Murals to transform Meadows graffiti hot spot

Astrid Jaekel pictured with some of her artwork on Rose Street.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Astrid Jaekel pictured with some of her artwork on Rose Street. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A graffiti hot spot in the Meadows is to be transformed into a historical work of art – with a little help from the Evening News’ Get It Sorted Together campaign.

The back of the Scottish Power substation at the junction of Middle Meadow and North Meadow Walk has been a target for vandals in the past.

But a joint venture between the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, local artist Astrid Jaekel and poet Rachel Woolf has now been given the go-ahead to erect colourful mural boards depicting some of the culture of the area.

It all started when Ms Jaekel, who is now a teacher at Edinburgh College of Art and has recently received praise for the metal work illustrations which are breathing new life into Rose Street, attended a community partnership meeting with the Friends in February.

Friends convener Heather Goodacre, 82, who lives near Bruntsfield Links, said: “Some students from ECA came to the meeting and suggested the idea of the murals. We asked them if they could send us some of their work over to consider and Astrid’s work immediately stood out. At our March meeting we unanimously voted to go ahead with the plan.”

With Scottish Power agreeing to pay half of the £8615 needed to bring the project to fruition, the group began raising the remaining £4300.

“We are also applying to the South Central Neighbourhood Partnership, but when we read about the Evening News’ Get It Sorted Together campaign we knew that our project fitted the bill.”

Having now received £500 from the Evening News, the group is hoping to unveil the murals on Burns Night 2014.

“As well as Astrid’s art, the murals will also feature written word contributions from local poet Rachel Woolf, which will include a quotation from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, who grew up on Bruntsfield Place and was educated at James Gillespie’s Girls School across Bruntsfield Links, and a specially written poem, which twines around an excerpt from work by Robert Burns,” continued Ms Goodacre.

“Burns’ father is believed to have done some of the original digging up of Borough Loch, which was drained in the 18th century so the Meadows could be created. We’re hoping that the murals will not only brighten up the area and stop the wall from being defaced, but that they’ll also provide an insight into the area’s history and culture.”

Ms Jaekel is already hard at work creating the designs while Scottish Power has agreed to prepare the area for their installation, which is expected to take five weeks. To apply for a grant, visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk and search for “Get It Sorted Together”.