A former railway tunnel will be given a new lease of life this September, becoming home to an open air public art exhibition of work by local Edinburgh residents. From 24th September, a month long outdoor photography exhibition will open in Rodney St tunnel, Canonmills. “Hold Me Dear: Four Cities, [Extra]ordinary Places” offers a chance for local people to share their treasured places in the city through an open call to submit photographs and stories behind the places that have personal meaning to them. Selected images will be printed for the tunnel exhibition, giving the chance for anyone to become an artist. The exhibition provides a unique and exciting opportunity for people to share the places that matter most to them, building up a very personal insight into a residents’ view of their Edinburgh the places that actually matter personally to local people beyond the usual tourist landmarks.
The exhibition opens Thursday 24th September and will be open 24 hours a day for one month. The launch event on Sunday 27th September at 12noon will take place where the Rodney St tunnel emerges into King George V Park, inviting people from the local neighbourhood, broader Edinburgh city and international guests to bring a picnic and come together for a series of speeches, live music, bike workshops, live mural painting and cycle tours.
The exhibition was initiated by Edinburgh based codesign studio HERE + NOW a small team of landscape architects, designers and photographers who specialise in engaging people in their local places. The exhibition is designed to be open call, inviting anyone living in the city to take part from children and schools to artists and local residents. It recognises that everyone’s story is important and that they should have a say in what their local places mean to them.
HERE+NOW’s first engagement with the Rodney Street tunnel began back in April through an engagement project with the local community. The tunnel became the venue for their first ‘PEP Talk’ a community place-making event, engaging with local people to give a voice to aspirations for the local area. The ‘community brief’ that resulted from this ‘PEP Talk’ was to turn the Rodney St tunnel into a creative destination as a community focused improvement to this walking and cycling route. Through the September exhibition HERE + NOW will deliver on this brief, creating exhibition boards for reuse by the community for future creative exhibitions and long-lasting impact in the neighbourhood.
HERE+NOW have been working with the exhibition’s Main Sponsor Sustrans as well as other Supporting Partners including the local community group ‘Friends Of King George V Park and Scotland Yard Parks’, the City of Edinburgh Council and Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership to deliver this event.