid Jaekel and poet Rachel Woolf.

Scottish Power, which owns the wall the mural covers, donated half of the £8615 needed to complete the project – with a further £500 being provided by the Evening News Get It Sorted Together fund.

German-born Ms Jaekel, a part-time tutor at Edinburgh College of Art, pitched the idea for the mural at a community partnership meeting with the Friends in February last year.

The former ECA student has recently garnered praise for her metalwork designs along Rose Street – including an illustration of George Mackay Brown’s poem, Beachcomber.

And after seeing examples of her work, the conservation group voted unanimously at its next meeting to push ahead with the plans.

Ms Woolf provided written word contributions to the artwork – including a small ode to Mrs Goodare herself, as well as references to Muriel Spark’s classic novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which was largely based in the Meadows and surrounding area.

The artwork makes mention of “Heather’s Jig” being “danced with vigour”, a touching tribute to the Friends chair who steered the project from beginning to end with vigorous enthusiasm.

And now the literary ode has been set to music by Mrs Goodare’s 16-year-old grandson, Malcolm Goodare, a talented musician and composer.

The youngster performed the jig for the first time yesterday with a folk band made up of friends from school.

Mrs Goodare, who also celebrated her 83rd birthday as the mural was unveiled, said of the tune dedicated to her: “My grandson and his friends are very good – they really are absolutely brilliant, and it’s a brilliant little piece they’ve written.”

The Evening News campaign Get It Sorted Together, a joint project with the city council, provides cash donations to improve neighbourhood areas across the city.