Porty Art Walk is an annual event held in Edinburgh’s seaside district of Portobello. There are walks, artist’s talks, themed shop windows workshops, music and a parade. Lots of local artists open up their homes to display their work to the public (called Art Houses).
Below are photos of some of the Porty Art Walk shop windows.
The ‘Carousel’ installation at St Marks Church, one of the Pleasure Ground locations, reminded me of the logo for my Dad’s former toy and book shop called Merrygoround.
The first Art House which I visited, was home to one of my favourite pieces.
The artist, Jude Nixon, had created a beautiful sculptural installation from rice paper panels decorated using paint applied hydrated seaweed.
Another one of my favourite Art Houses was Robin Baillie’s.
Robin’s very large, calm dog took all the visitors in her stride, as she settled down on the floor for a sleep.
I liked the fact that Teresa Gordon’s woman in a swimming costume was a more normal shape than often portrayed.
Teresa’s fish and bird lampshades were striking.
Jenny Martin’s screen printing demonstration was very interesting. Below is some of her work.
There were two artists exhibiting at Art House 36. Karl Stern’s prints were lovely.
Javier Ventura’s pieces were inspired by the former Art Deco style outdoor swimming pool in Portobello.
John Thayer’s geometric pieces appealed to me.
In 2018, Porty Art Walk lasted for ten days from 30 August to 9 September. But most of the events were on during the two weekends.
Orginally, I had only planned to attend on the first Saturday. I had an enjoyable morning visiting several Art Houses and one screen printing demonstration.
I had booked on the Pier to Pier participatory art walk by Greig Borgoyne at 1pm. I turned up expecting a saunter along the prom, starting at the location of the former pier in Portobello.
Prior to the walk, I had been emailed a link to a video on Vimeo, which was of the artist Greg walking on Hastings Pier taking a few steps then changing direction.
The 16 participants assembled to start the walk, Greg produced an enormous piece of elastic. Each participant’s video had a different number from one to twenty. Greg explained that we had to space out within the the perimeter of the elastic, trying to maintain tension. The person with the the video numbered one would start off copying Greg;s steps on their video. Everyone else would copy their steps. Once you had lead the walk, you left.
You could either hold the elastic in your hand or push against it with your body.
My video was number 19, so I knew that I was in it for the long haul.
It became really difficult to maintain the tension as the number of participants diminished. This meant that the elastic started to drag in the wet sand on the shore line. I began to wonder if I would end up with friction burns on my hands or body, as I tried to keep the elastic taut. It felt a bit like using a turbo charged Slendertone muscle toning belt. I felt as the event would have been more user friendly, if the elastic hadn’t been so long.
The art walk lasted for 50 minutes. Suffice to say that I was absolutely knackered by the end. My face was the colour of beetroot and I was covered in wet sand.
I was so exhausted, that I had to abandon my plan to visit more Art Houses in the afternoon.
That meant that I decided to return to Porty Art Walk the following day. That turned out to be a good decision, as despite arriving before opening time of 11am on Sunday, I still didn’t have enough time to get around all the Art Houses.
I did attend Greig Borgoyne’s talk on Sunday afternoon, as I was intrigued to find out more about his practice. I discovered that the length of the elastic used in the Pier to Pier participatory walk had been determined by the length of the former Portobello pier.
I thought that Porty Art Walk was a wonderful event. It was very well organised. It felt like there is a great community spirit on Portobello. All the artists were so welcoming to visitors to their home.