The Castle Mills EPscope

Calum Colvin (Artist)

Research output: Other contribution


The EPScope (2019), is a site-specific public artwork by Colvin, in collaboration with architects O’Leary and Smith. It was commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers, and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, as a permanent installation integral to the fabric of Edinburgh Printmakers’ new £12.3m new location in the old North British Rubber Company (NBRC).

Headquarters at Castle Mills in Edinburgh, a 2000m² ‘at risk’ building of significant industrial heritage value. The project explores the extent to which a public artwork can visually, conceptually and physically evoke the historical dimensions of an iconic post-industrial building, while underlining the building’s contemporary repurposing as a creative and public space.

Colvin’s research process explored documents and artefacts discovered in the derelict NBRC building and in the NBRC archive of the activities and objects created in the heyday of the rubber factory. These were subsequently re-envisioned as elements within the internal life of the structure, which refract and collide through the revolving mechanism on the ground floor café. The work presents an infinity of patterns throughout the building that are at once obtuse and accurate, as a memorial contained upon and within a structure functioning as a synthesis of sculpture, kaleidoscope and periscope, visually linking the ground floor (public) space with the top floor (creative) space.

The final structure, The EPscope (the ‘EP’ prefix for Edinburgh Printmakers, but also resonant of epidiascopes), is six metres tall, constructed from steel, printed and milled black rubber and mirrors. One turn of the wheel brings to life a myriad of re-imagined historic images with real-time fragments of the activities in the print studio above.

The creative outcome thus presents a visual dialogue with the inner life of the workshop by physically connecting both floors and conceptually connecting the industrial past of the building with its creative future in visual overlays.
Original languageEnglish
TypeMulti Component Output
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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  • The Castle Mills EPscope

    Colvin, C., O'Leary, S. & Smith, P., May 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

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