Sunday, 30 August 2009

Edinburgh in a rather large nutshell or 'too much of a good thing is simply wonderful'

i love Edinburgh! each time i visit i come home truely 'inspired'. even when it isn't festival time there is so much to see and do. this was my first visit that coincided directly with the main fringe festival, not to mention 'The festival', the arts festival, the book festival and the international festival. i have come away with a cultural overload of ideas, visual images and a complete rain forest of paper! luckily i didn't have to carry the bags home! our aim was to try and see things that were free.
we visited a total of 8 exhibitions(after which my son refused to go in another art gallery), various events, lots of shops and many restaurants and cafes. i think i'll split my experiences into several posts so today's sub-title is exhibitions part 1.
my favourite was, i think, 'Eva Hesse-Studioworks' at The fruitmarket Gallery. it brought together many small experimental 'test pieces' by the german born american artist Eva Hesse (1936-70). perhaps i shouldn't admit this but i had never heard of her and i realised there must be so many american artists and sculptors that i ought to investigate. some of this work had never been shown before and certainly not together since it was made. Hesse used latex, wax, cheesecloth, wire mesh, metal, paper and found objects. many of them were very fragile, especially the delicately beautiful paper bowls which were on open display in a very humid gallery (a conservators nightmare). i have a passion for shadows and some of her pieces produced wonderfully evocative shadows which don't come across when looking at photographs of them. this exhibition has got me thinking about the cross over between textile art and sculpture. do checkout the website.
next on my list came 'Rough-Cut Nation', a remixed version of Scottish history as seen through graffiti and street art. the group of artists had totally re-decorated one of the rooms in The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, whilst it is closed for redevelopment. we walked straight in, unlike the 4 hour wait some have taken for the Banksy exhibition. the more i look into graffiti, the more exhibitions i find, it is becoming more accepted as an art form.
i won't name all the artists here but i will congratulate them i loved it.

complete with frame for photo opportunity of my son!
last year in 'Selvedge' i saw an interesting exhibition advertised, 'Cycling up the hill with my dad' by Claire and David Hemingsley. unfortunately i couldn't get to it so i was delighted when i saw it again this year coinciding with my visit to Edinburgh. at the Collins Gallery in Glasgow it combined 2 of my other passions, textiles and ceramics. Claire is a textile artist and illustrator and David (her father) was a potter. her work shows the relationship between her and her father, getting much of her inspiration from the everyday such as words, lists, jam and dressmaking and her fathers tools. her materials are clean and crisp such as linen, organdie and wire which work well with the layers and transparency she uses with machine and hand stitching and digital print. what was interesting especially was the inclusion of her and her fathers sketchbooks. the quote in this posts title was seen in one of her books. do you think i could apply it to ice cream (good quality of course)?!


  1. Ooh, I feel quite homesick. So glad you enjoyed Edinburgh. I didn't get across there this year when I was in the UK but I did see Claire's exhibition in Glasgow - loved it too.
    Looking forward to reading more on your exhibitions.

  2. What a lovely post -thank you. at the mo i can only appreciate these exhibitions vicariously and I did really appreciate this review. Yes, you can apply the title to icecream and possibly quite a few other things besides!