Big Things on the Beach

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size


E-mail Print
Photo by Bob Jefferson
The middle pyramid of Wonder has recently been removed. A large proportion of the pyramid's sand bags had been moved, exposing the scaffold sub-structure. The other pyramids (or what's left of them!) are still in place and are continuing their process of returning into the beach they were built out of! There are no plans to rebuild the two remaining pyramids.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 June 2009 15:35

Wonder on the Beach

E-mail Print


Wonder on the Beach!
Wonder on the Beach!
Thanks for the great support on the opening of Hill Jephson Robb's Wonder! The turn out was amazing and we all hope you had a wonderful time.

Portobello Beach is now the site of three magnificent pyramids, lets work together and make sure they last all the way through to December!

We'd love to hear what you think of wonder, read on details on how to submit feedback; view some photos; and find out how to submit your own photos for display on this site.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 July 2010 15:16

Wonder Opening

E-mail Print

{multithumb thumb_width=300 thumb_height=0 quality=90 blog_mode=popup}Image

As the construction of WONDER progresses, interest in the project is growing. There have been visits from Towerbank Primary School, the Royal Mile Primary School, Donaldson's School for the Deaf and even a group of school children from Northern Ireland. Community participation in the creation of the work has been a key feature of this year's project with hundreds of people of all ages turning up to fill sandbags and play on them! This has proved to be a bit of a double-edged sword, as children who have helped fill the sandbags have also been playing on the pyramids and sometimes damaging the artist's work. Unfortunately, there has also been a fair amount of late-night vandalism to the pyramids and the police have had to be called on several occasions. To allow Jephson to complete the work on time, fencing has been erected around the artwork to minimise any damage or vandalism before the launch date.

Join us on the beach for the opening: from 6pm Thursday 21st June. 

Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2007 05:09

Wonder Starts

E-mail Print

ImageThe installation of Wonder starts Monday 21st May. Hill Jephson Robb and "The Portobello Public Art Commissioning Group" will be on site near the bottom of John Street and Portobello Baths on the evening of Tuesday 22nd May for an information evening.

Read on for photos of the build... 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 June 2007 19:14


E-mail Print

Pyramids on Portobello BeachThe landscape of Portobello Beach will be transformed by the presence of the ambitious and temporary art work WONDER which takes the form of three large pyramids created from thousands of filled Hessian sand bags, a sandbag for each Portobello household. The pyramids represent the past, the present and the future of Portobello.

Portobello itself has inspired this ambitious temporary public art work.

The pyramids will be built from sandbags, filled with the sand from Portobello Beach, emulating Portobello’s birth from a "naturally" available material; clay. Once filled, the sandbags will become building blocks to construct the pyramids; these will be laid in a brick work pattern, once again making reference to the origins of Portobello.

Portobello beach has a strong association with architecture, from the humble Bathing Machines of the early 19th Century and the sandbag fortification used during military exercise, to the ambitious architecture of the Pier (1870), the imaginative fun fair Marine Gardens and the Bathing Pool with its high diving boards. None of which remain today.  The pyramids pay tribute to Portobello’s past architectural achievements as well as celebrating the recent and successful community campaign PCATS.  By uniting thousands of sandbags (one for each household) in the form of pyramids the whole community is represented while transforming the landscape from the horizontal to the vertical, conceptually raising Portobello’s aspirations for the future. The sloping sides of the pyramids provide support in a reclined position for star and sky gazing.

Pyramids have always fascinated, attracting visitor from far and wide.

Credited with the ability to channel energy and heal the pyramids are a metaphor for the renewed energy of Portobello’s community spirit and the revitalization of the beach and promenade.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 11:32

Mailing list


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