August 27, 2014

It’s Cold Outside

Emily Hopkins


My entry uses a decorative Christmas sign reading “Baby it’s Cold Outside” as a base. The image of a homeless man, sitting upon the ground with a sign at his feet reading “What’s the sense in hurting my pride?”, has been scratched into the surface of the Christmas decoration. I carved my image into the wood to symbolise how deep set the issue of economic inequality is in Edinburgh and the rest and the world, and how these problems cannot simply be glossed over and hidden. A report from Edinburgh Council in 2010 (“Equal Communities in a Fairer Scotland”) shows that there is a ten-year variation in healthy life expectancy in the poorest areas – this statistic is comparable to counties such as North Korea. Something which always surprises me is how early Christmas decorations and gifts arrive in our stores. Even now, in late October, George Street has begun hanging its decorations and festive adverts are appearing on television. We are planning and spending money months in advance of Christmas, confident that come Christmas day we will give and receive numerous gifts and gorge ourselves on various foods, whilst others struggle to plan for next week. What does that say about our society? It is this idea that inspired my entry piece. The idea was not simply to vandalise an innocent decoration; it was to make a statement about the injustice of the excesses of the wealthy in comparison to those left scrabbling for their left-overs.


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