It was a pleasure to unveil one of my drawings as a wall mural in Joanna Cherry MP’s constituency office. The mural depicts an Edinburgh skyline with Calton Hill in the foreground. A closer look reveals figures with banners marching and assembling on Calton Hill, a nod to the hill’s special place in political history as the site where devolution campaigners first held their Vigil for a Scottish Parliament, and where the new parliament was originally to be situated. In 2013 an unprecedented rally was also held in favour of Scottish independence. The drawing first appeared as a double-page illustration in my book, Summer of Independence: Stories from a Nation in the Making, a grassroots account of the run-up to the 2014 referendum. It’s great to see the picture come off the page and given new life on a more generous scale.
The mural appears as a background in a short feature on LGBT MPs on BBC One’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, 31/08/17.
Join me on Saturday 22nd April in Tortosa, Catalonia, for a bilingual talk in Catalan and English on my book and the cultural campaign for independence.
See the write-up by Catalan journalist Oriol Gracia here.
Please join me for the launch of ‘Freedom Come All Ye’, a new art exhibition exploring ideas of nationhood and determination. The exhibition launch will take place on Saturday 8th April from 2-3pm, Free Space Gallery, 7 Easter Road, Edinburgh. I will also be signing copies of my book, ‘Summer of Independence’. Prints of some artworks will also be available.
The exhibition will be available to view at Free Space Gallery until Sunday 30 April. Opening times: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm.
Photographs from ‘The Summer of Independence’ book launch, Wednesday 1 June 2016, by Simon Baker. Books available to order here.
‘With a few notable exceptions, the Scottish mainstream media has not been able to rise to the challenge presented by the growing self-determination movement. When it isn’t hopelessly biased towards a status quo that will never thank it for its efforts, it is cowed, apologetic and sinking rapidly in its own irrelevance. It needs a radical overhaul. This book not only reiterates why this has to happen, but also shows us how it might come to pass.’ – Irvine Welsh
Right: an illustration for the front cover of ‘Demanding Democracy: The Case for a Scottish Media’ (Word Power Books) by Christopher Silver.
One year on from the referendum, I’m very pleased to announce that The Summer of Independence, an illustrated book of stories from the campaign, will be published with Word Power Books over the coming months.
‘… the story of a remarkable moment in Scottish history, told with the passion that characterised the movement … an important contribution to our understanding of what we created and are still creating.’ – Bella Caledonia
‘… a beautifully written and illustrated journey through the momentous closing stages of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign … an intimate, lucid and poignant insight into the very heart of the Yes movement by one of the co-founders of National Collective.’ – Scott Lyall
Today I have also been interviewed about the upcoming book by Commonspace, which can be found here.
The Edinburgh Police Box Festival last weekend was the first festival of its kind. Eleven old police boxes around the city opened their doors as miniature venues for food, charity and art shows, receiving positive coverage from The Spurtle, The Edinburgh Evening News, STV and others.
I was delighted to be asked to design the festival map, and to be given a space in the Leith Walk police box to exhibit some of my work over the weekend. Thanks to Simon Baker for taking photographs.
Below: an interactive map of Scotland asking ‘What kind of place would you like to live in?’ added to by the public over the weekend. Responses included: ‘A green and sunny place’, ‘Food to be a human right’, ‘Equal’, ‘Independent’, and my favourite, ‘I want to live in a sofa bed’.