Yesterday I popped in to the Freespace Gallery which is in the Leith area of Edinburgh, to meet owners Kate and Terence and chat about my art prints for charity project (which benefits wildlife conservation charities by offering 25% of print sales to charities related to the landscape featured in the print).
Freespace was set up last year during the referendum as a place for people to meet, discuss ideas and show their art work. I dropped in once or twice and noticed they show work by local artists and photographers, so I though this would be a great place to display work.
Kate and Terence offered me a seat, freshly brewed coffee, and were most enthusiastic about the project and my paintings. It’s great to be included in the Freespace Gallery, and lovely to meet gallery owners who take an interest in the work, so the interaction is not just focussed on business agreements! Also it’s just around the corner from where I live so it’ll be easy to drop by and see how things are going.
I was born in Leith, my dad’s side of the family have been here a few generations, and I remember that in my early teens I couldn’t wait to get out! At the age of 19 I moved to Greece, then subsequently lived and worked all around the UK – down south, up north and the Midlands. I loved living in all these places and made lifelong friends. Now, with a bit more experience of life and people, I find that Leith is my favourite part of Edinburgh, mostly because of its friendly community, which has always included different nationalities, mostly from India, China, Italy and Poland. If you walk down Leith you see the influence of these cultures in shops, restaurants, cafes and delis (the best known being world-famous Italian delicatessen Valvona and Crolla – I remember when I was a girl it seemed most exotic!)
Leith has always had an interesting arts community too, the Shore in particular is a popular area for artists, writers and musicians to live, partly because of its galleries, pubs, cafes and restaurants, but also it’s to do with the setting (it always reminds me of Amsterdam, and there was in fact a Dutch colony there a few hundred years ago, which you can see reflected in the architecture)
It’s great that Freespace continues to support local artists, writers and projects around Leith and Edinburgh in general. They also have a foodbank donation drop off point. I’d recommend you pop in to have a look around.
For more information on the art prints for charities and wildlife conservation trusts, click Here (you can buy the prints singly, or as a set).
If you’d told me I’d be enthusing about Leith back in my teens I’d have been bemused, but there you go! Here’s Leith’s ‘persevere’ motto (we had this on our school badges).