Edinburgh Art Festival reveals its full 2024 programme

EAF (Edinburgh Art Festival) has revealed the full programme for summer 2024, their 20th Birthday year, from 9 to 25 August.

For the 2024 programme, EAF will invite audiences to join them in a moment to collectively pause and reflect upon the conditions under which we live, work, gather and resist. EAF will use the opportunity of their 20th Birthday to connect with historic and contemporary ways of organising that have built infrastructures of care and pioneering activist movements over the past 20 years (and beyond). The programme, the biggest yet for EAF, spans the work of more than 200 artists, and takes place all across the city, asking viewers to look again at Edinburgh through the eyes of the exhibiting artists. 

A woman (Male Broomes) surrounded by clouds of what appears to be smoke or cloth, lit in dramatic red and white lighting

Across the city audiences will be able to experience a range of performances across three weekends:

  • At Custom Lane, Leith, Mele Broomes presents a newly commissioned outdoor performance; with progressions of vocal callings accompanied by live melodies and choreographies, this work pays homage to a series of conversations facilitated by Mele and the living archive.
  • Prem Sahib will present their performance work Alleus, co-commissioned with Roberts Institute of Art and Somerset House Studios in Castle Terrace Car Park under Edinburgh Castle. The first time Sahib has worked with live vocalists, the work is a polyphony of live and pre-recorded voices. Alleus – ‘Suella’ spelled backwards – re-orders, re-directs and disrupts an anti-immigration speech by former home secretary Suella Braverman. 
  • EAF invites global practitioners to reflect on EAF24’s key themes in an opening provocation of how to make art at a time of global crises at Edinburgh College of Art. Join for a day of discussions, workshops, film, and food, focusing on how to sustain creative practices during times of global political crisis.
  • A festival within a festival, JUPITER RISING x EAF at Jupiter Artland invites audiences to explore, discover and celebrate underrepresented artistic voices, championing queer and QTIPOC experimental practice. JUPITER RISING is Scotland’s artist-driven art and music festival set in the iconic landscape of Jupiter Artland.
  • EAF and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh also invite Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) to present an artistic public intervention at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, in the form of a large table around a tree, to discuss the interconnections between humans and plants in times of rapid biodiversity loss.
  • A Birthday Party at Custom Lane,  Leith to celebrate EAF’s 20th Birthday. Hosted by queer-led hair salon turned iconic party series Ponyboy, with EHFM’s impressive roster of DJs providing music.

EAF’s 2024 hub is City Art Centre where the range of projects include:

  • Sanctus! a new film installation by Renèe Helèna Browne exploring devotion in relation to portraiture, faith, and belonging. Through the roles of onlooker and interviewer, Browne presents a fragmented portrait of rally car culture as a route to finding understanding with their mother Helen.
  • Co-commissioned by EAF and Auto Italia, Karol Radziszewski’s curated exhibition collects rare photographs and ephemera to trace the history of Filo Magazine, one of the first underground queer magazines in Central-Eastern Europe, founded by activist Ryszard Kisiel. This will be Radziszewski’s first Scottish solo exhibition. This exhibition will be accompanied by a programme programme of events with Karol Radziszewski and artist Agné Jokšé. 
  • This year’s PLATFORM early-career artists Alaya Ang, Edward Gwyn Jones, Tamara MacArthur and Kialy Tihngang, selected by Amal Khalaf and Eliel Jones, and EAF curator Eleanor Edmondson, will respond directly to the themes of the 2024 programme, centering intimacy, material memory, protest and persecution.

EAF asks visitors to look again at the city around them in new ways this summer:

  • EAF have invited Rosie’s Disobedient Press, a collaborative project by artists Lisette May Monroe and Adrien Howard, to reflect on the framework for EAF’s 20th Birthday and on the landscape of the city over the past 20 years. Rosie’s will present works of textual intervention which will appear in print, on clothing, across windows and banners throughout the city.
  • Remnants: How you re-assemble a city will launch for EAF and is a free newspaper for Edinburgh, created by feminist architecture collective Voices of Experience, EAF and Panel. While the initial Remnants centered stories from Glasgow's Merchant City, the newest edition of Remnants will aim to connect to current and historical context and the city of Edinburgh.

Art - new 20th logoA wide range of partner exhibitions take place from the East to the West and from the North to the South of the City, to mark the 20th birthday:

  • In the centre of town, Fruitmarket, Ibrahim Mahama is making a brand new body of work inspired by the Gallery's unique physical location, supported on columns above Waverley railway station.
  • At Talbot Rice Gallery, El Anatsui’s exhibition will comprise a large selection of his iconic sculptural wall hangings, wooden reliefs and works on paper and will be the most significant exploration of El Anatsui’s practice, which spans more than five decades, ever staged in the UK.
  • Los Angeles based painter Hayley Barker will make her first exhibition in Europe at Ingleby, where landscape and nature paintings strike a seemingly impossible harmony between intimacy and grandeur, appearing simultaneously dense and intricately painted, and yet open and full of space. 
  • At the National Galleries of Scotland, Do Ho Suh architectural structures and objects using fabric in what the artist describes as an "act of memorialization."
  • Women in Revolt! is the National Galleries of Scotland’s survey of feminist art that celebrates the women who challenged and changed the face of British culture, restaged in Scotland following its presentation at Tate Britain.
  • The Edinburgh Seven Tapestry, meanwhile, at Edinburgh Futures Institute, commemorates the first women to matriculate at any British university.
  • At the National Museum of Scotland, a new exhibition draws on Scotland’s rich history of Cold War-era protest and activism.
  • Stills Centre for Photography presents Home: Ukrainian Photography, UK Words, a touring showcase with Ukrainian Photographies, featuring contemporary Ukrainian photographers exploring the meaning of home.
  • Further photography can be seen at Before and After Coal, at the National Portrait Gallery.
  • At Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop [ESW], Sequoia Barnes, will show an Afro-surreal retelling of Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby, this new body of work unravels how the consumption of cuteness perpetuates oppression and marginalization.
  • Also at ESW are Jan Pimblett’s public commission is a gathering of curiosities, strange beings, totems and relics that intersect into a narrative of otherness.
  • EtchingRoom1 - Ukrainian duo Kristina Yarosh and Anna Khodkova - have create a mural that is a message of hope against the background of terrible events. It is a work of art and activism emblematic of our time which speaks of the artists’ experiences of conflict.
  • Meanwhile, across the city, Laura Aldridge and Andrew Sim will transform Jupiter Artland with Aldridge’s richly glazed ceramics, light, videos, textiles and sound, alongside Sim’s paintings depicting a dreamlike forest, with plants and trees growing beneath rainbows and star-studded skies.
  • Making a return to Scotland for the first time, meanwhile, will be Dovecot Studios' major tapestry with Chris Ofili first created in Edinburgh.
  • Collective also welcomes back early committee member Moyna Flannigan for an exhibition of new work featuring collages, alongside a constellation of paper sculptures that extend the principles of collage into three-dimensional form and space.
  • At Sierra Metro, photographer Flannery O’kafka’s childhood bedroom and home studio bleed into the former carpet shop, as powder blue covers the space in a soft subversion of gender performance, respectability, and the picturing of disability.
  • At Edinburgh Printmakers, Ade Adesina will showcase experimental prints combining inspiration from Adesina's African roots, British culture, and travelling into international landscapes, while Tayo Adekunle repurposes the imagery of ethnographic exhibitions into a powerful commentary on the fetishisation of Black women's bodies.
  • Collectively-run gallery Sett Studios will showcase a vibrant range of work from their member artists, alongside a solo show from their youngest member, multidisciplinary creative, textiles artist, and DJ Rory Dixon.
  • Travelling Gallery is delighted to be partnering with Community Land Scotland to celebrate 100 years of community ownership in Scotland. Through contemporary artists and new commissions, Where We Stand will tell the stories and achievements of the pioneers of community ownership, a movement that has transformed Scotland.
  • At the City Art Centre,Adam Bruce Thomson, one of the most quietly impactful artists of his generation has a long overdue exhibition. A long-serving tutor at Edinburgh College of Art, he worked across a broad range of media, mastering printmaking techniques, drawing in pastels, and painting in oils and watercolours.
  • At Inverleith House, through music, literature, fashion, design, scent and visual art, Fungi Forms will take you on a spectacular journey, exploring fungi in science, culture and innovation.
  • Also looking at the natural world, the Scottish Gallery hosts two exhibitions. Renowned as a painter of timeless significance, Geoff Uglow's oeuvre stands as a testament to his unwavering originality. Koji Hatakeyama: Scenes in Bronze includes enigmatic, patinated surfaces which represent the landscape, evoking a sense of time.
  • Finally, Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians at the Kings Gallery, exhibition explores what the Georgians wore, from the practical dress of laundry maids to the glittering gowns worn at court and how they ushered in many of the cultural trends we know today. 

The Edinburgh Art Festival takes place from 9 to 25 August, and you can browse the entire programme online HERE.

Picture credit: Mele Broomes, image by Ruby Pluhar.

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