City Stories

A couple of weeks ago I took part in an event for the Innovative Learning week #ILW2015 at the University of Edinburgh where I study.

I attended the City Stories event because it is always good to find things to look at and draw… my favourite thing to do! I think drawing helps a person to notice things more, critique, appreciate and remember them.

I teemed up with Daisy who is a medical student from Taiwan and was only studying in Edinburgh for a month. Daisy closed her eyes and dropped a pencil onto the map of Edinburgh city; it landed on Murrayfield. A couple of days later we met after work and took a beautifully sunny and blustery walk along the Water of Leith to Haymarket. Here is a picture:

This is the piece of railway and tramline outside Haymarket, near to Murrayfield: our drawing-destination.
This is the piece of railway and tramline outside Haymarket, near to Murrayfield: our drawing-destination.

After a few dead-ends, quaint bungalows and enquiries for direction we were in sight of our destination. Here’s what we saw:

Murrayfield stadium from the cycle path.
Murrayfield stadium from the cycle path.

We could see the stadium in the distance and, armed with chalk, we selected our colour of choice and started to make marks on the convenient timber canvas. I started to draw the yellow lines first, inspired by the stadium’s structure. Then Daisy used contrasting colours to make a pattern. We didn’t discuss it much and it only took five minutes but we felt happy about our pattern as our addition to the city story.

This is Daisy sketching away despite freezing gusts of wind.
This is Daisy sketching away despite freezing gusts of wind.
Me taking a picture of the stadium-inspired chalk design.
Me taking a picture of the stadium-inspired chalk design. Photo by Daisy.

This is what we made:

Chalk pattern inspired by the Murrayfield stadium structure.
Chalk pattern inspired by the Murrayfield stadium structure.

DSCF4705

It’s about two weeks since the project; I cycled past there the other day and the chalk had been washed away in the rain. I like the idea that the design was only in situ for the week of the project but the ideas that came from it and memories of the participants remain. I think that’s why I am not too precious about my work and favour cheap ways of printing and bookbinding: it is made to be read and then can be thrown away. The work’s temporality means it can be physically lost but live on in memory of the person/people that have seen it. With modern technology (cameras and wordpress!) it can always be documented as well, of course.

I wonder what people thought the chalk design was about.

Our chalks. Photo by Daisy.
Our chalks. Photo by Daisy.

Thanks to Daisy for a great adventure 🙂

https://sites.eca.ed.ac.uk/citystories/

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