Two city billboards have been transformed by a local artist who has created a thought-provoking design focusing on mental health.
Ana Hine has seen her work, which combines a sketch of a young woman lying on a bed with a poem detailing some of the feelings associated with depression, erected on two billboards on Blackness Road and next to the Cowgate underpass.
The artist explained that the designs provide an important message about mental health, especially relevant during the pandemic.
“Like most artists I’ve always got various ideas on the go. I’d made a little comic a couple of weeks before about lacking motivation and having trouble, particularly getting up in the morning, when there’s nothing to get up for,” the 29-year-old said.
“I’d also drawn this little sketch of me on a bed being kind of like, ‘Oh what’s the point?’ I had a poem as well, about depression, so I put them together.
“It’s a really important message at the moment because so many people are struggling with their mental health. We’re talking about this kind of low-level stress, as an effect of the pandemic.”
Ana, who is part of an art collective called The Queer Dot, says that the billboards came about after discussions with a member of the street advertising team who had been helping the group set up their current poster exhibition at Slessor Gardens.
Hailing from the Blackness area, Ana had noticed that the poster at the end of her road had been advertising Hogmanay 2019 and asked if it was possible to get it replaced with something else.
After being given the green light she was then advised that there was another spot free at the Cowgate. Both billboards were unveiled last Monday.
Ana said: “I was only expecting to get one billboard, but it was nice to get two.
“They’re going to be up for at least a month. Not a lot of people have money for advertising at the moment so a lot of the billboards are quite underused so they might be up for longer.
“They’ve had a really positive response on social media and then my friend texted me yesterday saying one of her colleagues came into work and was talking about it, not realising that my friend knew me, so that was nice.
“And I was dead proud of it because, usually, the arts scene can be quite a little bubble so to be able to get work out there in that way is great.
“It’s one of those things that if we hadn’t had the pandemic it would never have occurred to us to do it like that.
“I think we’re going to see some really interesting street art over the next few months.”
The original painting of Ana’s sketch is currently on display as part of an exhibition at Serendipities on Union Street.
Ana is also exhibiting at Slessor Gardens with her poster ‘Dungarees’.