Art Starts Here

Art - Launch canal commission

Edinburgh Art Festival  has announced the programme for its 18th edition – including three major commissions, the Associate Artist programme, Platform: 2022 [the festival’s annual showcase of early career visual artists], and thirty-five exhibitions across its partner galleries. 

A celebration of the unique ecology of visual arts in Edinburgh, the 2022 programme brings together independent galleries, world class collections, and production spaces across the city to present the work of more than 100 artists. From photography documenting Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe to carnival-inspired performance art, the programme features international artists alongside exciting new voices from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. 

First up there's the Commissions Programme:

This programme supports renowned artists to create ambitious new work and this year, marking the 200th anniversary of the Union Canal, the programme takes inspiration from ‘The Wave of Translation’, a scientific phenomenon discovered in Edinburgh. 

  • The Community Wellbeing Collective present Watch this Spacea space for all to develop together and to experience what community wellbeing is and could be, hosting activities and gatherings, alongside weekend events by invited guests 
  • Finding Buoyancy explores ways that we can connect to the natural environment to help us stay buoyant in uncertain times - featuring a set of publicly sited sails at Bridge 8 Hub and Paddle Café; a community raft (Float For The Future ); and a canal-based performance produced with local people in collaboration with Rhubaba Choir
  • Montreal-based First Nations artist Nadia Myre will present Tell Me of Your Boats and Your Waters – Where Do They Come From, Where Do They Go?  exploring reference points spanning Scotland and Canada, migratory routes starting on the canal, indigenous storytelling, archival research methods, pattern, prose and song lyrics.
  • Associate Artist, Emmie McLuskey, will lead a programme of artists to respond to the rich site of the Union Canal between Lochrin Basin and Wester Hailes, in a series of commissions that explore environment, translation and gentrification. 

Then there's the huge citywide exhibitions programme, including: 

  • Representing Japan at the 2005 Venice Biennale, Ishiuchi Miyako (Stills, 29 July – 8 October) will present her first solo show of photography in Scotland
  • Tracey Emin will present her second ever solo show in Scotland since 2008, featuring the unveiling of a large bronze sculpture, paintings and drawings (Jupiter Artland, 28 May – 2 October)
  • Barbara Hepworth’s life work comes into focus in an exhibition brought to Edinburgh with The Hepworth Wakefield, Tate St Ives and National Galleries of Scotland (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern 2, 9 April – 2 October)
  • Ashanti Harris interlaces ideas of community and cultural identity with her research and long personal experience of West Indian Carnivals (Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, 28 July – 28 August)
  • We abandon the microscope with Luke Jerram’s 90ft inflatable sculpture fruit titled E.coli, which is 5 million times bigger than the actual bacteria (National Museum of Scotland, 3 – 31 August)
  • The first major survey of Céline Condorelli in the UK will take place bringing the outdoors into the gallery space (Talbot Rice Gallery, 25 June – 1 October).
  • Monumental canvases rich in colour and detail are presented in Thoughts, meals, days by Glasgow based artist Robertson (Ingleby, 25 June – 17 September). 
  • Audiences can also become absorbed in the UK premiere of Yan Wang Preston’s work, which charts the changing life of a love-heart-shaped rhododendron bush (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Saturday 14 May – Sunday 28 August)
  • Twentieth-century marvels from a group of prominent Scottish artists are revealed in National Treasure: The Scottish Modern Arts Association (City Art Centre, 21 May – 16 October)
  • Audiences can wonder at historic Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace, which features work from Rembrandt and Artemisia Gentileschi (The Queen’s Gallery, 25 March – 25 September)
  • Modern French art and the early collectors of the Impressionists are explored in A Taste for Impressionism (Royal Scottish Academy, 30 July – 30 November)
  • Recent acquisitions by the National Galleries of Scotland in New Arrivals: From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern 1, until Spring 2023)
  • Turner Prize nominees Cooking Sections, in collaboration with Sakiya,look at the history of land struggles in Scotland and Palestine within a wider global dialogue, highlighting how alliances between humans and plants can also enhance new collective horizons. (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2 July – 18 September)

And finally, Platform 2022:

At the French Institute for Scotland – the festival’s headquarters on the Royal Mile – Platform: 2022 will showcase another exciting cohort of emerging visual artists working in Scotland. Featured artists include Saoirse Amira AnisEmelia Kerr Beale, Lynsey MacKenzie and Jonny Walker.

The Edinburgh Art Festival runs from 28 July – 28 August 2022 and the full programme, together with digital map and brochure, can be found HERE

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