Totem in Tribute: northern suburbs artists take Edinburgh to celebrate graffiti art


Artists Trevor Bly and Sam Bloor. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d456740
Artists Trevor Bly and Sam Bloor. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d456740

TWO northern suburbs artists have recently returned from exhibiting their work in Scotland.

Trevor Bly, of Craigie, and Sam Bloor, of Kinross, took Totem in Tribute to Edinburgh last month to celebrate the graffiti global movement.

The exhibition was held at the Spectrum Arts gallery, which Bly said was a strong supporter of local Scottish street artists and was defining a new curatorial direction.

This was the first time both artists had exhibited internationally.

“The reason for this show abroad was to build off the success of the current Fringe Festival movement,” Bly said.

“Artist exchanges and residencies have allowed a cross-cultural conversation amongst creative individuals creating projects that would customarily not exist.”

He said Totem in Tribute celebrated the complex nature of the contemporary suburban environment and how localised subcultures define built aesthetics through intervention and identity.

Focusing on connections to site-specific icons of waste, such as the wheelie bin, they explored these relationships and traditions to offer a “modern exchange of ceremony and ritual”.

“There’s common language shared in rituals and art making,” Bly said.

“An offering takes place in both acts during the creation process, creating moments of sublime. I wanted to challenge both of us and the audience by presenting the most undervalued object and bestowing a reverence upon it through ceremony.”

Bloor added it was about “exploring shared iconography from continental sub-cultures while understanding the influence of the local on international trends”.

The artists hope the exhibition will lead to a series of “modern ceremonies” celebrating street culture in each continent with the wheelie bin – their sacred totem of choice.