Common Ground is a photographic project exploring how individuals utilise shared public space. From October 2020 to May 2021, Emily Topping has been taking regular trips to The Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, public parkland in the centre of Edinburgh, to engage with the landscape and individuals that use the space.
The photographic outcomes are of the people that she met along the way, people who help to define the identity of The Meadows. This people-led, bottom-up project is about sharing common ground, experiencing community and interacting with people.
Where uncontrollable situations arise, such as COVID-19, The Meadows maintains its use. In fact, its use arguably becomes more important. The pandemic has ultimately shifted people’s perception on how a shared space is used due to new physical distancing guidelines. This generates new meanings and discussions, alongside new forms of social interactions with others.
This project provides a conversation starter on how people make a space exist and how people exist in a space, especially in a common space. In a personal final homage to Edinburgh itself, the project is a goodbye letter to the place that Emily spends almost every day: The Meadows & Bruntsfield Links.