Art and Design Library exhibition – January 2018

The latest exhibition in the Art and Design Library is ‘Transition of Fear – a collection of photographs’ by Isaac Benjamin.

We asked Isaac to tell us about the inspiration for his fascinating work:

“Being an artist has its ups and downs, on one hand you have people genuinely interested in your work, but then you’re asked to actually show some of it! The photos you will see are mostly taken straight after having a spiritual/alien vision or episode, I then recreate how I had seen things.

Image from Transition of Fear – a collection of photographs, by Isaac Benjamin

I was quite recently diagnosed with Schizotypal Personality Disorder. This does not affect my spiritual beliefs and experiences, however, I can now conclude that my psychic abilities are possibly not actually happening. At the beginning of this long journey, I felt like I was trapped inside a cocoon. I was absolutely terrified… Something drove me to keep challenging this fear and recreate the experiences through various art forms, which was a major part of my healing process.

Music is so important in my life, I couldn’t imagine creating pieces of artwork without music to help inspire me. My taste in music is very eclectic… From The Smiths to Kate Bush, David Bowie to Roxy Music and Leonard Cohen, I feel so much more comfortable if there’s music playing in the background.”

Come along to the exhibition which will be on display in the Art and Design Library from 4 – 30 January 2018.

You can also see more of Isaac’s work on instagram @thewalkingartists

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Art Library exhibition for December 2017

The Art and Design Library’s new exhibition ‘Inscape’, is a joint exhibition by three artists, Frieda Dyson, Fiona McLachlan Powell and Clive McLachlan Powell

Here we hand over to the artists to tell us about their work.

Frieda Dyson writes:

`Born in Glasgow, and with a background which is half Hebridean, water in all its moods, has always featured large in my work. I have painted roaring water in the Western Isles, and calm, building reflected water in Cambridge, where I lived for many years, but it is always a challenge. Watercolour, acrylics, oils and dry pastels all have their different difficulties. Recently, trees have figured in my work since I have been spending time in Edinburgh’s wonderful Botanic Gardens. My work is in various collections in the UK and, also Australia, New Zealand, Cyprus and the USA.’

 

Fiona McLachlan Powell writes:

`My work explores thresholds through my experience of mental health and also in the contexts of philosophy and culture. Sometimes the materials I use are domestic or tied in with labour. I grew up in a farmworking family near Duns in the Scottish borders. The rhythm to the days and seasons in that life and its improvisations influence my work and my way of working.  The hessian my shepherd grandfather used as a kirtle to protect him from the rain, transcends its initial use.

Working in the disciplines of sculpture, photography, film, drawing and installation I like to create a sense of journey through liminal space and approaching thresholds. I explore thresholds through process and through experimenting with various materials that spoke to me in the past and that I respond to now.

I have come to a way of creating sculptural work that can be dismantled then reconstructed, and reconfigured. I place my work in different environments; in woodland or architectural spaces for dialogue, each location transforms the work’.

 

Clive McLachlan Powell writes

`My work lies between sound, form and place; bringing transforming elements of materials, sound and gesture into space to explore the liminal. This transformation reflects a somatic experience, the feeling of sound beyond what is heard through the ears alone. Ways of making include creative foraging, casting as a way of transforming materiality, drawing with objects, photography and film. Other methods include singing of archaic songs, using my skull as an aeolian resonator, and placing contemporary sound composition alongside collaborative improvisation with dancers. I like to feel the spaces where I work – art spaces, nature, dance clubs become welcoming, finding still points in sounding and moving forms alongside the sonorous’.

Come and see this fantastic new exhibition of art work on show in the Art and Design Library from 2 to 29 December.

Art and Design Library exhibition October

The Art and Design Library‘s October exhibition is entitled Works on Paper. From the 9th-30th October you’ll be able to see a series of watercolour paintings created by artist Eva Mitera, graduate of the University of Edinburgh, participant of the X Florence Biennale and curated by Dr Shih Mei Lee.

Eva works in both oils and watercolours, creating paintings focused on the themes of  natural and meteorological phenomena, landscape and images alternately abstract and realistic. This exhibition however focuses on Eva’s watercolours, which are on a smaller scale than her oil paintings, but are independent pieces in their own right, not studies for her larger works.

Eva enjoys the process of creating watercolours, especially the unpredictability of the result. She allows the colours to blend across the paper to emphasize rich bright hues and brush stokes. In her experiments with this medium she has also added dry pastel, crayons and ink to achieve impressions of reality or imaginary landscapes. Her works present a sensation of radiant energy and controlled frenzy.

 

 

 

Danish design at the Central Library

May’s exhibition in the Art and Design Library is a something a little bit different.  This month we are showcasing the work of Danish artist Mette Fruergaard-Jensen who creates boxes in metal, wood and resin.

Mette originally trained as a potter, running her own pottery workshop for 25 years. A move to Scotland in 2000 however saw her embrace a new medium and she began to make boxes –

‘In my studio in Coburg House in Leith, Edinburgh I make lidded boxes in wood, metal and resin. My boxes are sculptural. They are all functional, although they are not made for any specific use. I love the silent language of form and materials. Here for this exhibition in the Art and Design Library I am also showing images of how I work and what materials I use. I am especially happy to show my work in the Art and Design Library, as I have spent a great time there looking in books.’

Come along and see Mette’s beautiful work from the 3rd-30th May.

 

March’s Art Exhibition

For an artistic treat why not come along to this month’s exhibition in our Art and Design Library from the 4-30 March and see art works by Rosie Nimmo.

Rosie graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1997 and immediately went to study Art Therapy at Queen Margaret University.  At this time Rosie was a very active member of the artists community in Edinburgh, contributing and showing works in all the major group exhibitions in the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA)  as well as other smaller local shows. She has had a break from the art world whilst pursuing her musical career, but is delighted that this show will give her the opportunity to show her work to a wider audience again.

waveRosie is a bit of a visual magpie, hopping from one subject to another and using a variety of media to demonstrate her response to the ideas.  Currently what interests her most is the light at the sea. She works is a variety of different media on paper including printmaking.

10% of all sales from this exhibition will go to Mercy Corps, an organisation that works with displaced people from all over the world, and which Rosie supported with a charity single last year.

 

 

Summer art workshops – Exploring Monuments with Edinburgh Art Festival

‘Great experience’

‘Really interesting and enjoyable’

‘Very relaxed but informative’

‘Person running the course was lovely and had a great way with the kids. She’s interested and passionate about what she was doing and my lot loved it’.

These are just some of the comments on Central Library’s partnership with Edinburgh Art Festival hosting summer art workshops themed around monuments. Inspiration was taken from our fantastic image bank of Edinburgh monuments on Capital Collections and from artist Sally Hackett’s `The Fountain of Youth’ sculpture located in the courtyard of the Museum of Edinburgh as part of Edinburgh Art Festival. Everyone was then encouraged to come up with our their ideas and create and build from recycled materials and clay.

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We hosted three workshops aimed at children and families and different age groups. Many thanks to our Edinburgh Art Festival arts outreach worker Helena Barrett who delivered all three workshops with unfailing energy and enthusiasm.

As one person said, we’re `Looking forward to more events like this’.

We’ve already got plans for the Big Draw workshops in October. Look out for children and families art workshops happening at Central Library in the October half-term break!

Art Library exhibition for August and September

The latest exhibition in the Art Library is World’s Apart: Photo Essays by Neil Shaw and Hamish King.

You know that classic view at Giza in Egypt, with the three pyramids, and behind them the Sahara stretching to the horizon? 

Turn around and you are looking at Cairo. It’s one of the most dramatic frontiers in the world: the edge of the biggest desert on Earth, an emptiness extending over 3.5 million square miles and 11 countries; and right beside it the most populous city in the Arabic world, a bustling, relentless place, home to maybe 20 million people.

In the first part of their exhibition in the Art Library, Neil Shaw examines this disparity, with pictures from a single central Cairo street called Shari Gohar el-Qait set alongside those from the heart of the desert that begins on the city’s doorstep, shot at two locations in Libya, up to 60 miles from the nearest road.

Worlds Apart

The scenes in the second part of the exhibition, by Hamish King, show us a different kind of contrast, appearing unambiguously rural yet all shot within the city boundary of Edinburgh, sometimes just metres away from streets and houses. Edinburgh is a world apart from Cairo, and while the comparison of its woodland areas with the elegance of the Georgian New Town is somewhat gentler than the move from city to desert, these pictures nevertheless show another side of Edinburgh; less well known, but still important to the city’s character.

Together, in their very different ways and contexts, the photographs displayed in this exhibition are a study of the proximity of otherness, of the idea that you can’t fully understand a place without knowing what lies alongside it.

World’s Apart: Photo Essays runs from 2nd August to 29th September 2016 in the Art Library.