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August 2019

Festival Programme - Canal boat, Alfredo Jaar, Nathan Coley at Parliament Hall, Hanna Tuulikki at Edinburgh Printmakers and Corin Sworn at ECA Sculpture Court

By Rose and Emily


By Rose

This was our first ever trip - it was wonderful. Seeing new art and places and meeting so many people connected with WHALE Arts made me feel really inspired, it boosted me so much, it even made me restart my painting. It was a beautiful sunny day and for the first time, I and many of the group stepped on a canal boat which was exciting. We warmed up by starting with experimental drawing on the windows of the barge, creating lots of abstract shapes. The canal boat took us down to the Lochrin Basic where we got off to go to Edinburgh Printmakers, where we had our lunch and saw artist Hanna Tuulikki's exhibition 'Deer Dancer'exploring deer, dancing and mythology in culture. We also visited the printmaking workshops and were shown super interesting printmaking techniques - a really different experience, experimenting with making beautiful colours and printing them on paper. We then took the bus to artist Afredo Jaar's neon and walked up to Parliament Hall where the Scottish Parliament use to meet a long time ago to see Nathan Coley's commission for the festival called The Future is Inside Us, It’s not Somewhere Else. The artist combined 19th century grand French wallpaper depicting North America imagined from the perspective of the old world of Europe with contemporary illuminated neon making you think about ideas related to utopia. Nowadays lawyers meet in Parliament Hall - it was amazing to understand the history and new use of the place. We finished the day by visiting artist Corin Sworn's exhibition at Edinburgh College of Art's Sculpture Court and having a glass of fizz and some cake at Ed Art Fest HQ at the French Institute!


The truth is this trip gave me the energy to be creative again, something which helps me through my grief and bad feelings. Now that lockdown is over, and restrictions have eased, I can't wait to go on more trips and try new techniques, which keeps me energised and inspired, finding imagery and doing my artwork - Chinese calligraphy, natural scenes and still life in ink and watercolour.


By Emily

We started off with an amazing barge trip along the Union Canal from Calder to Fountainbridge. On the barge we indulged in arty activities collectively and on our own. Great fun!! We also enjoyed beverages and snacks on the trip. The sun was also shining!


We arrived at Edinburgh Printmakers where we were given a tour by our lovely host. We had our lunch in one of the many rooms there surrounded in interesting and beautiful pieces of art. We were then given a demonstration of some arty printing techniques in which we experimented with our own attempts to create something wonderful. So enjoyable. 


Every trip with the Edinburgh Arts Festival is delightful a treat of surprises and activities. Not to be missed.


Bobby Niven's Palm House and Mud Oven
By Simon

A good time was had - we started by getting organised with food and equipment for the day at Edinburgh Art Festival HQ and then walked up to the secret garden or what I know now to be Johnstone Terrace Garden where Bobby Niven's permanent social artwork is located. We made home cooked pizzas, baking them in the magnificent mud oven and we did some artwork in the Palm House, using the light and the glass to do printing with leaves, and we also made an animation using an iPhone.

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