This blog post was updated on August 24, 2018.
Edinburgh Art Festival has announced a major program of newly commissioned artworks along with one time performances to take place throughout Edinburgh during the entire month of August. Dubbed Festival Promenade, the program will offer the best in contemporary visual art, from Turner Prize winners and nominees to young and up and coming artists, and will feature works which invite spectators to give this historic UNESCO World Heritage city and its many iconic sites a double take.
The Edinburgh Art Festival was founded back in 2004 and is Scotland’s largest annual festival of visual art. An international showcase, it takes over the city each August with a month-long calendar of exhibitions, special events and tours, featuring internationally renowned artists alongside emerging talent and new commissions. The festival sees national institutions join with artist studios and pop up venues to share the best that visual art has to offer.
The inspiration behind the launch of Festival Promenade comes from a quote about Edinburgh by Scottish novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson:
This profusion of eccentricities, this dream in masonry and living rock, is not a drop-scene in a theatre, but a city in the world of every-day reality.
Taking that view of Edinburgh to heart, the organizers’ aim with Festival Promenade is to invite visitors to experience the city in new ways. Says Edinburgh Art Festival Director Sorcha Carey, “With over 40 exhibitions distributed in venues across the length and breadth of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Art Festival experience has always necessitated an experience of the city itself. Festival Promenade, our most ambitious programme of commissions to date, celebrates just this, bringing the city to life and transforming it into a magical playground through an innovative programme of externally sited commissions, which will invite visitors to look anew at one of the world’s most iconic cityscapes.”
New commissions will include an Edinburgh-born internationally-celebrated artist Callum Innes, whose light “intervention” will transform Regent Bridge from a dark tunnel to a celebratory arc. 2010 Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz’s Timeline, is a multi-site sound installation developed in response to Edinburgh’s famous One O’clock Gun. The House of Fairy Tales, founded by Deborah Curtis and Gavin Turk, will bring “The Magnificent Edinburgh Escapade” to the festival, guiding families and children on a problem-solving tour throughout the city, via richly illustrated hand drawn maps to specially commissioned installations that await discovery. Lots more info about details at edinburghartfestival.com.
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