Interview: LeithLate director Morvern Cunningham discusses the 2014 edition of the community art happening
'The aim is to continue to transform Leith into a visually vibrant and exciting place to visit, live and work'
’The aim was to put on a party and hope that people turned up,’ says LeithLate director (although she doesn’t like the term) Morvern Cunningham of her art and music festival in Edinburgh’s port area. Starting out as a one-night celebration of the DIY art spaces and interesting shops in the area, the event attracted far greater numbers than anticipated, and for its fourth outing is expanding from a single Thursday night to a weekend-long festival.
‘Leith has evolved in the time that LeithLate has been operating,’ says Cunningham. ‘It's now widely recognised as an area of cultural activity, with many artists and practitioners choosing to make Leith their home. The bar scene’s really exploded as well, with a wide selection of hipster pubs with fancy beers, art on the walls and regular creative events.’ She speaks enthusiastically about this year’s highlights, including the work of Ugandan artist Immy Mali in the window of braiding salon Super 5, work from Moses Serubiri next door in African Flavour Lounge, the Gallery of Bad Art at vintage shop Junkadelic, the afterparty at Thomas Morton Hall and the LeithLate14 bus which connects the various sites.
‘Our new weekend format is a bit of an experiment,’ says Cunningham, who has also founded public art initiatives the Mural Project and the Shutter Project through LeithLate, ‘but if it goes down well we'll continue into the future, perhaps at some point expanding again into a week-long event or longer. The aim is to continue to transform Leith into a visually vibrant and exciting place to visit, live and work.’
Various venues, Edinburgh, Sat 21 and Sun 22 Jun.