Dragon procession opens Art Festival events lineup

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The first of Edinburgh's 'August' Festivals got underway on Thursday 27 July, with a free street procession marking the start of Edinburgh Art Festival.

The procession by performance artists Walker and Bromwich featured a large inflatable dragon, and was the first of a range of special events at this year's Festival, including artist talks, walking tours, workshops, concerts, film screenings and even a campout. 


Launching the Festival in dramatic fashion, the public joined artists Zöe Walker and Neil Bromwich's By leaves we live... not by the jingling of our coins in which their Dragon of Profit and Private Ownership made its way up the capital's famous Royal Mile, travelling from Trinity Apse on Chalmers Close (where the dragon can be seen during the rest of the festival) and ending at St Giles' Cathedral. 

The procession was followed by an outdoor performance, based on the ideas of radical 19th century thinkers and featuring players Tam Dean Burn and Rhys Trimble, as well as pupils from Canal View Primary School and dancers from the University of Edinburgh's Danns-ed. 

Other events at the 2017 Edinburgh Art Festival include:  

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Artist Talks

Renowned Indian artist Shilpa Gupta will give the Festival's opening weekend keynote lecture on 28 July, giving a special insight into her work. 

Other artists discussing their work at the Festival include Shannon Te Ao (28 July), Toby Paterson (18 August), Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte & Uist Corrigan (19 August), Rebecca Howard & Adam Quinn (26 August) and a conversation, chaired by Art Festival Director Sorcha Carey, featuring artists Kenny Hunter, Bobby Niven, Toby Paterson, Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich (26 August). 

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Art Late events

A series of special late gallery openings, with talks, workshops, live music and more, Art Late 2017 includes events taking participants on journeys across selections from the Festival programme, including: 

  • 3 August - Talbot Rice Gallery, Dovecot Gallery, The Number Shop, The Signet Library, Museum of Childhood, and The List Festival Party at Summerhall
  • 10 August - Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Jupiter Artland (return travel included)
  • 17 August - Collective Gallery, City Observatory and City Dome, Edinburgh Printmakers, Rhubaba Gallery and Studios, and Custom Lane
  • 24 August - Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Stills, Edinburgh Art Festival Commissions and The Fruitmarket Gallery 

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Film Club

Two evenings of curated films begin with Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects (2 August), a selection of artists' films from across Europe, exploring art and ecology. The second evening features Dazzle by Preston Lodge High School, a look back at 2016's amazing Every Woman dazzle ship created by Ciara Phillips. 

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A Summer Meeting

Four days of events will explore the legacy of Patrick Geddes' The Making of the Future: A Manifesto and a Project which was first published in 1917 and is a major theme of this year's Festival. 

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Children & Families

There's lots for young art lovers to get involved with at this year's Festival, with special workshops and tours including: 

  • Explorers Outdoors (4, 11, 18, 25 August) - free outdoor art workshops for ages 3-7 in the Scottish Wildlife Garden
  • Explorers at the BBC (7, 14, 21 August) - drop in arts and crafts sessions at the BBC Festival Tent at George Heriot's School
  • Art Early (5, 19 August) - specially programmed tours and activity trails, visiting various Festival venues and ending with a picnic
  • Explorers at the Library (3, 10 August) - free creative art making workshops for ages 8-13, at Edinburgh Central Library
  • Activities at the EAF Kiosk (5, 12, 19, 26 August) - free drop-in workshops and activities inspired by the Festival's Commissions programme

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Pop Up Exhibitions and Events

A programme of special projects and events taking place in pop-up venues across Edinburgh, showcasing new work in unusual places. 

Venues in 2017 include churches, museums, libraries, streets, a French cultural institute and the internet. Full information about the various pop-up events

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Partner Events

Using major national institutions and artist-run spaces, the Festival's Partner Exhibitions programme offers ambitious and innovative presentations of both historic and contemporary work.

A series of special events are planned for many of these exhibitions. Full information on events can be found on individual exhibition listings

Edinburgh Art Festival runs from 27 July - 27 August 2017 with most events and exhibitions completely free of charge. Find out more about the Festival, including links to programme and ticketing details.

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