Big Things on the Beach

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Public Art

Think Tank

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Come on down to Edinburgh's Beach to see examples of Public Artworks from across the globe and find out what people have been suggesting for Portobello Prom.



Last Updated on Monday, 21 June 2010 11:52

Public Art Course - Course 2, term 2

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Liverpool street stencilTerm two began on a cold and dark Wednesday evening in January. The group met to hear from Gordon Brennan, a local artist and lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). The session was aptly titled ‘Putting Art Back into Public Art’ and looked at a variety of different artworks. Gordon helped the group to understand that art, regardless of its’ setting, has to be good art. And art is ‘rated’ by the viewer or audience based solely on their personal understanding of the work itself.

Click below to

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 23:20

2007/8 Public Art Course: A Participants Experience

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Wonder, by Hill Jephson RobbFirstly, a bit of background about me. I have lived in Portobello for almost nine years and work as a Human Resources Administrator. My interests are music, theatre, old movies, travel, walking in our amazing countryside and although not being a creative person, I appreciate art in its many different forms.

My husband is the creative half of our partnership and is a keen photographer. We both went to see the launch of "WONDER" in midsummer, the temporary artwork by Hill Jephson Robb, which was commissioned by the Big Things on the Beach (BTOTB) Public Art Course participants of 2006/07. We both loved it.

Click below to read on for more of Irene Morrice's course report. This report is part of the 2007-08 Public Art commissioning course.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 23:23

Visit to Berlin

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Arriving in Berlin
Berlin is one of those cities that's like no other. It has history, architecture and art in abundance. Mostly, it just works. It’s beautiful, it's a great size and it's easy to get around. Berlin and Germany more generally is concerned with design so even everyday things like the ticket machine at a U-Bahn station is built for use and ornament. We arrived in Berlin on a dreich Friday afternoon and we're greeted with a train that would take us directly from the airport to the closest station to our hotel, with no changes and with heated seats to boot. Wunderbar!


Click below to read on for more of Ann Milovic's trip report. This trip is part of the 2007-08 Public Art commissioning course.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 23:26

Visit to Barcelona

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ImageTouching down at Girona Airport one thing was clear, the sky! Having left a dreary, damp and depressing Edinburgh at a very civilised 9am that morning, only a short bus ride separated us from the sun, sea and sand of Barcelona.

After much fun and adventure on the underground our little group was being checked in by the less than hospitable staff at the Hotel Barcelo. Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. A quick change and a debriefing by the only friendly person in the building, the barmaid and we were off to the Rambla del Poblenou, the local restaurant district. Completely at random we somehow manage to discover a delightful restaurant which quickly begins to fill up with locals, always a good sign. Wine, women, one man, no songs, a couple of shots of something strange on the house and bedtime was beckoning so we wobbled off back to the hotel for some zzzz’s.

Click below to read on for more of Rab Brown's trip report. This trip is part of the 2007-08 Public Art commissioning course.

Last Updated on Sunday, 11 May 2008 18:49
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Big Things on the Beach is a public art trust in Portobello, a seaside suburb close to the city centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was formed by a group of residents in 2003 to explore the potential of the seafront as a site for engagement with public artworks by both emerging and established artists.

Since 2004 we have commissioned artists to create substantial temporary artworks, trained ourselves and others in the process of commissioning public artworks through international site visits and guest lectures and successfully raised funding to these ends.

Our current project - The Big Welcome - is supported by Creative Scotland, Portobello & Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership and Edinburgh City Libraries