Projects art of the community

Launch event for Mayfield Haiku, a series of 14 poems and photographs.
Launch event for Mayfield Haiku, a series of 14 poems and photographs.

PEOPLE in Mayfield have been using art to help find their local identity with the launch of two projects.

Young and old members of the community have been working with Midlothian artist-in-residence Susan Grant on projects which are personal to them.

Funded by Creative Scotland and Coalfields Regeneration Trust - ‘Mayfield Haiku’ is a series of haiku poems and photographic artworks of sculptural interventions created by members of the Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust art group.

Also launched last Saturday was ‘iPod X-Ray’ - large scale photographic artworks created by local young people X-raying their personal items, and is on permanent display at the Y2K youth initiative on Bogwood Road. This project was funded by Creative Scotland and Y2K, and supported by Midlothian Council and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

Susan Grant has enjoyed helping local people give Mayfield its own identity.

She said: “It was a good launch and it has been brilliant working on both projects. I really like Mayfield as a community and everyone gets really involved. One of the things that people were complaining about there is that it’s the size of a town but doesn’t have its own identity.

“These projects are celebrating Mayfield as a place of creativity and there is certainly a lot of that there. It’s all about looking at identity and belonging.”

Susan explained more about the iPod X-Ray artworks and the future of the project: “We set up a dark-room. The kids brought in objects personal to them like their iPods or keys, and we exposed the paper they were laid-on to light. It was a bit like magic when the images came out.

“Bringing their own objects to be X-rayed meant they all brought a bit of themselves to the project.

“Y2K are now applying for funding to do more work next year to build on this. They would be working with a mixture of other artists and myself.”

Susan added that as part of the Mayfield Haiku scheme a series of large-scale posters (one metre by two metres) will be put up in the next few weeks in Mayfield Square with poems from the adult group on them.

A limited edition book of the works, prefaced with an essay by poet Ken Cockburn, will be launched alongside a display of the artworks in Bogwood shops.

The Mayfield Haiku project is supported by Midlothian Council and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Haiku poems are forms of poetry that originated in Japan over 300 years ago, and are a very short set of words that often expresses a unique thought or feeling.