Members Trip with artist in residence Anna Macleod, Water of Leith Walkway to SNGMA

ESW Members were invited to join the current REACH Scotland Resident Anna Macleod and ESW Curator of Research Dan Brown to walk up the Water of Leith to The Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art on Monday 7 August 2023.

We met on Stockbridge, the corner of Saunders Street, at 10 am.

Took photos of the Antony Gormley statues placed in the Water of Leith.

We stopped by St Bernard’s Well, designed by painter Alexander Nasmyth in 1789, for the natural spring embodied with healing powers that had been discovered in 1760. We heard about the recent restoration including an exquisite mosaic ceiling.

We had a picnic and talked with Anna Macleod about her research.

On arriving at Modern One, we met curator Leila Riszko who introduced us to Alberta Whittle’s solo exhibition.

We continued our trip to the  Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art with the exhibition Decades | The Art of Change 1900–1980.

On our way back, we looked for the little doorway at the back end of Modern Art Two Gallery to access and visit the Dean Cemetery.

Anna Macleod is a REACH and ESW artist in residence, she has been trained in “citizen science for water monitoring”  and kindly accepted to be the mentor of the Walk of Leith trip. She is looking at the factors that indicate the health of the water along the river walks.

“When I was a child, the Water of Leith ran past our house in Canonmills, there were some very overgrown and neglected walkways and, the river was very polluted. Since I’ve been visiting Edinburgh in recent years, I’ve been following the important work that The Water of Leith Conservation Trust have done to rejuvenate the river habitats, growing wildflower meadows and raising awareness of the critical issues surrounding water and biodiversity.

I thought I would like to do a positive celebratory project about the Water of Leith as a way to talking about climate resilience through community action & to raise awareness of the importance of keeping freshwater safe.”

Thank you all! You can read more about Macleod’s interests here.

The trip was organised in collaboration with Mihaela Coman who is working at ESW on a Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities placement.