Looking over Meadowbank Velodrome from his studio window, mural artist Chris Rutterford marvelled at the potential of the blank hoardings around the track.
Having worked on the transformation of the Market Street arches alongside the Work in Progress Edinburgh (WIPE) group - a network of street and graffiti artists - they began dreaming of their next “artistic intervention.” .
And after gaining support from Edinburgh Racing Club and access to the velodrome, a “graffiti jam” is all set to take place this weekend, starting at 10.30am on September 26 and running over the weekend.
“The event is a direct lead on from the work I did last year working with Julie Logan and Mark Higgenbottom from Spectrum Arts,” Chris Rutterford said.
“The idea was to create a collective organisation that would try and arrange artistic interventions in the public domain to make the city's visual language more exciting.
“Our perspective is that artwork is always more exciting when it is in transit and still alive."
In October 2014, more than 60 street and graffiti artists from across Scotland worked on Edinburgh's New Waverley construction site for the first WIPE project, taking on the famous arches. This was added to Chris' long list of murals around topics such as the fringe, the battle of Bannockburn and the history of Mayfield and Easthouse’s gala day.
“The [Market Street arches] have become something of a tourist attraction in themselves and are a constant hive of creativity," Chris said.
“That’s a really healthy narrative for our urban spaces to aspire too.
“We think there is little point in defending dull and boring solutions for hoarding and dilapidated buildings when street artists are crying out for canvas.”
The jam will have a cycling theme, with Chris saying they hope that the velodrome will “don a dream coat before it meets its end”.
People interested in street or graffiti art are invited to come along - paint and brushes in hand - and take part in the weekend event.
“I’m personally painting an octopus riding a tandem,” Chris said. “No doubt there will be the usual outpouring of energy and imagination from all the guys.
“I think it’s vital to have projects like this as there is no point in vilifying artists if you have not provided canvas in the first place.
“Not only that, but resources wasted defending shabby and ugly buildings when the street artists have effectively got super powers.
“People say urban cityscape is dying on its feet because of a terminal sameness, all of them end up being the same soup of jumbled graphics- they all tell the same old story the length of the UK.
“If street artists were backed more that decline could be arrested completely.
“It just takes a bit of faith and the courage to let the artists express themselves and that trust will be returned in spades.”