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Edinburgh Women's Mural

Edinburgh Women's Mural
Edinburgh Women's Mural
During Women's History Month in March 2022, Central Library began work on creating a public mural celebrating Edinburgh's trailblazing women, past and present. This exhibition captures a small selection of those women’s portraits.

There are few public monuments to women in Edinburgh yet there are hundreds of notable women, whose contributions to our shared history and our city deserve greater recognition. At Edinburgh Central Library, it was decided to redress the balance by creating our own public monument to Edinburgh’s female pioneers and trailblazers. We put out a call to local women’s groups, charities, and organisations such as the National Library of Scotland, and asked for nominations for our mural. We asked local academics and campaigners to help us uncover the lives and stories of many of Edinburgh’s unsung heroines, and we did some digging into the Library’s own resources.

Our mural project takes inspiration from a collaborative project which has been running in the USA since 2016. “Work in Progress” seeks to shine a spotlight on female pioneers across many fields and was devised by artists Jann Haworth and Liberty Blake. We were granted permission to create our own version for Edinburgh.

100 stencilled portraits were produced of our nominated women by students at participating Edinburgh high schools and by Edinburgh residents at public workshops in libraries. No artistic experience was required and all materials were supplied. There were over 100 head-and-shoulders images of nominated women ready printed for people to select, cut, and stencil, resulting in beautiful, unique portraits. Library staff then collated all the portraits, using them to create a ‘crowd-scene’ mural.

You can see a small selection of the portraits in this exhibition and more in our companion story on Our Town Stories.

The completed Edinburgh Women's Mural was unveiled and displayed at Central Library in June 2022 but has now gone on tour. The mural is accompanied by a "who's who" to help you identify each of the women depicted.
You can see the mural at:
Blackhall Library: 18 – 30 July
Stockbridge Library: 1 – 13 August
Oxgangs Library: 15 – 27 August
Craigmillar Library: 29 August – 11 September
before it returns to Central Library in mid-September.