Rebel Bear gives a voice to the animals in Leith – Hayley Matthews

A passer-by checks out the new artwork by The Rebel Bear in Leith (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)A passer-by checks out the new artwork by The Rebel Bear in Leith (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
A passer-by checks out the new artwork by The Rebel Bear in Leith (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
A new piece of art by The Rebel Bear – of animals calling for humans to remain in lockdown – impresses Hayley Matthews.

I love to see creativity and people using their art as a way of expressing their feelings. Old buildings are a favourite of mine and I love the mural at the bottom of Ferry Road that sits on the wall where it meets Great Junction Street.

I have fond memories of my Auntie Joyce explaining all the pictures to me and the story that it tells. For me it brightens up the street and I also don’t see the difference between this and graffiti, it’s just different perceptions of what is art and who are you or I to tell someone they can’t express themselves in a certain way? What is this – North Korea? So let people plaster art on buildings – it’s refreshing and a lot nicer to look at than the crumbling greyness of some of the facades we see.

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‘It’s provocative and humorous’ - lockdown graffiti appears on Leith Walk

So when I saw a post on the Facebook page I Love Leith, showing a wonderful piece of work on Leith Walk near the old bus depot, it made me smile. The artwork by @the.rebel.bear shows animals with placards demanding to keep the humans locked up. The animals march with slogans such as “bats rule” and “keep the humans locked up” and “long live the lockdown”. The message from the artist is clear, Mother Nature is getting a rest from human damage and so are all her animals.

It’s refreshing to see some modern art in our city, although it’s not been to everyone’s liking.

I read a few comments about how this is just graffiti and a few people expressing how they’re not a fan but I urge you to look at it with fresh eyes. It really is no different to the art you see at the bottom of Ferry Road, and it also has a very important story too if you let yourself see it.

Thank you The Rebel Bear – keep up the good work!

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