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.

 

 

 

The Nine exhibition

A new photography exhibition illustrating the rich diversity of Scotland’s population is now showing in Stockbridge Library until 13 January 2020. The portrait exhibition will feature images of twenty people that were captured for the opening titles of the BBC Scotland channel’s flagship news programme, The Nine.

The library exhibition has been developed as part of a partnership agreement between the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and BBC Scotland.

Public libraries are at the heart of our communities and are accessible to everyone, making them the perfect place to host this wonderful exhibition. It’s further demonstration of the range of activities on offer in modern libraries.

The Nine exhibition at Stockbridge Library

Next time, it could be you… here’s how to get involved.

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.

Art and Design Library exhibition – November 2019

Edinburgh Photographic Society returns to the Art and Design Library in November with a group exhibition by their members. The exhibition showcases a wide variety of work across a range of photographic genres – including portraiture, nature, still life and landscape. Members of the society work with traditional techniques as well as creative digital photography, so the exhibition will have something for everyone.

A Walk Through Time by Alistair Cowan

The Society are based in the New Town and welcome new members who can participate in courses and attend lectures.  Please visit www.edinburghphotographicsociety.co.uk to find out more.

Gone Fishing by Edinburgh Photographic Society

The exhibition runs from 4 November to 29 November in the Art and Design Library.

‘Here and Now’ in the Art and Design Library, September 2019

The September exhibition in the Art and Design Library is called Here and Now and is a solo show of works by Edinburgh artist Brian Samwell. Here is how he describes the exhibition and his artistic practice:

“Here and Now showcases sculptures and images developed over the past five years. My art is driven by social concern and a need to explore human experience – birth, love, aging, conflict. The sculptures and images are off-kilter and playful yet aim to challenge and reach for an emotional reaction. Whether figurative or abstract, structure and form are important to me: the curves of a baby’s body, a spiral of teacups, the pattern of waltz steps across a floor.  I particularly enjoy discovering the sculptural potential in everyday objects. Recycling and re-use helps me step a little more lightly on the planet.

I came late to making art, leaving a 30-year nursing career in 2016 to study Foundation Art and Design then Contemporary Art Practice at Edinburgh College (no, not Edinburgh College of Art!).  I make figurative and abstract sculpture from stone, metal, wood and rubbish, and create 2D images in a wide range of media. I continue to experiment, learn, and work with a diverse assortment of materials and approaches. One day I might settle down.”

Here and Now runs from 3 September to 28 September in the Art and Design Library within Central Library.

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.

 

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.

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.

Art Library exhibition for September 2018

Pink Palimpsest, a mixed-media group exhibition, opens today in the Art and Design Library.

The artists, Jessica Gasson and Fionnula Mottishaw are recent graduates from Edinburgh College of Art.  We asked them to tell us a bit about their work and exhibition:

“Of the many strange and mysterious things which inhabit our contemporary world none are more bizarre or inexplicable than those which we create and re-create ourselves, enclosed here are our contributions to that unruly mass.

Image by Fionnula Mottishaw

Springing from a range of contexts, logical or otherwise, these objects represent a reaction to our daily environment and attempt to rationalise that over-whelming influx of visual noise…

A Palimpsest is a ‘re-scratched’ surface from the Greek palimpsēstospalin ‘again’ and psēstos ‘rubbed smooth’. Palimpsests were popular in Archaic and Medieval practices of scroll or book making, where a previous text was scraped away with oats bran and milk so that the paper could be reused for another document although it would still bear visible traces of its earlier content.

A Pentimento is the Art Historical cousin of a Palimpsest – traces of an alteration in a painting or showing an artist has changed their mind during the process of painting. Pentimento derives from the Italian Pentirisi ‘repent’, this approach takes a negative approach to these changes as mistakes, in contrast to a Palimpsest in which the traces of its past leave the object with a richer surface. The term has colloquial uses in architecture, archaeology and geomorphology to indicate that an object has been made for one purpose and later reused for another.

Recycling and reusing materials to reduce consumption of fresh raw materials is a process that resonates today. We enjoy reworking and remaking traces, and this practice forms the basis to this exhibition.”

Come and browse the Pink Palimpsest exhibition on display in the Art and Design Library throughout September.

Art and Design Library exhibition – July 2018

Creative Coverage Mixed Exhibition, a new exhibition of landscape paintings from some of Scotland’s prominent artists opens on Tuesday 3 July in the Art and Design Library.

Painter Aileen Wrennall, an elected member of the Glasgow Society of Women Artists, is joined by Michael Mullen, Mary-Clare Cornwallis, Anthony Barber, Priscilla Brightman and photographer Sarah MacDonald in this group show.

“We’re really excited to be working with Edinburgh Central Library and thank the Art and Design Library for their help and interest,” says Tim Saunders from www.CreativeCoverage.co.uk.

“This architecturally important building has to be one of the grandest libraries in the United Kingdom. It is a privilege to be collaborating with this venue and we hope that lots of art lovers enjoy the paintings and photographs.”

The exhibition runs from 3 to 30 July in the Art and Design Library at Central Library.

Art Library exhibition for June 2018

The exhibition in the Art Library this month is Face Your Beauty: Feel Your Power.

The exhibition is a series of fashion photos by Joanna Jarzymowska and Michal Pocwiardowski.

Face Your Beauty: Feel Your Power runs until 30 June 2018 in the Art and Design Library.

Routes to Roots: adopting Scotland as a homeland exhibition

Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council’s Routes to Roots: Adopting Scotland as a Homeland project has been exploring the shared heritage of Scottish and diverse communities and mainstreaming the histories of minority ethnic communities in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Working with the South Asian, African, Polish, Spanish and Chinese communities in Edinburgh and the Lothians we have conducted and filmed interviews with 30 members of these communities about their experience of making Scotland their home and comparing cultures. These have all been compiled into a book, ‘Routes to Roots: Adopting Scotland as a Homeland’, and we have also produced a number of podcasts exploring the different heritage in the city and organised visits to various religious and heritage sites.

The multimedia exhibition shows photographs and extracts from these people’s stories of making Edinburgh and the Lothians their homes as well as a number of our videos and information about the communities. The exhibition, like the book, focuses on four distinct periods of their lives: their background and life before coming to Scotland, their arrival in Scotland and early experiences here, their current life in Scotland and, finally, their views on immigration as a general concept.

The exhibition will be on display at Central Library from the 2 to 30 June 2018.

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, you can watch some of the project interviews and podcasts online via Capital Collections.

Comely Bank 1817-2017

The current exhibition in the Edinburgh & Scottish Collection was created by a group of interested residents into the history of the unfinished terrace of Georgian houses at Comely Bank.

2017 was the bicentenary of the architectural drawings made by Thomas Brown for William Fettes’ speculative venture for a major Georgian suburb. This spectacular scheme was to radically extend Edinburgh’s residential boundary to the north and west of Henry Raeburn’s development in Stockbridge into the surrounding countryside.

Today, Sir William Fettes is well known as the founder of Fettes College, a leading independent boarding and day school in Edinburgh. Some perhaps know of him as the one-time Provost of Edinburgh. In fact, his bequest to this area is greater than he may ever have anticipated or comprehended.

The exhibition tells the story of Sir William Fettes’ rise from humble beginnings as a grocer and wine merchant in the Old Town of Edinburgh to a prominent businessman and philanthropist. It also charts the history of the area, the prominent individuals who were involved in the growth and development of Comely Bank, and finally, the drastic plan to build a ring road through Edinburgh in the 1960s which would have cut through the areas of Inverleith, Warriston and Comely Bank, and would have left very different vistas to those we know today.

Comely Bank 1817-2017 is currently on display in the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection at Central Library until 31 May.

Jenners: 180 years on Princes Street

On 1 May 1838, Kennington & Jenner opened its doors for the first time. Now 180 years later, Edinburgh’s famous department store still sits proudly on the corner of Princes Street and St David Street.

The business was founded by Charles Kennington and Charles Jenner, who had been dismissed by local drapers W.& R. Spence for taking the day off work to go to the Musselburgh races. Their advertisement in The Scotsman claimed that their establishment would offer the discerning customer, ‘every prevailing British and Parisian fashion in silks, shawls, fancy dresses, ribbons, lace, hosiery, and every description of linen drapery and haberdashery’.

View of Jenners Department Store, (later destroyed by fire in 1892) from East Princes Street Gardens

The original building that formed the department store was destroyed by fire on 26 November 1892. In 1893 Scottish architect William Hamilton Beattie was appointed to design the new store which opened in 1895.  Charles Jenner became the driving force behind the reconstruction and it was at his insistence the building’s caryatids – sculpted female figures – were to show symbolically that women are the support of the house. The new store also included technical innovations such as electric lighting and hydraulic lifts. Unfortunately, Charles Jenner died in 1893 and did not live to see the new store completed.

Jenners Department Store, view from Princes Street Gardens, c1900

The store continued to grow during the 1900s and by the 1920s it had cemented its reputation as the number one place to shop, becoming a local byword for extravagance and opulence. In 2005 it was taken over by House of Fraser. While other acquisitions by House of Fraser have been renamed, Jenners has managed to keep its identity.

In 1995, the Central Library acquired an archive of material from Jenners, including sales catalogues, photographs, news cuttings, invoices and correspondence.

A selection of material from the Jenners Archive is on display on the main staircase of the Central Library until 31 May.

Jenners Archive display, Central Library until 31 May 2018

 

Art Library exhibition for May 2018

A new exhibition of paintings opens today by the blind Edinburgh-based artist Alan McIntyre, entitled ‘Moments in time’.

Shown together for the first time, Alan’s paintings are based on remembered cinema moments in time. They aim to capture moments of isolated individuals or fleeting gestures between the interactions of couples as frozen shadows and blurred images.

Alan has had a lifelong passion for art. He was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition and is now registered blind. He maintains his passion to produce art despite being both constrained and liberated by his altered experience of the world.

All paintings exhibited are for sale and a percentage of sales will go towards the recording of an audiobook from Calibre Audio Library. Calibre Audio Library produce audio books for people with sight problems, dyslexia and other disabilities.

The Moments in Time exhibition runs until 30 May in the Art and Design Library.

Visit Alan’s website for more information.