The EPScope (2019), is a site-specific public artwork by Colvin, in collaboration with architects Suzy O’Leary and Peter Smith of Paige Park Architects. It was commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers, and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, as a permanent installation integral to the fabric of Edinburgh Printmakers’ new £12.3m new location in the old North British Rubber Company (NBRC) Headquarters at Castle Mills in Edinburgh, a 2000m2 ‘at risk’ building of significant industrial heritage value. The project explores the extent to which a public artwork can visually, conceptually and physically evoke the historical dimensions of an iconic post- industrial building, while underlining the building’s contemporary repurposing as a creative and public space.
Colvin’s research process explored documents and artefacts discovered in the derelict NBRC building and in the NBRC archive of the activities and objects created in the heyday of the rubber factory. These were subsequently re-envisioned as elements within the internal life of the structure, which refract and collide through the revolving mechanism on the ground floor café. The work presents an infinity of
patterns throughout the building that are at once obtuse and accurate, as a memorial contained upon and within a structure functioning as a synthesis of sculpture, kaleidoscope and periscope, visually linking the ground floor (public) space with the top floor(creative) space.
The final structure, The EPscope (the ‘EP’ prefix for Edinburgh Printmakers, but also resonant of epidiascopes), is six metres tall, constructed from steel, printed and milled black rubber and mirrors. One turn of the wheel brings to life a myriad of re- imagined historic images with real-time fragments of the activities in the print studio above.
The creative outcome thus presents a visual dialogue with the inner life of the workshop by physically connecting both floors and conceptually connecting the industrial past of the building with its creative future in visual overlays.
Project Meetings and Prototyping
A series of meetings were scheduled between Colvin and architects Suzy O’Leary and Peter Smith at Paige Park Architects, Glasgow. Meetings were also held on-site at Castle Mills, which led to studio experiments and designs for the structure and cladding by Colvin and the creation of a scale model (at Michael Visocchi studios, Kirriemuir), which was tested on-site. This activity was accompanied by planning and production meetings with Scott Associates Sculpture & Design Ltd in Glasgow and on-site in Edinburgh. (January 2018 – March 2019).
Production of Kaleidoscope
Production process of kaleidoscope structure and on-site optical experiments at Scott Associates Sculpture & Design in Glasgow (February – May 2019).
Kaleidoscope installation on site. (8 – 12 April 2019)
Press Event and Public Opening
EPW press event. (April 24th, 2019)
Edinburgh Printmakers’ new home at Castle Mills opens to the public in Edinburgh. (27 April 2019)