St James Quarter: Glasgow-based artist creates self-love mural for Edinburgh The Body Shop concept store

A visual artist has taken her colourful and socially conscious brush to a new concept store in the St James Quarter to emphasise the importance of self-love and normalising women’s bodies in art culture.

Artist Molly Hankinson and her self-love mural in The Body Shop concept concept store in the St James Quarter.
Artist Molly Hankinson and her self-love mural in The Body Shop concept concept store in the St James Quarter.

Molly Hankinson, a 25-year-old visual artist and illustrator – originally from London but now staying in Glasgow – designed the mural for The Body Shop’s ‘Self Love Uprising’ campaign at their new concept store in the St James Quarter in Edinburgh.

The Body Shop’s new store in Edinburgh has been built using recycled and repurposed material, has a refill station and focuses on sustainability.

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The mural on the back wall of the store is about self-love and being comfortable in your own skin despite the hardships which that might bring.

It depicts a woman lying down, one leg tucked in and another stretched out as she bathes and wears a face mask.

She has hairy legs, scars and stretch marks.

The art has nods to Scotland such a thistle depicted on the subject’s chest and ‘Edinburgh’ written at the top corner.

Speaking about the hints of Scottish culture in the mural, Ms Hankinson said: “It’s a nod to that store and it’s locality- making sure it linked to Scottish identity as well as projecting the main theme of self-love and self-care.

Molly Hankinson's new art mural focusing on self-love in the St James Quarter development in Edinburgh which opened on Thursday (Photo: Molly Hankinson).

“It’s a one-off piece that doesn’t exist anywhere else and brings a bit of originality and authenticity to the shop.

“I absolutely love the city and my partner is from the East Coast so I just feel really blessed to be able to reach out to another city.”

With only a week to complete the project, Ms Hankinson stayed up until 3am on Thursday morning – the day the development had its official opening.

Talking about her art, Ms Hankinson said: “It’s all about reconnecting with yourself and your body and pampering yourself through acts of self-love.

Self-love mural in the St James Quarter, Edinburgh (Photo: Molly Hankinson).

"It’s important to come out of a liberal bubble to understand that things like hairy legs and stretch marks are still radical and if you are given an opportunity to normalise these things, you should jump at any opportunity.”

Ms Hankinson has art murals across Glasgow such as one focusing on education in Shawlands as well as a brightly-coloured mural on Woodlands Drive created with artist Michaela McManus.

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