Art Festivals Steps into the Future
The Edinburgh Art Festival launched its exciting 2011 programme with a range of new works, public art commissions and major solo works by international artists. The festival, which runs in galleries and spaces across the city from the 4th August until the 4th September, will be divided into 5 main categories:
Major solo exhibitions by leading international artists : Anish Kapoor will exhibit for the first time in Scotland as a part of Arts Council England’s Flashback series, and will feature an exciting new work alongside more well-established works. Other notable exhibitions include the UK’s first large-scale exhibition in over 30 years of work by American pop artist Robert Rauschenberg at Inverleith House; Scotland’s first solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by American artist Ingrid Calame at The Fruitmarket Gallery and Elisabeth Blackadder's major retrospective show at the Scottish National Gallery and an exhibition of her new paintings at The Scottish Gallery. Other highlights include recently rediscovered photographs by Boris Bittker at Atticsalt and a major new exhibition of Stephen Sutcliffe's work, curated by Lisa le Feuvre, at the Stills Gallery.
Newly commissioned public artworks: The Art Festival will be the first opportunity for Festival audiences to view a major a new permanent addition to Edinburgh’s artistic landscape in the form of Martin Creed's Work 1059. This new work, commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery for the Edinburgh Art Festival, involves Creed cladding in a different colour of marble each of the 104 historic steps which lead from the Scotsman Hotel on North Bridge to Waverley Station and The Fruitmarket Gallery on Market Street. The Scotsman Steps were built in 1899 as part of the ‘Scotsman Building’ and form a pedestrian link between Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns. The installation forms part of a major refurbishment programme undertaken by Edinburgh City Council and Edinburgh World Heritage. The work will be completed in late June 2011.
Another exciting first is the artist-designed pavilion in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square Gardens. This temporary structure, designed by Karen Forbes, is a contemporary expression of the city’s long fascination with optics and optical devices for viewing. The Pavilion is supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and will host a programme of events throughout the Festival.
Group commissions by leading contemporary artists:A variety of leading contemporary artists can be seen a range of major group exhibitions including Mystics or Rationalists? at Ingleby Gallery, featuring the work of nine artists, including Ceal Floyer, Susan Hiller and Cornelia Parker, whose work invites the viewerto make the leap between idea and object;
Left to My Own Devices at New Media Scotland will focus on the emergence of device art as seen through an exchange of ideas between creators and technologists in China, Japan and Scotland; and new site-specific,collaborative work by selected UK and international artists will be shown at Garage.
Historical exhibitions: For fans of history, a must see is The Queen: Art and Image at the National Galleries of Scotland, in anticipation of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and bringing together remarkable images, many on display for the first time, spanning the 60 years of her reign; and 500 Years Of Scottish Portraiture at Bourne Fine Art Gallery. Other key highlights in the historical exhibitions section of the programme include A Passion For Glass at the newly-transformed National Museum of Scotland; and Costumes and Customs in Japanese Art at Edinburgh Central Libraries.
Established and emerging talent: One of the most exciting new debut’s at the festival is that of Tamsyn Challenger's large-scale conceptual work 400 Women, a major exhibition in response to the brutal rape and murder of thousands of women in Cuidad Juarez and other gender based incidents around the world. The exhibition will be shown in a dilapidated building in Edinburgh city centre.
Further exhibitions will include British land artist Chris Drury's account of his two-day journey across the Isle of North Uist, showing at the Dovecot gallery; A Scottish Land, comprising new and recent work by Nick Sargent, including a large-scale, painted and embroidered site-specific canvas, at Schop; and Bodybags /Simonides, a collaboration between one of Scotland’s leading poets, Robert Crawford and acclaimed photographer Norman McBeath at Edinburgh College of Art, Evolution House.
Artist-run Sierra Metro will present Peles Empire, who will continue their ongoing project by re-creating a room from an historic Romanian castle. The Agent Ria: RegisterdInArt's Spelling the Myth will premiere video works from four Irish artists in a one hour ‘Fringe’ show, and North West by Katri Walker, at Peacock Visual Arts, will explore Scotland’s historic and contemporary relationship with Wild West visual culture.
The festival, which was established in 2004 by the city’s galleries, has gone from strength to strength, and is known for showing the most exciting and intriguing of the modern and contemporary visual arts world.
Sorcha Carey, Director of the Edinburgh Art Festival, had the following to say about the programme:“The programme for this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival once again marries world-class exhibitions with the best creative talent Scotland has to offer. EAF is unique in the range and diversity of the practice it showcases and gives Festival visitors the opportunity to experience the very best in international visual art in the world’s festival city."
Why not visit the Art Festival website for further details?