Donovan & Siegel Art Commission: Rust Garden

Date: 29 July - 28 August 2016

Price: Free

Location: Castle Mill Works, former North British Rubber Company HQ, Gilmore Park, Fountainbridge, EH11 1AL

Rust Garden transforms a neglected and overgrown nook into an intimate garden space for contemplation. Among the flowering plants is a small bench inviting passersby to sit; leading to the bench is a pathway made of tiny rusted steel letters.The rusted letters evoke a sense of urban decay and the enduring legacy of industry, but they also tell a story of repurposing and -- in the context of the garden -- renewal. They at once refer to Fountainbridge’s industrial past and the rail corridors that continue to define the area, and also to the redevelopment of the site as the future home of Edinburgh Printmakers.

Letterforms that once were combined to tell stories, provide direction or demarcate places of importance take on a new meaning when disembodied from their original context. Removed from plaques and walls, and instead jumbled underfoot as one passes into the garden, the letterforms become a bridge that straddles two places in time, both of which are just beyond the reach of the present.

Just as the wider community seeks to reinvent Fountainbridge as a new cultural center for the city of Edinburgh, passersby will inevitably pick letters out from the path to create words or phrases imbued with personal meaning. Some of these will be set out on the bench or stonewall for other passersby to see, while others will be carried off as token keepsakes. What is left unordered on the ground will continue to rust and decay, eventually decomposing completely.

In this way, the rust garden invites us to contemplate our human impulse to constantly reinvent and find new meaning.

Part of exhibition 'History Machines by Donovan & Siegel'. In partnership with The Grove Community Garden and HERE + NOW.

This exhibition is part of Edinburgh Art Festival, Ediburgh Fringe and the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2015, the Canada Council invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.?Nous remercions le Conseil des arts de l’Ontario et le Conseil des arts du Canada de ses soutiens. En 2015, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour metre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.