Edinburgh's Central Library unveils new mural celebrating 100 influential women, featuring Annie Lennox and Gail Porter

A new mural honouring 100 trail-blazing women from Edinburgh’s past and present has been unveiled in the Capital.

By Anna Bryan
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 3:35 pm

The Edinburgh Women’s Mural was revealed last week and is now on display at the Central Library, on the George IV Bridge.

Many famous faces are included in the display, such as singer-songwriter Annie Lennox and TV personality Gail Porter. However, not all of the trailblazers portrayed will be instantly recognisable to the public – but this does not mean they have not had an impact on society.

Zoe Johnstone, the project co-ordinator, wanted to shine a light on women who have been “working away invisibly”.

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She said: “Walking around Edinburgh, you don’t see many women represented in the landscape”.

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“Women, as well as other groups, including people of colour, LGBTQ people and disabled people, have all done important and valuable things for centuries, but you just wouldn't know it from looking around any given city.”

She continued: “This project is about fairness. I wanted to begin a conversation about who gets memorialised and create some space for people who have been sidelined to get their name and their faces known.”

The Edinburgh Women’s Mural which is now on display at the Central Library.

Ms Johnstone was inspired by another project called ‘Work in Progress’ by the artists Jann Haworth and Liberty Blake, which has been running in America since 2016.

She was also influenced by a book entitled ‘Where are the women?’, by Sara Sheridan, which re-imagines how public spaces would look if the landmarks, street names and statues commemorated women instead of men.

Using the book, she drew up a list of influential Scottish women who she thought should be included. She also reached out to the public, and asked them to submit nominate their ‘unsung heroes’

Over 75 people contributed to the creation of the mural, including children from high schools across Edinburgh.

Two artists, Madeleine Wood and Greg Stedman, made the full length portraits, which feature Olympian Katherine Grainger and human rights lawyer Debora Kayembe, amongst others.

The colourful display has already caught locals’ attention. Ms Johnstone has witnessed several people come into the library to ask more about the women in the mural.

The mural will be on display at the Central Library until July 2.