Forth Lines Exhibition – The Coastline Mapped Out Through Artwork
Visitors to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) this spring are being treated to a vibrant and exciting arts and crafts exhibition. The Forth Lines exhibition was born from locals’ interests in their surrounding environment and their passion to raise awareness for the conservation of their coastline. It started out as a lockdown idea by four local crafters, and grew to nearly 200 crafters taking part. They each created a square of artwork representing their personal relationship with the Firth of Forth coast. Each one represents a square km of the coastline. For the first time all 184 squares of artwork are seen together, each one with their own story behind it. It creates memories and visions of the Forth, linking the Fife and Lothian coasts together.
Individuals of all ages and occupations took part in helping to craft the span of the coastline. Some were amateurs, others were professionals. The artworks are all extremely diverse, each one unique. The inspirations for the artworks range from the flora and fauna of the area to tackling the problem of beach littering. Some even focus on the issue of climate change and rising sea levels, stating the fact that some parts of the coastline may no longer exist in years to come.
The inspiration behind the exhibition is that each square can be said to be some of the artists saviour during lockdown. For some, their square of the coastline massively helped their mental health through the tough times of the pandemic and helped them rediscover nature. Some of the stories behind the artwork are inspiring and heartwarming. A lovely direct quote from one of the artists, Sarah Bartlett: “During the pandemic I rode empty trains to a frightened hospital. As lockdown eased and the hospital breathed again, I swam here after a nightshift. The sea was silky still, shrouded in Haar.”
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh warmly welcomes the exhibition as it is working with other organisations and community groups on new community activities to help conserve the coastline, natural habitats and its wildlife including sea grass and oysters. You’ll learn a little about this at the exhibition.
Forth Lines runs at the John Hope Gateway until Sunday 24 April.
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