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


sun water oil silver

The Art Library exhibition for June is sun water oil silver by Charly Murray & Javier Ternero.

Charly Murray is Scottish and a painter with a background in book design.

Javier Ternero is a self-taught photographer who aged sixteen, began printing old family negatives found at home, back in Seville, Spain.

Both Charly and Javier have workshops in Leith’s Coburg House a converted Victorian grain warehouse with studios for over 80 artists. For this exhibition, Javier has looked at Scottish landscape and buildings that lend themselves to Victorian printing processes. Charly has concentrated on the plants that grow nearby these buildings to create cyanotypes. Both regulars of the Art and Design library, they find it an invaluable source of information and pleasure. Visit the exhibition and discover the treasure trove of the Art Library for yourself.

sun water oil silver runs from 2 – 29 June 2017.





Art Library exhibition for November

The Edinburgh Photographic Society has regularly held group shows in the Art & Design Library for a number of years and each year they come back with a vivid and thought-provoking exhibition showcasing a wide variety of work by its many members – from studio and portrait photographs, to nature and creative digital photography.

Loup of Fintry by Doug Berndt ARPS

Loup of Fintry by Doug Berndt ARPS

The EPS has an annual programme of courses and lectures, with regular club competitions and extensive facilities at their New Town base. It is a friendly club – always happy to see new faces, so if you’re interested in finding out more please visit for more details and make sure to come along and see the show, running from 1 – 29 November in the Central Art & Design Library.

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.

Video: getting started with Edinburgh Collected

This short film explains what Edinburgh Collected is and how easy it is to add your own pictures and memories to the site.

Go with the Flow at Morningside Library

Morningside Library are currently displaying the work of local photographer David Pike.

Flow is a collection of photographs representing David’s experiments with still life, harnessing wild inaccessible landscapes of Scotland and America.  David seeks to capture landscapes as they slowly unfold using tradidtional methods rather than digital processes.  Shooting on film,  David then hand prints each negative onto traditional fibre based papers using wet dark room techniques. What you see is what was created through the camera and not digitally altered in anyway.

Of his process David said: “”I choose to work with film because it helps me to slow down, to think how I visualise the final print before I even get the camera our of it’s bag. Sometimes I just sit for a while or walk about in the scene I want to photograph, thinking about what is it that makes this place special to me and how I might represent it. I lose all sense of time when I am in ‘flow  I once waited nearly 4 hours in Yosemite National Park high on a mountain in exactly the same spot, waiting for the clouds to highlight the power of the Half Dome  mountain”

You can see the exhibition in the community room upstairs in Morningside Library until May 31.

Check out David’s work at

Edinburgh People Photography Exhibition

Mary McIver, Edinburgh Artist

A new exhibition by blind Edinburgh photographer, Rosita McKenzie, will be launched in Central Library on 11th August as part of the Edinburgh Art FestivalEdinburgh People,  presents a series of local portraits as diverse as a young couple with their first, newly born son; Edinburgh’s Poet Laureate; the softer face of a local politician; and the back view of a ‘very private’ visual artist.

To engage the widest possible audience, the exhibition will be supported by a series of raised drawings created by Camilla Adams and audio descriptions read by Rachel O’Connor. 

“I use digital photography and inclusive interpretation techniques to make the visual world visible to visually disabled people.  I also aim to bring the world of the blind person’s imagination into the open for sighted people to see…By its very nature, my artwork challenges traditional photographic practice and portraiture in that subjects are not expected to gaze into the camera lens.  Instead, with Edinburgh People, my intension was to capture the natural and ‘pure’ essence of each subject, not an artificial image, created by a contrived pose or special lighting.” (Rosita McKenzie, 2010)

Rosita began her career as a specialist in visual art and visual disability  in the early 1980s.  Working with major UK galleries and museums, she has been instrumental in changing attitudes towards visually disabled participation in the visual arts.  In 2006, she was invited by Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh to create her first photographic exhibition:  Two Voices .    Rosita’s photography career has gone from strength to strength and she  recently established the Revealed Photographic Group to encourage and support other visually disabled photographers and the artists.

Edinburgh People will run in Central Library from 12 August.  Virtual access to the artwork is available on Capital Collections

Rosita will discuss her work alongside collaborators David Grinly and Camilla Adams in Central Library in a free event in Central Library on 18th August 2-3pm.