Is £5 ART?

Mar 13 2015 | By More

Or is it flyposting?

Creative Electric’s creativity got too electric this week, when the youth theatre company got stopped by the police for trying to give away money in the Grassmarket as part of its new ART? initiative.

Youngsters from the project were exploring the word “need” as part of the project and had taken that exploration out into the Grassmarket to examine it through practical guerilla art actions.

ART? instalation. Do You Need This? Photo: Creative Electric

ART? instalation. Do You Need This? Photo: Creative Electric

“We had kids handing out heart shaped balloons for those who needed love and we put up a number of £5 notes with stickers that said ‘Do You Need This?’,” says Creative Electric’s artistic director Heather Marshall.

“The idea being we would watch from a distance and see peoples reactions.”

The whole idea seems to have been working well, with “interesting” conversations being struck up with people deciding whether they needed the money or just wanted it. Some just grabbed it and ran.

But the police apparently had different ideas. On seeing the young performers in action they pulled over in their van and asked the youngsters to stop.

“Mark explained that he was part of an art project and was creating an installation,” says Marshall. “The policeman replied ‘art aye?’ At which point I came over and explained that we were a government funded project (Creative Scotland, Time to Shine) and that we were working with young people to explore socio political art.”

Always a good line that one. Still, Mr Policeman said it looked suspiciously like flyposting to him

“I replied that if I was flyposting then wouldn’t it be fabulous that people flyposted money and love for people who needed it to find,” says Marshall. Wouldn’t it just.

The new ART? initiative starts this Thursday evening, 19 March at the Bongo Club running to 28 May. It is free and is open to anyone aged 15 to 25 years old.

fun equipment

ART? is an opportunity for us to come together and create something for our city,” says Marshal. “A city that is all about product for one month of the year and seems to forget that for the other 11 months we need process. We need opportunities for artists to create and share work. To make connections. Make mistakes. And most of all have fun.

ART? Logo crop

“I have a venue, a bit of materials budget and some fun equipment like a go pro camera, iPad and lots of ridiculous coloured tape. We have a director and a resident performer for those of you who would like to experiment with performance art. If you’d like to create visual art or installations we can make that happen too.”

Anyone aged between 15 and 25 who fancies hanging out with the ART? mob on Thursday evenings, should drop Heather Marshall an email on It might not always be handing out balloons and used fivers, but it will certainly be interesting.


The Bongo Club, 66 Cowgate, EH1 1JX
Every Thursday: 19 March – 28 May 2015, 7pm- 9pm.

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