The Edinburgh Festivals are well and truly here, including the Edinburgh Art Festival, so on Sunday I thought I’d check out a couple of the exhibitions currently on offer. My first calling point was the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice gallery. Don’t be put off by the work going on in the car park of the Old College’s Quad; the gallery is still open for business. There are currently three exhibitions on and all are very different, so whatever your taste, you should be able to find something of interest. The first is “Child” comprising art by Julie Roberts. The exhibition has a mixture of drawings and paintings, which explore themes including girls’ introductions to domestic labour, evacuees, refugees. I think my favourite in this exhibition was the painting called “Washer woman”.
Cutting through to the Georgian Gallery balcony, there is an exhibition of art from the University’s Torrie collection. This includes Dutch and Italian paintings from the 17th Century. My favourite here was a very atmospheric painting called “Landscape” by Hercules Seghers.
Downstairs in the Georgian Gallery, the exhibition was of work by the Scottish painter Criagie Aitchison. I really liked the strong, vibrant colours used in his paintings. The two pieces that caught my eye were “Green Jug with Berries” and “Holy Island from Lamlash”.
I headed back into the sun and worked my way through the crowds on the Royal Mile. After the heat, noise and bustle it was lovely to step into the calm and coolness of the City Art Centre. It’s recently re-opened and the refurbished entrance is looking lovely with a welcoming new reception area and shop. The two main exhibitions on at the moment are both photography, but two very different styles of work. The first is “Life Work” by Edward Weston. All of the photographs in this exhibition are black and white. As most of the subjects are natural objects such as sand dunes and vegetables, the black and white photography really brings out the amazing textures of these seemingly ordinary things. There are also portraits in the exhibition. I think overall my favourites were “From the Summit of the Pyramid of the Sun” and the photograph of the Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
The other photography exhibition “Family Combinations” by William Wegman couldn’t have been more different. The photographs are of the artist’s Weimaraners. These are really fun. I think my two favourites in this exhibition were “Volcano” and “On Deck”.
If you are going to the gallery with children, make sure you check out the activity studio on the lower ground floor. There are plenty of materials for creating a new work of art, and even space for your creation to be displayed. For inspiration, the current exhibition is “In our own image: representing the human form“. This comprises various artworks from the City Art Centre’s own collection, with a wide range of different styles of representing people.
The City Art Centre has got various events happening to coincide with these exhibitions. To find out more, take a look at their programme of activities.