We're lucky in Edinburgh to have such a tremendous wealth of public art scattered about the city, ripe for discovery!
But although much of that art is in the form of statues and carvings, there's quite a lot of word-based creativity to be found, too - such as this apt work that can be found at the junction of High Street and South Bridge in Edinburgh's Old Town.
Dating from 1992, the work was created by Maurizio Nannucci for the Lux Europae art festival. Rumour has it that when the building was measured ahead of the installation being created, a mistake was made, leading to the word MAYBE being added to help fill the space! It was only re-illuminated in 2019, and is sadly missing a letter T. :(
Here's a blog highlighting some more of the text-based art to seek out in Edinburgh...
Hard to read during daylight hours, perhaps, Martin Creed's Everything Is Going To Be Alright offers a welcome dose of healthy optimism for visitors approaching the Modern One gallery, part of the National Galleries Scotland.
Created in 2008, this work from Turner Prize-winning Creed is officially titled Work No. 975, and bonus points if you discover another of Creed's creations - Work No. 1059 - during your travels around Edinburgh's Old Town...
Another apt installation, Nathan Coley's The Basic Material is Not the Word but the Letter can be found inside the University of Edinburgh's main library building on George Square.
The phrase is taken from a phrase Coley found in one of the documents in the library's archive, and the work was created as part of the university's 50th anniversary in 2018.
Another Nathan Coley work can be found in the grounds of Modern Two, the second of the modern art galleries at the west end of the New Town.
Created between 2007 and 2009, the words are taken from a 17th century royal proclamation in France, at a town where religious miracles had been reported. The backdrop to the work features a number of church steeples, which may be a coincidence (but probably isn't!).
This small work on Chalmers Close has since been removed because of building work, but it was installed in 2017 as part of the Open Close project to bring art installations to Edinburgh's Old Town closes and wynds.
Created by Tommy Perman and Rob Saint John it always made me smile when I brought groups up the lane...
This elongated piece of text can be found cut into the sandstone walls of the office block next to Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Morrison Street. Although it doesn't say so explicitly, the quote is a description of Edinburgh itself, and it is from Alexander McCall Smith, one of the local authors whose works set in Edinburgh have helped to attract people from all around the world to come and visit.
It's also a description which is technically accurate is every single way. :)
And finally, not an artwork so much as an advert for the Pilgrim bar on Robertson's Close on Cowgate, the words are taken from a poem by JRR Tolkien.
But I also think they also sum up what I offer visitors - not all those who wander are lost... some of them are on a walking tour of Edinburgh...!
Discover more of Edinburgh's public artworks with my private city walking tours!
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