Thursday, 1 June 2017

Art trail through Edinburgh & Fife

Every year I look forward to prepare for and take part in North East Open Studios. As I don't put my work out into galleries, it's the main event for me to engage with the general public and hear their feedback about my work. This year however I won't be able to take part unfortunately because I will be away on a kayak expedition in Canada in the weeks leading up to the event. I will really miss it, but it gives me a chance to be a visitor instead!

I already had a wonderful experience recently when we were in Edinburgh and Fife. We went there to arrange a new passport and combined this with a few art exhibitions and open studio events.

We stayed in an Airbnb appartment in Leith, the port of Edinburgh which we hadn't explored yet. Great pubs, restaurants and a very interesting historic display about the harbour. While walking we stumbled upon an exhibition organised by students of Edinburgh College of Art in DOK Artist Space.

DOK Artist Space in the Steel Shed ©Fenfolio2017

The Steel Shed ©Fenfolio2017
DOK Artist Space ©Fenfolio2017

Press release DOK Artist Space ©Fenfolio2017

Press release DOK Artist Space ©Fenfolio2017

How innovative to house young artists in a tin shed which was built in the Second World War! I loved the interior with the steel walls, bolts, some rust peaking through and it worked very well as a background for their beautiful artwork.

View to docks from the shed with display of painting (artist unknown)

Artist unknown ©Fenfolio2017

Paper artwork by unknown artist ©Fenfolio2017

Artist unknown ©Fenfolio2017

Beautiful display in fascinating building ©Fenfolio2017

Photography by unknown artist ©Fenfolio2017

In Leith we also had the opportunity to see the distinctive heritage building Custom House. And best of all, it was Open Studios!

Trina Bohan showed a selection of her expressive life drawings and landscape paintings in her spacious studio.

Trina Bohan's studio ©Fenfolio2017

Trina Bohan's studio ©Fenfolio2017

Artist Trina Bohan with her artwork ©Fenfolio2017
SilverHub Studios is a contemporary jewellery studio and workshop also based in this Georgian building.

SilverHub studios ©Fenfolio2017

SilverHub studios ©Fenfolio2017

SilverHub studios ©Fenfolio2017

A drawing school (name unknown), teaching draftsmanship like the old masters, is also based here.

Young master at work ©Fenfolio2017

Young master at work ©Fenfolio2017

And a few more such as a muralist!

Muralist Chris Rutterford sign ©Fenfolio2017

Funky furniture design by unknown artist ©Fenfolio2017

From Leith we went to the city centre to see the RSA Annual Exhibition. Always a highlight to see so many different and extraordinary artworks by RSA's members.

RSA Annual exhibition 2017 ©Fenfolio2017

Tondo 1,2,3 and 4 by Doug Cocker, Stained wood

Heavy Rain, Paul Furneaux, Japanese woodcut print

Orange order 1,2, 3 and 4, Doug Cocker,
Painted & stained wood ©Fenfolio2017

Species "Capercaillie, Pheasant and Barramundi" by Stuart T. Mackenzie,
Oil on zerkall paper ©Fenfolio2017

Yin & Yang, Keiko Mukaide, assembled dichroic glass,
gilded wooden panel with glass cover ©Fenfolio2017

Yin & Yang, Keiko Mukaide, assembled dichroic glass,
gilded wooden panel with glass cover ©Fenfolio2017

Various etchings by Amy Gear ©Fenfolio2017

Various intaglio prints by Emma Stibbon ©Fenfolio2017

One of the many galleries at the RSA ©Fenfolio2017

I was in particular intrigued by environmental artist Chris Drury's Land and Language I-Looking South from Eaval, North Uist. How he was able to build up a picture of a landscape by arranging all the names of the hills and lochs visible from this point is mindblowing!

Land and Language I, Chris Drury ©Fenfolio2017

Close-up Land and Language I, Chris Drury ©Fenfolio2017

Close-up Land and Language I, Chris Drury ©Fenfolio2017

Spore Grid, Chris Drury, 35 R-type prints on aluminium
from 2 spore prints on glass slides ©Fenfolio2017

Ex Ovo, Doug Cocker, painted & stained wood (80 parts)©Fenfolio2017

Ex Ovo, Doug Cocker, painted & stained wood (80 parts)©Fenfolio2017

Our last visit for that day was Summerhall where there was an exhibition as part of the Science Festival. It's a very interesting building and has lots on offer artistically and culturely. The art pieces that stood out for me were Beneath and Beyond: Seismic Sounds by Stephen Hurrel. It's a live feed audio-video installation which is produced by constant movements and tectonic shifts beneath the Earth's surface. Data/vibrations from hundred seismic stations around the world are translated into unique sound arrangements that are experienced in real time along with their corresponding visual representations (lines and waveforms).

Beneath and Beyond: Seismic Sounds by Stephen Hurrel ©Fenfolio2017

The other one was Black Hole Horizon by Lily Hibberd & Extreme Light Group. It's a 3D sound installation based on Extreme Light's artifical rotating black hole experiment. The black hole horizon is created where the water flow's velocity is faster than light's constant speed. Light doesn't have the force to resist the flow.

Black Hole Horizon by Lily Hibberd ©Fenfolio2017

The next day, when it was stunning weather, we visited the Royal Botanic Gardens. At the entrance we were treated by a wonderful exhibition "After the Storm". Members of the Scottish Furniture Makers Association produced contemporary furniture from salvaged timber from storm-damaged trees.

Info about exhibition "after the storm" ©Fenfolio2017

The makers ©Fenfolio2017

One of the designs (artist unknown) at the exhibition

Cyclonic side tables by Alasdair Wallace ©Fenfolio2017

Tsunami Cabinet by Jonathan Rose & Gavin Robertson and
Unstable Stool by Angus Ross ©Fenfolio2017

On our way back home again we stopped at various little villages in the Kingdom of Fife where artists had their Open Studios that weekend.

We met the makers at Falkland Furniture and visited the newly built building across where Woodworks  is based. This is a innovative programme for enterprising and creative young people who wish to learn about woodland culture and make more of Scottish woodlands. We met Islay Gray, a furniture making student of Fife College and her work is wonderful!

It was a delight to see that two printmakers were showing their work too. Claire McVinnie, who is printmaker at Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Studio, explained how she created her stunning botanical monoprints. Our last visit was at Jean Duncan's house and studio. I was truely inspired by her organic themed prints and handmade paper.

Print of Brassica Cross section by Jean Duncan ©Fenfolio2017

Driving back north my head was buzzing of all the wonderful things I had seen and the friendly encounters we experienced. I can't wait to experience our own NEOS as a visitor this year!

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