Four young writers have won a creative writing competition as part of the Message from the Skies project and will see their own words projected on buildings across Edinburgh alongside those of some of Scotland’s most acclaimed authors.
The winning writers all penned a letter about their hometown of Edinburgh and how they explore and encounter its coast and waterways as part of the competition.
Conor Sheridan (P4), Evie Munro (P4) from Pentland Primary School and Josie Maxwell (P5), Olivia Liddell (P6) from St Margaret’s Primary School, South Queensferry will all see their own work projected onto four buildings in Edinburgh between 4pm and 5pm just ahead of Message from the Skies 2020 Shorelines which runs until 10pm each day until Burns Night on 25 January.
Conor’s piece will be projected onto The Malmaison hotel in Leith, Evie’s will be projected by the Union Canal in Fountainbridge, Josie’s will be projected onto Edinburgh’s City Chambers and Olivia’s will be projected onto Northern Lighthouse Board building on George Street.
The creative writing competition was open to all under 18-year olds in Edinburgh and was developed in partnership with Arts & Creative Learning, City of Edinburgh Council.
Message from the Skies 2020 Shorelines which launched on 1st January marks the third edition of the innovative cross artform collaboration, delivered by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay producer Underbelly on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with The Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Welcoming the beginning of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, the words of five celebrated writers: Charlotte Runcie, Irvine Welsh, Kathleen Jamie, Kayus Bankole and Robin Robertson – will illuminate and animate landmarks around the city, from Fountainbridge to Leith with a maritime theme this January. These are told through a series of dazzling projections created by artists, designers and filmmakers including; Bright Side Studios, Double Take Projections, Kate Charter, Norman Harman, Rianne White, and Thomas Moulson and feature original music by Alasdair Roberts, Kayus Bankole, Pippa Murphy, and Steve Mac.
Conor Sheridan (8) from Pentland Primary School said: ‘Waterways are important and needed. It was fun writing the letter to Edinburgh and I hope it teaches visitors about our city.’
Evie Munro (8) from Pentland Primary School said: ‘We have to look after our water. We are lucky in Edinburgh because we have lots and lots and lots of water.’
Josie Maxwell (9) from St Margaret’s Primary School said: ‘I feel so happy and grateful that I won. I wrote about plastic because I do think this is a thing we NEED to solve now. It will be an amazing opportunity to meet Kayus Bankole!’
Olivia Liddell (10) from St Margaret’s Primary School said: ‘I chose to write about Port Edgar because I feel most connected to it. I live in South Queensferry in Edinburgh so it’s in my home-town. The first time I heard about the Message from the Skies competition I thought I had no chance of winning, but I felt ecstatic when my teacher told me I had been picked!’
Amanda Rogers, Producer for Message from the Skies 2020 said: ‘While the theme of Scotland’s coasts and waters certainly proved to be an incredibly rich inspiration for our five acclaimed authors commissioned for this year’s Message from the Skies, we also received a wonderful selection of entries from Edinburgh-based pupils about their experience with waterways in and around their hometown.
‘There were many lovely and thoughtful responses to our School Competition call out, but what came out of all of the writings that were selected as winners was a heartfelt appreciation of Edinburgh as coastal city that possessed a wide array of waterways, from canals to beaches to reservoirs, as well a personal dedication that many of these pupils possess in taking care of one the city’s most valuable resources.’
For Message from the Skies 2020 Shorelines, each acclaimed author has penned words to Scotland, exploring how we regard ourselves as a coastal nation while considering how the world sees us across the seas, each told with a very different voice, often reflecting troubled waters past and present.
Each is a living piece, animated and brought to life through a set of new collaborations with composers, visual artists and artists who have worked to realise each writer’s words in live animation to be projected across the city, creating a new trail of enlightenment which is free for all to discover in the dark winter nights.
Message from the Skies is a free event, no ticket required. The projections will run daily at each location until 25 January, from 4-10pm. For more details visit edinburghshogmanay.com