Getting to the art of new Shawfair, Danderhall and Lasswade path

Artists Susheila Jamieson & James Gordon amongst their Force of Nature sculptures.
Artists Susheila Jamieson & James Gordon amongst their Force of Nature sculptures.
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Last week saw the official unveiling of new artwork on the traffic-free route linking Shawfair, Gilmerton and Danderhall with Lasswade.

The work was funded by Transport Scotland via Sustrans Scotland’s ArtRoots programme in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council.

Andrea Geile (forefront) and her artwork.

Andrea Geile (forefront) and her artwork.

The route itself was developed to help future proof the needs of the local communities. With new housing developments surrounding the pathway, the local population is set to increase significantly in the coming years. The 3km path, transformed from a disused railway line, will connect residents with local amenities including shops, schools, the train station and park and ride.

The first phase of the route was completed in 2018, the second phase has now been completed with the installation of these artworks and a new ramp connecting Gilmerton to the path.

The artists involved local schools, community groups and local businesses in the creation of their work.

Susheila Jamieson and James Gordon have created 10 abstract sculptures based on Danderhall students’ designs, called ‘Force of Nature’.

The pair said: “Utilising five different types of sandstone, we carved primal totemic shapes which reflect life and natural growth. They could be seen as stone fountains arising from the complex geological subterranean world that fuelled the industrial revolution in central Scotland. A message to the Anthropocene from the Triassic, Carboniferous and Permian eras.”

Working with Corten Steel at her studio in Midlothian, Andrea Geile has transformed 1.7 tonnes of steel into 11 sculptures inspired by local plants titled ‘Wandering among the Greenwoods’.

She said: “All sculptures have a botanical theme reflecting shrubs and trees found in local private gardens. The colours were specially mixed to reflect the hues of green found along the path during the seasons. I look forward to my artwork enhancing the user experience along the route, adding interest and providing a welcome focal point.”

Cosmo Blake, art & diversity co-ordinator, Sustrans Scotland, said: “With the artworks in place and the new route established, Sustrans Scotland looks forward to seeing this route become a catalyst for active travel in this growing community.

“The sculptures look fantastic and really enhance the area. We were particularly impressed with how the artists engaged with, and were inspired by, the local community and landscape.”