Anti-vandalism artwork spreads across the city

Castle Rock Edinvar’s community art project with Edinburgh College of Art’s Graphic Design department has completed three further installations. This initiative will see four vandalism hotspots and a neglected area of grass across Castle Rock Edinvar sites transformed with new artwork.

Residents have created a permanent doormat exhibition outside a development in Potterrow. Staff collaborated with graphic design student Alice Wheeler to create an art installation that would establish the tenants’ sense of home in such a public area.

Alice, recent ECA graduate said: “For this project I proposed the idea of coming home, bringing the residents the colour, uniqueness and excitement they asked for, along with a comforting relation to themselves and their homes where they live.

Enhanced Doormat with Alice
Graphic design student, Alice Wheeler

“Seeing the doormats up on the wall is amazing. I hope the residents will love seeing their own work on the entrance to their homes. It provides a sense of marking their own territory with the inspiration of being part of a community.”

The second completed art project is located at Grey’s Court in the Southside. Christal Sih, graphic designer, has given the entrance to the housing development its own unique piece of temporary artwork with the quote “The will to do, the soul to dare” suspended to the wall. A frame surrounding the piece was installed allowing Castle Rock Edinvar to showcase future art projects.

A communal stairwell in Nicolson Street has been transformed into a bright and attractive entry space for residents. The stained glass art effect has been installed on each window within the stairwell. The idea of using vinyl to recreate a stained glass effect was Portia Verlarde’s, a recent graphic design graduate. Working alongside Castle Rock Edinvar staff, Portia involved tenants throughout the design process.

“My challenge was to use this project as a tool for social benefit, and to include the residents at various stages. In the past the building has been subject to social disorder issues. Castle Rock Edinvar cleared up the issues and wanted to bring the community of residents together.

I met with the residents, presented my initial ideas for the project and then ran workshops with the residents which generated ideas that I translated onto the windows.”

Previously the collaboration between the housing association and University brought some light and colour to the Cowgate area of Edinburgh by transforming drab pillars into multi-coloured installations. So far, the project has been a success as the columns are graffiti free.

The final project is due to be completed over the summer, as a neglected grass area in West Pilton will be transformed into a community garden with a “No Place Like Home” theme.

Shelley Hutton, Business Support Manager, said: “Initiatives such as the art project are a great way to both improve the environment of our properties and the money we hope to save from tackling vandalism and anti-social behaviour can be redirected to our local communities, helping us to create successful and sustainable neighbourhoods. We are looking forward to completing the final projects later this summer.”

Submit examples of public art associated with your organisation to our Public Art feature by sending a picture and brief description of each installation to the editor at

Share icon
Share this article: