Heard any good art recently?

It seems counter intuitive as there are no pictures but the art podcast is thriving. When you hear people talking about art the images spring to life in your imagination.

Art and Design Library staff get asked to recommend good art podcasts. It’s a difficult enquiry to answer on the spot but here’s a round-up of some you might like to explore.

The Art Newspaper Podcast from the London publication The Art Newspaper provide some of the most topical podcasts around. Hosted by Ben Luke, the weekly show is not a digest of recent articles, but a chance to hear experts talk in depth about new developments or trends.

Find out what it was like to be a woman artist making art during the feminist and civil rights movement with Recording Artists Radical Women. Drawing on the archives of the Getty Research Institute, podcast host Helen Molesworth explores the lives and careers of six women artists spanning several generations. Contemporary artists and art historians join Helen in conversation.

If conversational, gossipy and fast-paced is more your style try Talk Art: actor-collector Russell Tovey and musician-turned gallerist Robert Diament speak to some big name artists and collectors. Listen in to explore the magic of art and why it connects us all. Special QuarARTine episodes picking up on the latest responses to the pandemic across the world.

Photography Down The Line from Stills Centre for Photography in Edinburgh is a weekly series of conversations between artists, photographers and the Director of Stills: starting during the coronavirus lockdown this series shares the ideas of artists during this challenging time.

Meet Me At The Museum is a series of podcasts from The Art Fund featuring well-known faces taking someone they love to a favourite museum or gallery. The current series is available every week for four weeks from 20 April 2020 and features Mel Giedroyc, Edith Bowman, Katy Hessel and Anneka Rice, all exploring museums they love.

Podcasts on art are proliferating. If you find an art podcast you like and think others would enjoy why not share this with us @edcentrallib

What libraries mean to me with Molly Kent

In today’s library Q & A session, we ask artist, student and library advisor, Molly Kent what libraries mean to her.

Molly is currently in her final year at Edinburgh University studying for her MA Hons Fine Art and Art History. Molly is currently curating her degree show which uses the traditional medium of rug tufting to create an immersive installation space on the topic of doubt. The work draws on contemporary existence regarding social media and living in an internet-driven environment through the visual aesthetics of digital glitch. It also highlights the importance of a time-old craft, evolved and made relevant to the field of contemporary art through various areas of research. Making use of bright and neon colours, unsettling phrases and organic shapes, each piece intends to mirror the feeling of doubt through sensory experience and highlight the commonality of doubt, albeit often brushed under the rug. Rugs, that we’d normally see as domestic objects, begin to morph and climb walls, resembling bacteria and virus structures, as if mutating before us. It plays on the idea that doubt can be perceived as an ailment that overtime shifts and morphs into something new continuing its hold over us.

Rug tufted artwork by Molly Kent

What do libraries (including Edinburgh City Libraries) mean to you as an artist and as a student?
Libraries have often been one of the main starting points of my research when it comes to approaching a new series of artwork. While my current work centres on my personal experiences and emotions, the medium I am currently working with is new to me. Libraries have offered me an otherwise unattainable insight into the process of rug making, with both my university library and Edinburgh City Libraries holding a series of books that weren’t available online. As well as a wonderful holding on contemporary arts more widely, the library gives insight into other practices as well through exhibition catalogues that inspire new methods and presentation.

In particular, Edinburgh City Libraries has a great holding of books that go through the step by steps of rug hooking, including what fabrics, yarns and adhesives to use. Information into the practical side of rug making is somewhat scarce online and the insight gathered from these books has been invaluable to my practice. In addition to this, being able to experience a whole host of artistic expressions from so many areas of visual culture through the rotating monthly exhibitions in the Art and Design Library sparks creativity from often unexpected works – opening up ideas to branch off existing works into new multidisciplinary methods.

Also, I grew up in libraries, so to speak. Often taken after school to access books that we couldn’t at home, and as a safe place to work, libraries have become a haven for me over the years. The ability to immerse myself in so many different topics, enabling my research and artistic practice to reach new avenues is invaluable.

Rug tufted artwork by Molly Kent

What is your earliest library memory?
My earliest memory of libraries would be from back home in Birmingham, at my local library after school. My mom would take me in so I could read to my heart’s content, often getting through a book a day. Talking to the librarians was a highlight and over time I’d be allowed to help out around the library, especially after my mom started to work there.

When I was around 12/13 years old I would be helping to run craft sessions. These sessions helped me find my love for creating and helped others express themselves through art too. I continued to help with the craft sessions when I started working at my hometown library at 17 years old.

Are you struggling to cope without a library? What advice would you give to those who love the library and can no longer go in?
Without a doubt, yes. As I’m coming to the end of my degree, it’s especially difficult not to be able to dip back into all the books I’ve been looking at for the past year or so, or find inspirations in new ones. Books have always been one of my main sources of creative inspiration and the loss of access is difficult. As well, having worked as a library advisor for the past 7 years, and having a good understanding of catalogue systems, it’s easy for me to find books on particular topics and areas quickly. Now, with just the internet and e-services, it’s more time consuming and far more difficult to find relevant information quickly.

I’d advise looking into the eBook services, particularly magazines and periodicals we host online now. Being able to browse art magazines and see what’s going on worldwide in contemporary arts is vital, and especially seeing how galleries and artists are responding to and working within the new confines of a COVID-19 landscape. In addition to this, for myself, Instagram is a great place to look for inspiration and community in these strange times. I’ve been able to connect more widely across the UK, and globally, and as I’ve put more time into sharing my work there. I’ve made new connections that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.

A lot of people are struggling just now – art has the capacity to soothe by reflecting our emotions but also to challenge – what do you recommend as an artist to those that are struggling?
It’s difficult to pinpoint because we all process things differently. For myself, I am creating more now that I am home and challenging myself to produce something new every day. But for others, trying to navigate this new way of living could be difficult and we shouldn’t feel the need to use this time as one of productivity. If you have the spark to use this time for creativity, my recommendation is to start now. If you’ve ever wanted to draw, paint, sculpt etc. work with what you have currently, be it only a pencil and paper and start making. Or, if you’ve ever wanted to know more about art or any other topics, there’s a whole host of courses being published for free online by some of the biggest institutions online. I’ve been eyeing some courses from Harvard for when I finish my degree next month, as something to keep my brain engaged and continue my learning.

Are you able to practise as an artist just now? What are you working on? What would you recommend as a way through?
I am lucky enough to have a home studio (read: my partner and I have a  home office that is completely overrun with rug-making materials) so I have been able to continue my artistic practice. I was lucky enough to have had my degree show sponsored in part by Paintbox Yarns via Lovecrafts and was sent yarn to work with. So, thankfully, I have plenty of materials to work with. Just before quarantine started I was able to upgrade my rug tufting frame so for the past few weeks I’ve been working on some large scale rugs.

Rug tufted artwork installation by Molly Kent

How can we connect as librarians, borrowers, readers and as creatives just now when the library is closed? Can social media be a replacement or do we need more? How can art help to overcome this?
I don’t think social media can be a total replacement for the physical, in-person communicative experience. Some galleries are creating stunning digital exhibitions, and it’s great that more investment is being made into online engagement with individuals, particularly as this will greatly benefit social groups who were excluded from some mainstream artistic spaces. But currently, it’s a fantastic place for us all to connect. I’ve seen digital book clubs, live-streamed art tutorials, even art tutorials taking place via Zoom. This is all so we can continue learning, sharing and providing one another with feedback to keep our work developing.

Ultimately art can bring everyone together, there’s no need for a high brow understanding of the ins-and-outs of art history. If art makes you feel something or peaks a curiosity you hadn’t otherwise explored, now is a great time to engage with institutions, artist-run spaces, and individual makers within your locality or internationally. Then, when libraries re-open it will be wonderful to bring together a newly engaged community focus into these pre-existing spaces.

Rug tufted artwork installation by Molly Kent

With huge thanks to Molly for talking to us and sharing what libraries mean to her.

Visiting art exhibitions from your armchair

This blog is written by Bronwen, Librarian in the Art and Design Library.

“Working in the Art & Design Library we are keen to promote access to exhibitions and make a point of collecting catalogues of the major shows around the UK. This year is a little different but with art museums having their virtual doors open we’ve pulled together some of the many online exhibitions and galleries you can visit without leaving home.

Tour some of the world’s greatest galleries with Google Arts and Culture!

The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in Google Street View

With Google Arts and Culture you can take virtual tours around some of the best art museums in the world from the British Museum to MoMA in New York to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris – you can zoom in far closer on individual works than you ever could in real life! You can even take a tour of our National Museums Scotland.

Close to home explore the collections of the National Galleries Scotland; explore their featured artists and art works and get some ideas for getting creative.

Catch up with the latest videos from The Royal Academy, London including virtual curator-led tours and artist interviews and explore the Royal Academy collections from home. The Royal Academy Gauguin and the Impressionists was due to open on 29 March: the Royal Academy are bringing a taste of the exhibition to you at home.

Tate Modern may be closed but you can view their series of Online Displays.

Watch an online-only performance by the Congolese choreographer and dance artist Faustin Linyekula in the Tanks at Tate Modern My Body, My Archive is a performance re-invented for the particular situation of this exhibition and its closure to the public. It combines segments of his works Sur les traces de Dinozord 2006, Statue of Loss 2014, Banataba 2017 and Congo 2019.

Image from the Dai Nippon (Great Japan) exhibition on Capital Collections

Ever wanted to get the National Gallery London all to yourself? Now you have a chance with their series of virtual tours. Tours link directly to painting pages where you can find out more information on the art works on display.

Dai Nippon (Great Japan) is an online exhibition of beautiful Japanese prints on Capital Collections. The artworks are taken from the Henry Dyer Collection of amazing artefacts gifted to Central Library by his family.”

Quines Exhibition

Launching next Saturday 7 March on the eve of International Women’s Day is the exciting new exhibition `Quines: poems and textiles in tribute to women of Scotland’ on display across Central Library.

Taking inspiration from Gerda Stevenson’s poetry collection Quines: poems in tribute to women of Scotland celebrating and exploring the richly diverse contribution women have made to Scottish history and society, edge textile artists Scotland members have each selected varied poems from the collection, interpreting them in diverse and inspiring personal ways.

Come to the launch afternoon running 2-4pm Saturday 7 March. Book on Edinburgh Reads to hear Gerda Stevenson reading poems from her collection Quines and take a guided tour led by edge members around the exhibition. Enjoy a cuppa and chat to edge members.

The exhibition is on display on the Mezzanine, on the Staircase and in the Art & Design Library running until Monday 30 March.




LGBT history in the Art & Design Library

February is LGBT History Month and, in the Art & Design Library we’ve been looking at some of our books that explore this rich history and its amazing contribution to the visual arts. All are available for borrowing from the Art & Design Library.

A Queer History of Fashion: from the Closet to the Catwalk edited by Valerie Steele, published 2013.
From Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, many of the greatest fashion designers of the past century have been gay. This book looks at the history of fashion through a queer lens, examining high fashion as a site of gay cultural production and exploring the aesthetic sensibilities and unconventional dress of LGBTQ people to demonstrate the centrality of gay culture to the creation of modern fashion.

Art & Queer Culture by Catherine Lord & Richard Meyer, published 2019.
Art & Queer Culture surveys artworks that have constructed, contested, or otherwise responded to alternative forms of sexuality. Rather than focusing exclusively on artists who self-identify as gay or lesbian, the book instead traces the shifting possibilities and constraints of sexual identity that have provided visual artists with a rich creative resource over the last 130 years

A Queer Little History of Art by Alex Pilcher published 2017.
The last century has seen a dramatic shift in gender and sexual identities for both men and women, reflected in a period of artistic experimentation as artists have sought to challenge social conventions and push the boundaries of what has been deemed acceptable. The result is a wealth of deeply emotive and powerful art intended to express a range of desires and experiences but also to question, criticise and provoke dialogue. This book showcases a selection of works which illustrate the breadth and depth of queer art from around the world.

Drawing difference: connections between gender and drawing by Marsha Meskimmon and Phil Sawdon, published 2016.
Drawing Difference’ analyses how both drawing and feminist discourse emphasise dialogue, matter and openness. It demonstrates how sexual difference, subjectivity and drawing are connected at an elemental level – and how drawing has played a vital role in the articulation of the material and conceptual dynamics of feminism.

Queer British Art 1861-1967 edited by Clare Barlow, published 2017.
With a focus just on British queer art, this book has sections on ambivalent sexualities and gender experimentation amongst the Pre-Raphaelites; the science of sexology’s impact on portraiture; queer domesticities in Bloomsbury and beyond; eroticism in the artist’s studio and relationships between artists and models; gender play and sexuality in British surrealism; and love and lust in sixties Soho.

We’ve many more biographies and analyses of works by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ identified artists. From Diane Arbus and Francis Bacon to Keith Haring, Gilbert & George and David Hockney, we’ve got them covered. Drop into the Art & Design Library for more information.

December’s art exhibition: Noni Choi

The December exhibition in the Art and Design Library showcases artist, Noni Choi, whose work is a gorgeous celebration of nature, colour and energy.

Noni Choi is a botanical artist and illustrator based in Edinburgh. She is from South Korea and trained in ceramic arts in Seoul. Noni worked as an art teacher in Korea until 2009.

“As a painter and an illustrator, flowers and stars are a rich source of inspiration in my art. My work captures the precision of nature creating meditative studies of the beauty of the natural world I see around me.  To me painting is a return to nature. I hope that my paintings which are created with bright colours, full of happiness and vibrant energy help people to return to innocence.

I love nature and I hope to protect nature with my works someday.”

You can learn more about Noni on her website: www.nonichoi.com and follow her on Instagram: @artistnoni

The exhibition runs from 3rd December until 31st December.

October Exhibition – Art and Design Library

The October exhibition in the Art and Design Library is a group show showcasing the work of Edinburgh based artist, Norma Henderson and her father, Forbes Dunn.  Friends, Family and Photography features painting and photographs by the two artists, along with several examples of work by close family friends.

Forbes Dunn (1925-2016) studied Technical Drawing when he left school in 1939 aged 14, going on to a lifelong career as a Technical illustrator & Advisor with the Scottish Gas Board. He was passionate about all aspects of art and was skilled in a range of areas including acrylics, pen & ink and watercolour. He was a member of Musselburgh Art Club for many years and travelled abroad with groups on “Painting Holidays.” He remained an active member of the Art Club until his death in 2016.

Norma Henderson discovered her love for photography early on, thanks to her artist father who gave her a camera when she was 7 years old. She became fascinated with darkroom processes and went on to study photography at Napier University. She made her career with the University of Edinburgh where she worked as a photographic technician for 28 years. She says that, “Art has gone along on a parallel life with my photography – it’s a relaxing hobby.” The exhibition includes examples of her paintings as well as her photography.

The exhibition also includes work by Sue Cavanagh, who has studied art since she was at school with a focus on etching and watercolour, and Mark Douglas, a photographer inspired by his interest in film and television.

“Friends, family and Photography” runs from 3rd to 31st October in the Art and Design Library on George IV Bridge.

July’s art exhibition

WENCH, an exhibition of paintings by Mira Knoche opens on 2nd July in the Art and Design Library. It focuses on sisterhood and the paintings on display consider female friendships, rivalries, solidarity, as well as heroes worth remembering.

Mira describes her exhibition as “a visual manifesto and love letter to all libraries that evolved from a display of three paintings as part of International Women’s Day at Leith Library. WENCH is a warm invitation for women to see, curate, and celebrate each other’s stories.  Here’s to championing the female gaze on women and women becoming loud and visible.”

An Edinburgh based artist who loves painting people Mira is intrigued by the human mind, bodies, stories, and the interplay between art and community, she enjoys hosting creative platforms where different art forms meet.  She has co-curated several groups exhibitions and life drawing events.

In addition to her exhibition in the Art and Design Library, Mira is co-programming the event ‘Sonic Leith: WENCH’, a female-led feast of punk, poetry, art and electronica at the Old Dr Bell’s bath in Leith on 25th August. You can learn more about her work at www.miraknoche.com

The exhibition runs until the 30th July.


Edinburgh Art Festival Explorers at Central Library

Central Library are teaming up with Edinburgh Art Festival this summer to offer a programme of art workshops for 8-13- year olds.

Workshops explore the Edinburgh Art Festival theme: Stories for an Uncertain World, linking to exhibitions around the city and creating small- and large-scale artwork using collage, projection, zine making and animation.

July 15th
Light Fantastic: Making slides and acetates for creative projection, then becoming part of the art. Photographic images can be emailed after the workshop.

July 22nd
Cut & Paste: Telling stories with collage and creating collage artwork on 3D objects.

July 29th
Stop motion Animation: Using collage and projection to create short stop motion sequences which can be emailed to you.

August 5th
Festival Zines: Using a wide range of materials to make booklets or comics with your stories for the future.

All workshops run 2-4pm and are based in the George Washington Browne Room, Central Library. Join us for all sessions or drop in for a one off. Book online www.edinburghreads.eventbrite.co.uk or tel 0131 242 8040

Children’s Art Club in action

The June exhibition in the Art & Design Library is Young Artists At Work, showcasing the work produced by Central Library’s Children’s Art Club. The exhibition illustrates the work produced over the last year by the club’s hardworking members. The club was founded in September 2018 for children aged 8-12 and this exhibition will act as a celebration of their achievements as the final session for the year draws near.


Children’s Art Club has explored many different artistic disciplines, whilst trying to keep a real focus on using recycled or household materials; art can be made anywhere with anything and the children’s creativity and ingenuity has certainly proved this!


The exhibition runs from 4th-27th June in the Art & Design Library. For any information regarding the Children’s Art Club, please contact Central Children’s Library.

Art and Design Library May Exhibition

Woodscape by Rachel Burney

The May exhibition in the Art and Design Library is a group show by the Edinburgh based art collective, Operation Love Bomb. The exhibition is called Expression, and features a variety of paintings and drawings by artist’s Ray Myles, Sarah Suki, Christine and Shirley Pettigrew amongst others.

Led by disabled activist, Rachel Burney, Operation Love Bomb creates art and exhibits to raise awareness of people living with chronic pain and raise funds for alternative pain management.  The Arts Collective acts as a catalyst for creativity amongst its members and puts on stalls at festivals and benefit gigs.

Abstract Dragon by Rachel Burney

They have previously exhibited at St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh. The organisation is in its early stages and they hope to achieve charitable status.

The exhibition runs from 2-30th May in the Art and Design Library.

April’s Art and Design Library Exhibition

Room Time, an exhibition of paintings by Marcus Oakley opens on 3rd April in the Art and Design Library. The exhibition of new drawings explores the artist’s interest in the potential of the line across a variety of formats. The artworks investigate the infinite possibilities of hand-drawn systems to construct and manipulate space, and manifest lightness, density and structure.

Marcus lives and works in Dunfermline, although he is originally from Norfolk, a coastal county in south-east England. He studied at Camberwell College of Art, and since graduating with a BA honours in Visual Arts in 1996 he has been working as a graphic artist on various projects including book illustration, products, textile design and packaging.

Here’s what he has to say about his artistic inspirations:
“My influences include folky, harmonic and melodic music of all kinds; the pastoral and folkloric delights of the countryside and the various eccentric beasts and humans that inhabit it; the joys of cycling; the stimulations of tea; the dizzy geometries of architecture and design – and overall the wonders of making stuff.”

The exhibition runs from 3rd to 29th of April.

Photography exhibition in Central Library

The March exhibition in the Art and Design Library is a group show from the photography collective, Edinburgh LoFi.  The exhibition is titled Almanac and features a wide range of photography using traditional, alternative and lomographic photographic processes.  The exhibition runs from Saturday 2nd – 29th March.

The theme of the exhibition, Almanac, refers to how events gone by in past years herald those forthcoming in the new. In the exhibition, Edinburgh LoFi’s members record the weather, tides, star paths, seasonal events of the past calendar and personal journeys.

The Edinburgh LoFi group was started nine years ago at the Beyond Words photography bookshop in Berwick to promote and explore film photography. They experiment with and utilise many different formats including pinhole cameras, cyanotypes, salt printing and much more. The group meets once a month to share their photography experiences, run events, hold workshops and plan exhibitions. New members are welcome, and meetings are free to attend. Details are on their website http://www.edinburghlofi.com/


February art exhibition: Dispossession

Dispossession, an exhibition of paintings by Karen and Mel Shewan runs from 1st  till 27th February in the Art and Design Library.

The artworks are a complex exploration of themes related to the Highland Clearances, and the artists describe the exhibition like this:

Our exhibition Dispossession, developed from our interest in the Highland Clearances, the mass eviction of tenants, by their Lairds, to make way for large scale sheep farming. We stay for much of the year at our house near Edderton in Easter Ross at the foot of Struie Hill, overlooking the Sutherland Hills and the Dornoch Firth. It is a beautiful setting and yet to remark on all that is striking and lovely around us seems sometimes almost a violation of the lives of those dispossessed of their homes and livelihoods by the Duke of Sutherland. His controversial statue, rising spike-like from the summit of Ben Bragghie, reinforces the tension between the beauty of the land and its history. The evictions in Sutherland were particularly brutal, the tenants often violently evicted, their homes burnt down or pulled apart while they looked on. Their remains are all around us: the outline of foundations in the cropped fields, tumbled stones, broken walls.  Melancholy reminders of a people who, to use the haunting words of a resident of the Strath of Kildonan, were “set adrift upon the world”.

The more we researched the Clearances, both in the Highlands and elsewhere, it was inevitable our thoughts should turn to the victims of violent displacement and indifferent abandonment in our own time. Consequently, some of the work in our exhibition explores ideas of dispossession arising from contemporary issues and events including Brexit and Trump’s presidency; homelessness, the displacement of indigenous peoples, especially in Amazonia, the refugee crisis and the consequences of our abject failure to deal with global warming: a failure that may yet lead to humanity dispossessing themselves of the Earth itself.

Art & Design Library Exhibition

Eclectic Collection, a group show of artworks by visually-impaired artists opens this week on Monday 3rd December in the Art & Design Library.

The exhibition features art works by members of several artist groups including Hillside Visually Impaired Art Group, and VIEW (Visually Impaired Experimental Works).  Hillside Visually Impaired Art Group is a group of blind and partially sighted people from all over Edinburgh and as far as North Berwick.  They meet at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) headquarters in Edinburgh once a week to pursue their love of creating artworks of all forms, shapes and sizes.  VIEW is a small art group of three visually impaired artists who wanted to have more opportunities to go out and about and experience a wider range of art techniques and to take part in more specialised workshops.  Both groups rely on the support of their dedicated volunteers and tutors in creating their work.

Here is how the artists describe their creative processes and techniques:

“Some of us like to paint, mostly in acrylic, others like to model in clay, and one lady even made a truly awesome cardboard robot!  For some of us, tactile materials are important in helping us make the artworks.  Some of our techniques involve using swell paper.  This is a form of paper treated with alcohol.  A carbon marker is used to draw on it, the paper is pushed through a machine which heats the carbon in the marks and causes them to rise, thereby enabling us to feel our drawings.  Another technique is using waxed string.  This was actually developed as a creative activity for children, but we have found it to be incredibly useful in helping to draw lines that can be adjusted to achieve the desired image. Clay is a great material too as it can be used in different ways.  There are many types to choose from, some of which are more suitable for certain activities than others.  One type will be used for straightforward modelling, another used as a base for plaster-work, and some are suitable for using straight onto a picture.”

The exhibition runs for the whole of December.

Children’s art competition – winner announced!

We received dozens of wonderful pictures in our Children’s Library art competition to draw a picture on the theme of Peter Pan for the chance to win a family ticket to see Wendy and Peter Pan, this year’s magical Christmas show at the Lyceum Theatre.

The judges had a really difficult task of choosing a winner. In fact, the standard of entries were so high that they decided to award two runners up with book tokens as well!

1st prize went to Maja aged 10 for this very atmospheric flying scene:
Our runners up were Jamie, aged 7, for his awesome crododile drawing:
and Kajsa, aged 8, for a night-time scene with the wow-factor!

Thanks to everyone who entered and a huge thanks once again, to our friends at the Lyceum Theatre for giving such a brilliant top prize.


Children’s art competition

Christmas has come early this year! We’re delighted to have the support of The Royal Lyceum Theatre who have very kindly provided a prize for a Children’s Library art competition.

Enter a drawing or painting on the theme of ‘Peter Pan’ for a chance to win a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) to a performance of The Lyceum’s eagerly anticipated Christmas show, ‘Wendy and Peter Pan’. The ticket is available on either 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th or 13th December 2018. The competition is open to anyone aged 5-11 years.

Here’s how to enter:
1. Draw or paint on an A4 sheet of paper a picture relating to ‘Peter Pan’.
2. Write your name and age on the back
3. Ask your parent/carer to put their email address or phone number on the back also.
4. Hand in your artwork to the Central Children’s Library, 7. George IV Bridge, EH1 1EG
5. Please note, the library will not be able to return your artwork
6. The closing date is Saturday 24 November 2018
7. The winner will be notified on Tuesday 28 November 2018. Prize to be collected from Central Library

Good luck!

Art & Design Library October exhibition

The Parrots by Edward Lear: an exhibition of fine art prints of Lear’s illustrations of parrots opens on Monday 8th August in the Art and Design Library in Central Library on George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. The exhibition runs from October 8th to October 31st.

Edward Lear is famous for his nonsense poetry and travel writing, but before his literary career, he was a talented ornithological illustrator.  In 1830, when Lear was still a teenager, he embarked on an ambitious and comprehensive series of hand-coloured lithographs.  This remarkable series of fine drawings was published under the title Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots and consisted of 42 drawings published in an edition of 175.

The exhibition features fine art prints of all 42 of these beautiful drawings, bringing a gorgeous splash of colour and life to the Art and Design Library.

When is paper not paper?

Pop into the Central Library this month and you’ll see our latest staircase exhibition entitled – This is not paper, this is recycled paper.  This art project shows how it is possible to recycle paper to create inspiring things, while helping the environment at the same time!

Scrap paper found in everyday life has been used to make a series impressive hats. The project is the idea of Eleonora Scalise, Italian, avid traveller, and sustainable artist. She completed the work with the help of friends and colleagues. The exhibition uses almost exclusively recycled paper, except for a few pages used to print illustrative articles and the description of the project.

Eleonora was born in Calabria, in the south of Italy and she studied painting, carving, photography and restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Initially she worked as a photographer, creating stories and capturing them with her camera whilst travelling the world. She rediscovered her love for painting and creating paper sculptures after moving to Edinburgh.

These works are inspired by fashion and Eleonora has researched traditional outfits of women from all around the world. Like in an imaginary tour she has recreated headgear from China, Peru, Japan, Italy and India as well as creating hats that come straight from her vivid imagination. More on her artwork can be found on https://www.facebook.com/EleonoraScaliseArtist/

You can see Eleonora’s exhibition on the Central Library staircase until the 26th September.

Body and Soul Exhibition

Body and Soul: an exhibition opens on Thursday 2nd August in the Art and Design Library in Central Library. The exhibition runs until 31st August.

The show features sculptures and paintings by the artists Marcin Krupa and Laura Manescau.


Laura is inspired by her interest in human psychology. Her work aims to visualise unseen aspects of human nature such as thoughts, emotions and energy by translating them into depictions of nature, such as trees. Marcin is inspired by the beauty of the human body in all its variations of shape, size and colour. He expresses his support for the body positive movement in his artworks.

With “Body and Soul” Laura and Marcin celebrate love for the human body, inner harmony and mindfulness.