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Permanent Commission at Castle Mills - Catalogue Wall

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.

 

Catalogue Wall, 2019 | Mark Doyle
Glass fibre reinforced concrete, Size 10m2 
Commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers

The Catalogue Wall commission is kindly sponsored by Vastint.
Photo: Installation view Catalogue Wall, permanent commission, Mark Doyle, external southwest elevation, Castle Mills, 2019. Photo Jules Lister.

 

Inspired by the products and processes that made the North British Rubber Company (NBRC) one of the largest manufacturers in Edinburgh, artist Mark Doyle has created this work after researching promotional material held at the archives of the NBRC.

Each of the 45 panels feature elements associated with the NBRC and rubber production. From iconic products such as rubber boots, and hot water bottles to Clincher tyre tracks and more obscure items such as gaskets, tubing, expansion joints, and even rubber horseshoes.

 

“I wanted to show the history associated with this building but also link it to its current use as Edinburgh Printmakers. The tracks made from a boot or a bike tyre are examples of printmaking in its simplest form and the idea of the multiple is fundamental to both mass production and the creation of artist’s print editions.

In many of the panels I’ve combined both positive and negative forms, I wanted to reference the fact that the items produced by the NBRC were made using mould making and casting techniques in which copies of the same object are produced from an original mould. I used similar techniques to make the panels but instead of casting soft rubber shapes from hard moulds, I used rubber moulds to cast the concrete panels.”
Mark Doyle, visual artist, born Edinburgh 1983.

As well as featuring casts from original and reproduced objects the work also features a cast of leaves from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree (commonly known as the rubber tree), a sample of which was kindly donated by The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.