Colony of Artists brings colour to graffitied Abbeyhill shops

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One mural is already completed.

The Colony of Artists group based in Abbeyhill has taken on the challenge of helping local businesses tackle graffiti.

The creative group, which centres around the Colony of Artists exhibition usually held in Autumn each year, has begun a series of ‘lockdown murals’ which cover neglected walls or those afflicted by graffiti with bright colours and designs.

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One mural on Rossie Place was finished last week, with colourful houses now adorning the wall of Holland House.

The shop now.The shop now.
The shop now.

Another has been started at Easter Greens on Easter Road, whose grill was covered by several pieces of graffiti.

It is now adorned with bright shapes in yellow, red and green.

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The mural, started last week, is still a work in progress.

Graffiti at Easter GreensGraffiti at Easter Greens
Graffiti at Easter Greens

It was designed by Christina Robertson and painted by Bill Mazur and Jenny Haslimeier.

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“For many years we've talked about doing something to help local businesses tackle graffiti on their shutters and at long last we've kicked off this project at Easter Greens on Easter Road,” said Kat Chisholm of Colony of Artists.

“We hope other businesses will see what we've done and get in touch as we've got the paint and the talent ready to help! Just drop us a line! Let's make Easter Road and London Road beautiful.”

She added that the group’s next project will be a mural for Bellfield Brewery, the gluten-free brewery based on Stanley Place.

The mural at Holland HouseThe mural at Holland House
The mural at Holland House

Easter Greens thanked the Colony of Artists in a post on social media.

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“Thank you to the lovely people from Colony of Artists who are helping to make Abbeyhill and Easter Road a better place to live and shop by tackling the growing graffiti problem in the area,” a spokesperson wrote.

“We are thrilled to be the first local business to be involved and are super excited with the progress made so far.

“We encourage other neighbouring businesses with shutters to reach out to them. They fully involved us in the design, gave us a few ideas, then took our feedback to come up with the final design.

“And of course they're doing it all in the evenings after we close so it's not affecting our business hours.”

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The Colony of Artists is an annual exhibition in Abbeyhill, during which artists showcase their work in local venues including their own homes.

The 2019 event featured 66 artists, 40 venues and a range of events including a poetry reading and film screening.

There was also a live music stage set up at Holland House, the site of the most recently-completed mural.

Fundraising events also raised money for future graffiti-covering murals.

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