Thursday, 21 May 2009

Elph v. Rabbie Burns

Just over a year ago, Dunk o Cupar took me on a slightly deranged tour of Amsterdam. We went nowhere near coffee shops, galleries, falaffel bars or boozers but traipsed up narrow closes, into clothes shops and store rooms in search of graffiti. Dunk loves the stuff and i'm learning to.

Hip hop art hit the back streets of Embra's Georgian New Town yesterday when Elph was let loose on Bonham's auctioneer warehouse in Thistle Street Lane NW. Elph is one of Scotland's best known graffiti artists and currently exhibiting "Lest Bogles Catch Him Unawares" - pieces inspired by Tam O'Shanter, a favourite poem since it first spooked me in primary 6. (He also designs flyers for Headspin, which happens to be my favourite club in the city.)

Lest Bogles celebrates Rabbie Burns' 250th birthday and is showing now at the Henderson Gallery. Rabbie's birthday has also inspired Homecoming Scotland - a slightly twee attempt to lure more tourists to Scotland during 2009. I hope this attempt succeeds though cos Scotland's a groovy place to visist.

Anyway, there's nowt twee about Elph's work and a visit to the Henderson Gallery is a great shout for anyone into Burns, graffiti or both. And i must tip my big Kilmarnock bunnett to Bonham's for handing over the exterior of a drab looking warehouse to Elph's spraypaint action. Get yirsel along and check it oot.

Rumour is that Elph and chums will be doing bits and pieces in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Embra while it's closed for renovations (repopens Nov 2011). I'll keep my peepers peeled. Definite word is that Elph's work is among that in 4th Element - an exhibition of urban art at the Watermill Gallery, Aberfeldy from 23rd May til 6th July. This one features names to get Dunk super excited - Dolk, Eelus, Blek Le Rat and some gadge called Banksy. What a barry reason to hit glorious Highland Perthshire.


  1. Hey, cool graffiti there in Embra, Naldo. I don't know the poem enough to fully understand it but the graffiti still visually interesting to me.

    If/when you go to the Watermill, take a camera eh?

  2. Aye, Ms TB, it's a great poem and fair put the shits up me as a kid. Seeem to remember vowing to never get drunk lest the bogles catch me unaware. That vow was broken about 3 years later.

    Yer right bout the camera thing though. The pic above does nae justice to Elph's work so i'll make more effort at the Watermill (that's a when not an if - a few of us plan to take the tents up as soon as the friggin summer starts).

    Plus i really should work out how to stick up more than one photo per post.

  3. Thanks for the tip off about this. Even in the wee village that is Embra it's hard to know all the good stuff that's going on.

  4. I think the above pic is excellent, tbh.

    I was just reading a bit of that poem. Though I lived over there for a few years, I don't know how old kids are in primary 6. I suspect my Canadian notion of grade six is likely different... I'm hoping so...

    Is it normal to 'fair put the shits up a kid' (haha!) in Scottish schools?