Projects at Art Squat

Our projects range from small scale work  in local cafes and shops, to gallery exhibitions. You can read about our exhibitions on this page.




Thanksgiving - November 21st - 24th 2019

Our Thanksgiving exhibition celebrated art and the work of ArtSquat – marking the end of our first full year of bringing art into the community.

Leamne Arias Deniz showcased colourful collages of Edinburgh – celebrating the vibrant life of our city. Our volunteer curator Eileen Taylor’s detailed monochrome designs portrayed her thankfulness for her mental health treatment, which keeps her well. Sally Richardson’s vivid paintings and sketches depicted scenes from her Colony community, which is an integral part of artistic Edinburgh. Ellie Clarke celebrated nature and nurture, with her paintings of the womb and motherhood.

The use of St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place was kindly facilitated by Rosemary Kaye, Cathedral Office Manager and the Provost, Rev John Conway.




9th - 24th October 2019: Edinburgh InSpires? An exhibition of photography with Crisis

ArtSquat partnered with Crisis to showcase the work of six photographers with experience of homelessness, at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh’s West End. The group met for six weeks prior to the exhibition to develop their work.

As a result of the exhibition the photography group have further opportunities to exhibit at Brigend Farm and Coburg House. The establishment of the exhibition photography group by Crisis gave artists confidence in the quality of their work and has encouraged the group to continue to develop their skills. The exhibition also raised public awareness of homelessness and its impact through the stories of the artists themselves and their portrayal of an Edinburgh set apart from the tourist view.

The exhibition was open for two weeks and the historic location attracted visitors from all over the world. Some quotes from members of the public:

  • ‘Very remarkable photographs. I enjoyed the experience. I’m familiar with many of the locations but enjoyed seeing them from a different perspective.’ 
  • ‘Great exhibition, love the photos. Fantastic work guys!’ 
  • ‘Loved Angie’s ‘sleeping in the gardens is scary’ – great photo.’ 
  • ‘Brilliant photographs, a fantastic mix of light, colour and shapes. Well done to all the artists.’
  • ‘Such talent. Thank you – what a great pleasure.’ 
  • ‘Some really nice photos of a wide range of places and subjects. Well done everyone!’ 
  • ‘Lovely exhibition, very unique shots of Edinburgh.’ 
  • ‘Thank you for the beautiful exhibition. I really enjoyed seeing Edinburgh through the artists’ eyes. Thank you for sharing a bit of you through the photographs. Thank you for the beauty of your art. I wish you all the very best and I hope you continue making art.’
  •  ‘Tells a story. Would be interesting to meet with the photographers and hear their journey. Thanks.’ 
  • ‘Well done. I work in a refuge for the homeless in Australia. This is a great way to highlight need.’ ‘Great work. Good idea to raise awareness of homelessness.’

Acknowledgements: Special thanks goes to staff of Crisis, in particular James Gilfillan and Jenny Bell, St Mary’s Cathedral office manager Rosemary Kaye, verger Andy and Provost John McLuckie, David Bishop, photographer, who took pictures of the exhibition and our amazing volunteer curators Eileen Taylor and Yota Dimitriou. Last but not least a huge thank you to Colin, John, Angie, Ian, Bram and Kairen for your inspirational photographs and the hard work you put in to make this exhibition a success.





May/June 2019: 'Home' - an exploration of homelessness, displacement and belonging

We launched our ‘Home’ season with two exhibitions.  At Coburg House Art Studios we showcased the work of three artists, dB, Ellie Clarke and Sam Cook. Db’s photographs portrayed the jagged isolation of Edinburgh’s architecture, taken when he was homeless. He was supported through the Crisis Skylight Project to develop and frame the pieces for the exhibition. Ellie’s  acrylic and mixed media works explored her experiences of  pregnancy and the womb as home. Sam’s watercolour line drawings took us on his search for an inner home through depression. Over 300 people attended the Coburg House exhibition. Visitors commented on the thought provoking nature of the work, the welcoming environment, the innovative aspects of ‘Home’, the beautiful photography, the variety and the eye for composition. Members of the public were encouraged to write on our interactive art board and describe what ‘Home’ meant to them.

We also partnered with youth homeless charity ‘Rock Trust’ to put on the ‘Home is where the Art is’ in the historic environment of St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh’s West End.  78 postcard size art works  were shown by 48 artists. These included etchings of St Kilda and Shetland donated by Norman Ackroyd. The exhibition also established links between ArtSquat, Rock Trust and St Mary’s Cathedral and the opportunity for further collaboration.

Special thanks goes to St Mary’s Cathedral, particularly office manager Rosemary Kaye and Provost John McLuckie; Coburg House Art Studios and David Schofield for his excellent support; David Bishop, who donated our poster and photographs of the Coburg exhibition; student curators Eileen Taylor and Yota Dimitriou who supported the set up of both exhibitions; Barclays Bank who donated a hamper and £25 for our raffle and Bridget and Christopher Robbie who donated £50 for refreshments.



February 2019: '3 Unframed' exploring the journeys of three artists and mental well being

Our exhibition ‘3 Unframed’  took place in February 2019 in a free space under the Hand Made Factory in Edinburgh’s Haymarket. Three artists, Timea Czakvari, Rhidian Crichton Stuart and Sally Richardson, whose creative journeys began in difficult and at times traumatic circumstances, displayed a diverse range of work. 

The first weekend and opening night saw approximately 100 people attend. The  following week and final weekend was quieter, with the overall estimated attendance at around 150.

Members of the public fed back positively not only on the quality of work, but on the ‘jazz basement cafe’ environment and the vulnerability in the artists’ stories displayed on the walls. Some shared their own experiences of working within the mental health field or experiencing difficulties themselves.

The artists described the experience as ‘magical,’ ‘rewarding’, ‘amazing’ and ArtSquat as ‘professional and friendly.’

ArtSquat would like to thank the Hand Made Factory for enabling us to exhibit entirely without cost and for the help and support provided throughout.

To obtain the report of the launch exhibition, please contact

October 2018: 'Scotland: Art from the City'

ArtSquat partnered with the Prince’s Trust to host: ‘Scotland: Art from the City’.

This was our second exhibition and took place over the last two weekends of October 2018 at Coburg House Art Studios. It celebrated the urban landscapes of the city with an eclectic mix of painting, craft, collage and interactive mixed media.

Illustrator Rachel Stewart and artist Leamne Arias Deniz are two young people who launched their artistic enterprises with help from the Prince’s Trust charity.

Edinburgh based Rachel presented a wide range of art, including textiles, knitting, painting and digital line drawings. Leamne, originally from Cuba, makes her own paints and her work featured acrylic, watercolour, collage and embroidery. Both artists  described it as ‘an amazing opportunity’ giving them the impetus to participate in more exhibitions of their work.

153 people attended over the two weekends and the opening night. Visitors included children, who participated with enthusiasm in the ‘graffiti wall’, enjoyed Rachel’s mice and hedgehogs and commented on the colours in Leamne’s vibrant collages. People of all age groups, including locals and tourists, spoke positively about the talent, diversity and intricacy of the work.  Some were new to Coburg House Studios and used their visit discover more about the value of community based art.

To obtain the report of the exhibition, please contact


August 2018: Launch Event at Coburg House: ‘The Spirit of Kathmandu

Our launch event took place in August 2018 at Coburg House Art Studios and Gallery for Edinburgh’s Fringe.

It featured an exhibition of photos of the people of Kathmandu in the days leading up to and after the Nepal Earthquake of 2015.  On 25th April at 11.56, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck. Over 9,000 people were killed. Photographers Carl Whetham and Kishor Dangol were in Nepal during the disaster and gave us a glimpse into the lives of Kathmandu people. Over 150 people attended the launch exhibition and many shared their own stories and experiences of Nepal.

Quotes from attendees include:

I am so pleased that I managed to get to your exhibition in Leith. I have been talking to friends about it.’

‘We loved the exhibition – the photographs captured such stories in people’s faces and also their surroundings – and the brightly coloured ones a contrast to the post-earthquake ones. I’ll certainly come back for future exhibitions. ArtSquat is a great venture & I hope it flourishes.’

‘The photographs certainly painted a colourful picture of smiling happy people and then the pain following the disaster.’

‘Great show.  Well done in organising this display of very poignant photos from the Nepal earthquake.’

‘Great exhibition at the Coburg Gallery in Edinburgh for the festival. Stunning photos of the earthquake and its effect on the people of Kathmandu. Five stars.’