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One of Edinburgh’s oldest buildings to host culture project inspired by climate crisis

One of Edinburgh’s oldest buildings to host culture project inspired by climate crisis

Hazel Dunn, a Glasgow-based artist, created artwork for the Message From The Skies initiative.

The backdrop for a week-long installation inspired in part by the COP26 summit in Scotland will be Trinity Apse. It dates back over 500 years.

Hazel Dunn, a designer, will project artwork onto the gothic architecture of the elements of a church built in 1898 to make way for the expansion of Waverley Station.

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Visitors will hear short stories created by three writers – Anna Fleming, Andrés N. Ordorica and Mara Menzies – along with a soundtrack by composer Calum Paterson.

The Trinity Apse can be found in the Trinity College Kirk. This was long considered to be one of Edinburgh’s most outstanding gothic masterpieces.

The project is the latest incarnation of Message From The Skies, a collaboration between the city’s Hogmanay and book festivals, which has commissioned work by some of Scotland’s leading writers and artists in recent years.

The facades of historic buildings and landmarks throughout the city have been lit up before to show off the Message From The Skies projects, which were funded by the Scottish Government.

However, the most recent work, Earth Calls has been created to be experienced in the building. It is located on Chalmers Close, off the High Street section.

Underbelly directors Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said: “There isn’t a more vital time for our Message From The Skies to focus on climate than now. Scotland has been at the forefront of the world’s climate action and our artists have been working together to share a message from Scotland that sparks imagination and inspires the world.”

From 19-25 January, Trinity Apse can be visited at the Old Town to experience this year’s Message From The Skies.

Book festival director Nick Barley said: “We have once again enjoyed suggesting some wonderful Scottish writers whose words will light up the city in the dark days of January.”

Scottish culture minister Jenny Gilruth said: “It’s great to hear that Scotland’s COP26 legacy will live on through Message from the Skies 2022. For the duration of January, the artist’s messages will be projected in the heart of Scotland’s capital, reflecting on our relationship with Scotland’s land, sea and air.”

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Queen Mary of Guelders was the widow of King James II and founded the original Trinity College Kirk. Although the original concept was never fully realized, it was found in the Waverley valley, between Calton Hill and the Old Town.

After the Reformation, ownership of Trinity College Kirk was passed over to the town council – a decision that would prove fateful in 1848, when the North British Railway Company purchased the site to expand Waverley Station, which required the removal of all original buildings.

The Message From The Skies Project can be seen at the Trinity Apse in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The company agreed that it would finance the relocation, but there were disputes between the councils and the kirk about where it should go. Many of the carefully-numbered stone fragments from the original building had either been stolen or badly damaged by the time Jeffrey Street was selected.

The church was able to reopen in 1872 after a new extension. However, it was demolished by Historic Environment Scotland in the 1960s leaving behind only a small portion of its original gothic architecture.

Trinity College Kirk, which dates back 1460, was controversially moved from its original location near Calton Hill in order to make room for Waverley Station’s expansion.
Mara Menzies, a writer and performer, has written a short story to be part of this year’s message From The Skies.
Only a small part of the Trinity College Kirk building survived the 1970s’ demolition.
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