Post —

Permanent Commission at Castle Mills - EPscope

To celebrate the opening of our new home, once the HQ of the world famous North British Rubber Company (NBRC), artists have used Castle Mills as a matrix for 3 public realm commissions exploring the rich heritage of the building, and the history of the surrounding area.

These commissions are integral to the architectural design and redeveloped fabric of the building. This programme offers visitors a unique opportunity to discover the hidden histories and distinguished industrial past of the Castle Mills building.

This programme of public realm commissions is part of a broader Heritage Activities Programme that has been funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by The Gannochy Trust, The Robertson Trust, and The Garfield Weston Foundation.

In addition, we would like to acknowledge the generous contribution our local community has made in supporting this ambitious programme.


EPscope, 2019 | Calum Colvin, Suzy O’ Leary and Peter Smith (Page Park)
Steel, mirror, rubber, ink, Approx. 6m high
Commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers
Fabricated by Sculpture & Design

Photo: Installation view EPscope, permanent commission, Calum Colvin, Suzy O’Leary (Page / Park), & Peter Smith, Café, Castle Mills, 2019. Photo Jules Lister


The EPscope explores themes of curiosity and memory through a visual dialogue with the inner life of the Edinburgh Printmakers workshop.

A fantastic synthesis of periscope and kaleidoscope, the EPscope is an obsidian duct, seductively clad in black rubber and projecting an infinity of patterns that shift through mechanical intervention and the natural movement of people, objects and light. The result is an image but not a likeness of the analogue world above; ink and textile and paper overlaid with fragments of the past.

There is an intimacy to the carefully restored Castle Mills building that is reflected in the work, asking questions of its past life and the lives of those who once knew it as a thriving industrial centre. One turn of the wheel brings to life a myriad of objects once created by the NBRC’s production facility (such as rubber boots, hot water bottles and car tyres) that refract and collide with warped images of the print studio above to create an infinity of patterns that are at once obtuse and accurate, like a memory. An abstract interpretation of what the building once was, looking toward a new industrious future in care and craft.

Calum Colvin, visual artist, born Glasgow 1961
Suzy O’ Leary, architect, born Dublin 1983
Peter Smith, architect, born Glasgow 1982