DOK Artist Space

Karen and Olivia: 
Founders / Directors

Artist studios and event space in Leith. 

We work with visual artists from various backgrounds and nationalities on an ongoing basis. In our first year we worked with various artists, theatre groups, the Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh College. As we have now opened up a historical building which is also of great social interest, located in a prime tourist location next to the royal yacht Britannia, we are already used to receiving a significant footfall of visitors from all over the world, something that can only increase as our artistic programs develop and our profile grows. The DOK building itself, which is B-Listed by Historic Scotland, dates from the 1940s and is the only remaining structure of the shipyards which once stood on this location overlooking the Western Harbour of Leith Docks. As such it attracts considerable attention from people from the local community with experience of what as once a thriving shipbuilding hub. This aspect particularly appeals to us, the fact that although Leith's industrial heartland has long gone, we are continuing to offer the local community a place where they can come together and be inspired.

We offer an affordable space for artists to work and communicate with likeminded individuals in a relaxed environment. While we are extremely ambitious about what we are setting out to achieve with DOK, we are also at the forefront of establishing our presence at the centre of the greater artistic community in the bustling and cosmopolitan port of Leith. 

One of the key driving factors behind the project is the lack of affordable and unique artist studio space in Edinburgh. Regenerating the building was our first step towards creating a vibrant artistic space. 

Another core aspiration is enabling the wider community to engage with DOK projects, as well as giving people the opportunity to buy artwork directly from artists at reduced cost. This process will be beneficial to the artists, allowing them to continue developing ideas and projects that will engage with the community.

Equally as importantly as providing a platform for artists to carry out a diverse range of artistic activities, this process will provide a gateway into art for local people who have previously lacked exposure to the subject. Individuals from various backgrounds - particularly young people - will be encouraged to seek inspiration by becoming involved in the appreciation and development of art, in a variety of media. DOK will also provide tuition to those who may previously have lacked the support to develop their talents. We are currently setting up a project aimed at young people in the locality that will offer workshops and advise on how they can proceed into employment or further education within the creative industries.