A Hectic Week
Today see’s the end of the first full week of the festival and a great need of a foot spa. A couple of updates are definitely in order as there’s been a lot going on.
The openings last Thursday (and Friday) were both successful events to kick start the festival into action. Thursday saw the Festival launch at Edinburgh College of Art Sculpture Court, an excellent venue which provided a perfect platform, literally, for Anthony Schrag to serve visitors beer by hovering bottles attached to string from the upper balcony. Seeing people jump for their beverage was an excellent welcoming to the festival.
One of the commissions, Emily Speeds Human Castle, took place in princess street gardens and features a performance piece revolving around humans interaction and relationship with architecture, as if it were an intentional protective layer. As the performers bravely showed ideas of balance and structure, in the rain, it culminated in a turret shaped human construction. It was an intriguing performance which showed grace and calm among the back drop of the city and surrounding sounds – quite fitting I thought!
I personally worked at Kevin Harman’s Installation and opening on Rose street which proved to be an eye opening experience to say the least. Kevin, a great man who’s way of thinking and creative mind set have provided countless laughs as well as intriguing conversations, has produced work like no other. After 24 hours in Asda, and several MacDonald’s, he had gathered enough materials and items to begin his task of completely reforming an unused storage space into an installation. With sweeping waves of cut out newspaper lining the outer walls, as well as a pathway of Asda bought (of course!) potted plants guiding you in, it is nothing less than an inviting and encouraging space. Finding the words to describe the content is a challenge, one has to see it to understand, but the way he transforms bought objects and the space itself into art of such a simplistic as well as psychedelic nature is truly admirable. Some works of which he is constantly making and adding to are statements clear in intention, whilst others reflect the process and conversation that he is constantly undergoing with himself about what he wants from his work and what each material can achieve. He encourages visitors to make their own interpretation of the space, I struggled at first but the more I go back the more I appreciate and admire what he’s doing, it just works. Read more about his previous works and projects on his website http://www.kevinharman.co.uk
Another successful opening was that of Harry Hill’s ‘My hobby’, an exhibition which has received some great press coverage and hundreds of visitors to match. His paintings are illustrative in style and a great reflection of his personality and humour. Check out some of the coverage on EdFestMagazine and The Guardian.
A further commission, the Rose Street Film programme saw the first of many film nights on Wednesday curated by Calvin Laing, the combination of his films and performances hosted in Scotts Bar seemed an accessible way of showing this work taking it out of a gallery setting. His work explores the idea of intruding into a surrounding environment. For examples of his work: http://calvinlaing.com/?/projects/
So I’m starting another week which looks equally as busy as the last. The events programme is vast, including YouTube star Danny MacAskill performing live on Rose Street with his bmx skills exploring the urban environment around him. Also Anthony Schrag’s tours are continuing to explore the city through different means and levels of engagement and of course many visiting artists and talks are taking place across the venues.