Coffee shop comes to life at night

The latest in a series of ‘shutter art’ is set to be unveiled tomorrow at Word of Mouth cafe on the corner of Albert Street and Leith Walk.

The piece, by local artist Fraser Gray, forms part of a project that transforms blank shop shutters along Edinburgh's iconic thoroughfare into a canvas for local artists to showcase their talents.

Fraser, whose work can be seen in places as far afield as Australia was inspired by his favourite place to grab a coffee.  He said:  '' I always get excited when my work can operate within an architectural landscape, and the Shutter Project seemed like great opportunity for my work with a context and location that I was really familiar with. In all honesty, I have thought a few times when walking past the Word of Mouth shutters, 'I would love to paint them at some time!', and I'm  really grateful to LeithLate for asking me to be part of  the Shutter Project, and to the City of Edinburgh Council  for supporting it. "

Word of Mouth cafe owner Nina Taris said: ''We have taken part in the Leith Late event for the past two years. When I heard about the Shutter Project, I immediately asked to be part of it. We have been trying to support local artists by offering the cafe space out of hours for screenings and live performances. It all ties in. It is great to see everyone trying to make Leith a moving and interesting place for people to visit.'' 

Cllr Tom Buchanan, Convener of the Economy Committee, said: "This series is a great example of businesses and artists in Leith working together to bring some extra life to the area Having these colourful additions to shopfronts helps to create a positive impression of Leith, especially after hours."

Keith Hales, vice chair of Leith Business Association, added: "The support from the Council and LeithLate to show off the best of business and artistic talent is very welcome and I'm sure will be widely appreciated by residents and visitors alike."

The project is supported by the City of Edinburgh Council's I Love Leith initiative which is part of  the Council's programme to build stronger town centres in Edinburgh and LeithLate, Leith's annual multi-arts event.  LeithLate is committed to celebrating Leith's vibrant cultural community by showcasing local and international talent across art spaces and businesses, situated within the locality of Leith and the Walk.

Other shutters in the series completed to date include : Gamesmasters Games Exchange which took on a 2D retro gaming-style 'landscape' and Paradigm Shift whose shutter theme was designed to reflect the cosmos - a tie in with the star gazing equipment sold in the shop.

Businesses on Leith Walk interested in the project should contact Sarah Woodford at sarah.woodford@edinburgh.gov.uk or Morvern Cunningham of LeithLate - leithlate@gmail.com

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