Tribe Talks-Peter Jones

Craigmillar & Niddrie, A book of Paintings. 

Peter Jones is one of our resident artists at Tribe Porty. The abiding theme in his work is buildings, he is drawn to the stories they tell and the people they represent. Peter has already published a series of books that focus around Kirkcudbright, Portobello and Falkland. Whilst trying to establish a place to centre the next book around, the thought came to mind, why not a Craigmillar book of paintings?

Craigmillar is not an obvious choice when Edinburgh is renowned for it’s beautiful tourist hotspots like Stockbridge and The Old Town. However, these places have long had their stories told and celebrated, this next book was about not making the obvious choice. Craigmillar is one of many hubs surrounding Edinburgh that can be looked down upon and this project aims to celebrate a place that is often overlooked.

Peter also works with Inspiring Scotland, a national charity and funder of charities which seeks to support those affected by poverty and those that are at a disadvantage. One of its funding programmes is Link Up, which has a core belief that, 


“…the ingredients for lasting change already lie in our communities in the shape of the passion, strengths, skills, knowledge and interests of local people, and when people are connected and energised, radical change can and does happen.”- Inspiring Scotland


The spark of an idea to focus a new book on Craigmillar coincided with covid and the first lockdown and changed the pathway for the project. It gave another local community in Gallatown supported by Link Up not just the desire but the need for a painting group. Funded by Link Up and facilitated by Peter, free watercolour starter packs were sent out to people in Gallatown. The Gallatown Watercolour Group had continued support from Peter with weekly painting tips and a facebook group for sharing and discussing. This led to the beginning of Craigmillar Art Group. Over time, and another lockdown, this developed into zoom sessions with discussions on artists and remote drawing sessions in both communities. 

As the restrictions of the pandemic eased, the Craigmillar Art Group started to meet together for a series of outdoor workshops entitled ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ which were supported by Link Up and Connecting Craigmillar. These took place in Magdalene Community Garden, Portobello Community Garden on the prom and Craigmillar Castle Park.

Due to the circumstances of the pandemic, not only was a community of artists connected but the beauty of the everyday and what we have on our doorstep was celebrated. A common occurrence that happened during lockdowns was that people noticed small and local interests that were once overlooked. Instead of being ignored, we found a way to celebrate and appreciate them. This is where Peter’s two worlds coincided and the two projects became organically intertwined. 

From these events, Peter’s next book became a collective project and will host not only his own work, but work from the Craigmillar Art Group. The book will feature drawings and paintings of local buildings nominated by residents and has received funding from Creative Scotland

If you would like to pick up your sketchbook and get involved with this growing community, you can join the on location workshops happening in May/June. The book launch will take place at Craigmillar & Niddrie Arts Festival in August and you can find Peter’s work at Art Walk Porty this September. 

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at our next Tribe Talks hosted by Ori Halup on June 30th. This Tribe Talks is an evening all about coffee. We will be talking about coffee sourcing, processing, roasting and brewing methods and of course tasting a large range of coffees. Ori will aim to help you understand better what it is that influences the flavour of coffee you drink all the way from farm to cup while talking a bit about how the sourcing works. From fair-trade to direct trade and everything in between. 

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My First Month at Tribe Porty

It seems poignant to follow on from Dani’s last post, The Next step, with my own reflection on my first month at Tribe Porty. This piece of writing became a great opportunity for me to reflect, consider and grow. Starting a new job always comes with a rough terrain of anxieties and worries, especially when you are venturing into new territory. I’ve spent my work life since leaving university dedicated to the hospitality industry. For me, my next big move in hospitality would be to own my own cafe and I was starting to feel the constraints that working in such an industry can have. The Community Manager post felt like it was made for me, this is the only time I’ve felt this way about an opportunity outside of hospitality. It was my next step. 

I came into Tribe quietly confident, ready for the challenge. The one thing that I didn’t expect was to find it difficult to engage with people and I felt my confidence stray. I became timid not out of fear, but because it can be difficult to integrate into a community that is already established.  Established in the sense of community, but also connecting with people that are distinguished professionally. Here I am, starting anew,  amongst all these amazing talents, thinkers and creators and I struggled to see where I fit as a piece of the puzzle. I knew deep down I was more than capable, but I needed to unearth my dormant talents. When I found myself feeling lost or out of depth, I caught myself finding comfort in wiping down tables and cleaning up the kitchen after a little lunch rush. Eventually, I found that this only fuelled  the vicious fire that is imposter syndrome. Was I meant to stay in hospitality? I missed the comfort blanket of experience.

However, as I chatted to you all more, and with the support of Dani, I’ve really started to find my feet. My confidence only grows stronger as I settle into the role and become more self-assured in my abilities. It’s been fantastic to awaken my inner writer and artist which has been in hibernation since graduation.  I sense that my confidence will really flourish as I take on more projects and see them sprout from a tiny idea to a fully fledged event or gathering. 

One of my favourite parts about working for Tribe Porty is how it has changed my work life balance and encouraged a far more nurturing culture. Every morning when I ride my bike in, instead of battling up Easter Road, swerving past vans and buses, I now have the immense pleasure of a gentle cruise along the promenade. In addition, the shift from ‘working late’ to make up a few extra pennies to taking part in meditation classes or gaining a new wealth of knowledge from a Tribe Talk feels like an enormous blessing. It’s so important for your work to work for you, something I feel a lot of people realised during the pandemic and are slowly starting to forget. 

Spring feels like a fitting time of the year to have a change in life, not only is it a change of season, but a season in which nature is rebirthed, grows and thrives. I recall a benefit that I found from Lockdown and the world stopping was being able to notice the change in season. The shift from winter to spring felt longer, it felt as though one had time to enjoy it. So whilst I have been caught up in self doubt and anxiety, I am going to remind myself to embrace the change and see it instead as an opportunity to grow. I’m excited to continue this journey with you all and I can’t wait to see where this next step takes me. 

If you are looking for a better working life and grow your business with like-minded women, the programme is for you. To get a better idea of Keystone, we have a free check-in checklist and ways to rest worksheet download. The checklist and worksheet are aimed to identify and strengthen your access to your own resources, strengths and vision. Taking rest and creating rituals with intention, will help bring meaning and joy to your daily life. Keystone is open for signups in September, to keep in the loop, sign up to their newsletter

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Christmas appeal for Refuweegee

Refuweegee is a community-led charity that gives people a way to welcome and embrace refugees arriving in our country. They strive to ensure that people who have been forced to flee their homes arrive in Scotland to a warm welcome and some of the things that will help people to feel more at home here.

Tribe Porty is acting as a donation point for items that Refuweegee will deliver to families in need in time for Christmas.

There are a few different ways you can support:

Essentials Appeal

We’re collecting non-perishable food (pasta, rice, tins of soup and vegetables and tea and coffee etc), toiletries (soap, razors, nappies, loo roll). Full list here.

Welcome Pack Appeal

Make up a Welcome pack for an adult, teenager or child. Full instructions are here. A small age appropriate gift would be a lovely thing to include and please remember to label your child or teenager pack with the age of the child it’s intended for.

Clothing donations

We are also collecting the following items:

How to donate

Bring your donations to Tribe by 5pm on Thursday 10th December so we can make our prearranged drop off appointment at Refuweegee HQ in time for their Christmas deliveries.

Please email More@tribeporty.org to let us know in advance that you have a donation to drop off so we can give you directions and make sure this is done safely.

You can also make a cash donation here.

Thank you for helping to make a difference to Scotland’s refugee community.

The Tribe Porty team