Sea Change Commissions @Art Walk Porty 2021
Public Works & Events

Our Sea Change strand as part of the Art Walk Porty 2021 compliments our Assemble programme with a number of works bringing an important dialogue to the fore around changing climates in the lead up to the COP26 in Glasgow in November. Water, and our connection through it, is a common theme, linking us globally and also asking us to consider upon our own impact. Rising sea water levels are scheduled to rise dramatically in and around Portobello by 2050.

FOR PORTOBELLO, 2050 (2021) Joanne Matthews

Scientific estimates indicate that large sections of Portobello will be underwater by 2050. The beach will flood, and the streets around Figgate and Brunstane Burns will be affected by water levels rising. For Portobello, 2050, is a sound work positioning Joppa bandstand as a lookout, a place to witness, a place to meditate on the vulnerability of the human species. Created using sounds collected from Portobello beach alongside vocals, this intimate sound work creates a space to dwell on the past and project into the coming future of wet marshes, storm surges and salty soils as the sea rises.

LISTEN HERE To 3 min excerpt of 20 min sound performance (headphones on)

Joanne Matthews · For Portobello 2050 excerpt


Joppa Bandstand/Lookout

Installed: Sats/Suns 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th Sept, 11-5

View Flood Map

About Joanne Matthews:

Joanne Matthews is an artist and producer based at Rhubaba in Edinburgh, working collaboratively across performance, audio, video, installation, photography and drawing. She conducts continual embodied fieldwork, tuning in to the constant becoming of places and ecologies, creating gestural works of art. She’s interested in leaning into and finding hope in, the darkness of the ecological crisis and the inseparable links between nature and culture. Her work is intimate, as she opens herself up to be vulnerable with the rest of nature through radical interventions. Recent projects have led her to work with IUCN World Conservation Conference (Marseille) 2 Degrees Festival (London), Live Art Development Agency (London), Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff), Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Aberdeen), Somerset House Studios (London), CCA Coventry, Artsadmin (London) and Unlimited (London).
Website: Instagram: @jojo.maffyews

TAKE ME TO THE SEA (2021) Paula Doherty

A series of playful ceramic vessels inspired by found pottery on Portobello beach. ‘Take me to the sea!’ invites you to take a vessel on a journey from promenade to shoreline to share an interaction with the sea.

This shared moment between person, pot and sea is hoped to generate new thoughts of how our actions are intrinsically connected to the world around us and provide an accessible entry to the climate conversation. By initiating a playful interaction with the water, any intimidations or misunderstandings can be reframed to focus instead on the sea as an entity in its own right and consider our future role alongside it in relation to climate issues.

Paula is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on interactive and collaborative works to explore themes of nature and humanity. Through ceramics and performative actions she generates a shared experience between human and natural entity, and negotiates how hierarchy influences the intersections between these groups.


Portobello Promenade, nr to James Street/John Street

Sats/Suns 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th Sept, 11-5


Paula is Edinburgh born, Glasgow based, and studied Sculpture and Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art. Recent works have been exhibited at Ten Past Six, Six Foot Gallery, 2020; Artefact or Artifact, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, 2020; Last Futures, Tramway, 2018; and Tocsin Dunes, Irvine Beach, 2018. She will have work on show at the end of September as part of the Glasgow Open House Art Festival 2021.
Web: Instagram: @paula.pea.doherty

POSTCARDS FROM THE SHIFTING SHORE (2021) Claudia Zeiske & Jaak Coetzer

A Slow Marathon along coastlines on opposite sides of the world to generate debate on rising sea levels. The 42km walk will happen simultanousely at two different locations (Firth of Forth (to Portobello) & Cape of Good Hope, South Africa). The walk considers flow, time and the sea that connect us all. Both artists will walk with a red watering can pouring water into the sea and taking water out of the sea. Both of the artists will be accompanied by their young adult children: Rachel Zeiske-May and Theriodopiolus Coetzer. En route they will discuss the issues surrounding climate change,rising sea waters and what it means for them and their children’s future.

SUN 12th SEPT 3pm - Meet the walk as it arrives at @Seafield Prom (at intersection with Seafield Rd East) - walking with Claudia as she walks to Bath Street. Families welcome, discussing the impacts for childrens' futures.
No booking required.

SUN 12th Sept 5-6pm @Art Walk Hub - Impacts for Change discussion & screening with Claudia Zeiske & Larissa Naylor (Professor of Geomorphology and Environmental Geography). How can culture impact change for future generations, with live streaming with Jaak Coetzer (South Africa) & images from the days' walks.

Read full details here

FILM SCREENINGS | Nigel Goldsmith

Two films from Welsh filmmaker Nigel Goldsmith that explore the scale and impact of human bevaiour on people and planet with a focus on global trade and consumer culture.

Terminal (2020) 4:15
shows the continuous and unstoppable movement of goods and machinery at a busy container terminal.  It is this endless flow that that makes our modern linear (throwaway) economy possible. But it is our insatiable need for new goods that is depleting finite resources and damaging natural systems.

Creigres (welsh for reef) (2019) 3:00
is an underwater film showing the plastics washed up on a 100M stretch of coastline in North Pembrokeshire. The sound in the film is created using plastic and other objects found on the beach combined with recordings captured below the surface.

SCREENINGS: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th Sept, 11am to 2pm
@Art Walk Hub

Nigel Goldsmith is a Bath based filmmaker who explores the scale and impact of human behaviour on people and planet with a focus on global trade and consumer culture. Our economies rely on endless consumption which results in growing amounts of harmful waste and depleted ecosystems. The worst impacts of our linear economy often takes place out of sight, over the horizon or below the surface. Most of his work is inspired by the boundaries between land and sea and both above and below the water’s surface.


Stitches for Survival (initiated in Portobello) is a group of knitters, crocheters, stitchers and crafters from across the UK and beyond with a heartfelt message to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow 1-12 Nov. A section of their 1.5 mile scarf (representing the 1.5 degree Celsius target in the Paris Agreement) will be displayed in the grounds of St Marks.

Bring your knitting needles, crochet hooks, wool or fabric and join a public stitch-in at 2-4 each day (11/12 Sept).

OPEN: 11th & 12th Sept, 11am-4pm St Mark's Church Garden, Portobello High Street
Public Stitch-in 2-4pm
No booking required



SHAPES OF WATER (2021) Suzie Eggins, Amy Gear and Rhona Mühlebach

This Travelling Gallery exhibition shows the work of three thought-provoking, exciting young artists (Suzie Eggins, Amy Gear and Rhona Mühlebach) who have produced new work responding to the themes evoked by the Year of Coasts & Waters. Each artist brings individual perspectives to our relationship with coasts and water.

OPEN: Sats 4th & 11th Sept, 11am-5pm
The Travelling Gallery is situated on Portobello High Street, outside Portobello Town Hall


'Assemble' & 'Sea Change' Download Map & Guide for Curated Programme

Assemble Public Programme