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  • Michael Inman

March 24th - A tale of art : A interview with Mark Carr.

Today Marked the first of my planned interviews that will be focusing on the artworks within the garden spaces of Craigmillar now. These are interviews ill be having amongst people within the community to explore memories and knowledge on the sculptures and art within the garden, that are recorded and kept within the Craigmillar Now archive.

As well as adding rich knowledge to the archive I feel these interviews will assist in the future development of the garden space, giving a better and more recorded understanding of the art works so they can be kept for the future.

This Morning outside the Robin Chapel within the gardens, I had a wonderful chat with Mark Carr a sculptor and artist whom worked within the Niddrie and Craigmillar communities in the past. with glorious sunshine and a lovely setting we had a really informative chat together exploring the projects and creations within the community he'd been involved with between 2008-15 wich proved really insightful in helping to solve a few mysteries to the sculptures within the Craigmillar Now Centres gardens. For instance the large Gold sculpture created from a upcycled oil drum and various metal nick nacks standing at the front of the centre with its enormous wild grin is a piece titled the 'Pharoe of Niddrie' and was created and embezzled in gold paint inspired from the art and treasures of ancient Egypt - bringing a slice of the Pharos, sphinxes and tombs right to the Craigmillar now centre.

As well as talking about the sculptures within the gardened we chatted about some of the big community projects he was involved with during the time he worked as a community artist and organiser. Where for instance rather wonderfully he in 2008 was involved in helping create a gigantic parade of the elements, with giants made by schoolchildren walking through Craigmillar castle park based on the elements of earth, fire, wind and water. Unleashing a great spectacle that ended at the castle with a big show involving wizards and magic projected across the castle providing awe and amazement to the school children and the community whom where there for the spectacle.

Through our chat today, we also talked a lot about incredible people within the community in particular, the wonderful Sandra George and Bronx whom I sadly didn't personally get to know before there passing. mark really felt and expressed admiration and so many happy memories with them and i can only get a sense of the incredible characters they must have been within the community.

It was particularly wonderful to hear abouts Bronx's love of all things Elvis and of his musical talents as also how dressed up as Elvis in one of the Craigmillar festival parades. I have to admit now knowing on how much Bronx loved Elvis it completely makes sense in how we ended up with one of my faverioute sculptures, Elvis the Miner within the centres grounds.

Honestly Today was wonderful chatting with mark as also incredibly insightful for he was so full of knowledge and himself clearly played a incredible role in the community. Although there was a element of sadness to the direction the previous Craigmillar arts centre went through the interviews with what he said, talking about how the centre has grown ,changed and how I myself have come to be involved as one of the artists in residence at the centre, with my work and interest in the garden we both finished the interview feeling that the centre is entering a really positive new chapter, where its becoming a place for the community once more.

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