— Artlink Edinburgh & Lothians

Dalkeith House
Dalkeith Country Park, Midlothian, EH22 2NA
Monday 6 – Saturday 11 October 2014.

12 – 1.30pm.
Free admission.

For one week at Dalkeith Palace, artists from Artlink’s Barter project have reworked the grand entrance hallway of the Palace, which currently houses U.S. university students from the Experience Scotland study abroad programme.  Together with professional artists, barter project participants have changed furniture, added their pictures, created new ornaments, as well as created some comfy seating, making the space look entirely different.  In exchange, students will offer their skills from line dancing, guitar recitals, cookery classes in American foods to local community groups.  A lovely way to exchange skills and open up an altogether different understanding of the local community.

The palace exhibition is the latest Artlink ‘Barter'; a Midlothian based series of exchanges between people with learning disability, and locally based organisations. The project itself is unique but simple:  an artwork is made especially for an organisation, and is traded for an experience or skill for the makers (logical people with learning disabilities).

Click here for more information on the exhibition and the Barter project.

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There is new exhibition of drawings by Mark Kirkham – ‘The Edinburgh Sketcher’- at the Western General Gallery, documenting a week he spent on Ward 72 at the Royal Victoria Building.

Mark is an illustrator based in Edinburgh who produces an almost daily sketch blog of life in and around Scotland’s beautiful capital; an online sketchbook of scribbles and observations of daily life. We invited Mark in to become an artist in residence in the care of the elderly wards documenting situations and stories from patients and staff. These observational drawings begin to explore how we might communicate healthcare experiences differently and create greater understanding of the patient experience. As one patient told us: “I really enjoyed meeting Mark he came across as a very intelligent and interesting young man who obviously loves to draw. I liked his drawings and the amount of detail he has put, he’s captured North Berwick beautifully although he’s aged me by one year as i’m 90 not 91 but I am in my 91st year so I will let him off. I’ve showed it to some friends and they really like it too. I ended up being in hospital for three months and it was lovely to chat to Mark about other things and for someone from outside to come in to the ward.”

The exhibition of Mark’s residency work as well as some of his other sketches are at the Western General Gallery from now until the end of November. For more information please contact info@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk.

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Greyfriars Kirkyard Gate

Friday 18th July 2pm and 3.30pm

Join a performance created at Greyfriars Churchyard and Sandy Bells pub on Forrest Road. Using the climate, sounds, smells and landscape of the Churchyard and the very different environment, smells and tastes available in Sandy Bells pub, Poorboy Theatre will create a short, immersive work for sighted, partially sighted and blind participants.

Using Poorboy’s trademark site-specific way of working, the performance will use music and song, spoken word performance, smells and tastes to create a short performance based on the tradition of pub stories – true and false.

Artistic Director Sandy Thomson and Associate Director Jeremiah Reynolds have spent the last few years creating work together. This has included the critically acclaimed Pirates & Mermaids – a site specific spoken word performance with music performed in the garden of the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The show was nominated for the prestigious Stage Award for Best Solo Performance last year.

This event is part of Artlink’s Opening Lines, combining description, history and storytelling in response to locations across Edinburgh, creating events for sighted and non sighted audiences.

For more information and to book a place contact susan@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk or phone 0131 229 3555.

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Artist Juliana Capes and writer Laura Cameron Lewis create interweaving narratives from generations of women with connections to Portobello Prom across their lives.

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Created by Ken Cockburn with the National Library of Scotland. Listen to extracts from the final performance and interviews about the project process.

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Julie Busk ceramic set

At the start of October 2013 Artlink and the Scottish Beekeepers Association met to discuss the possibility of working together to create a welcoming and interesting display for the 2014 Royal Highland Show. When we took these initial discussions to our participants, a team of designers and makers quickly formed to create the series of unique commissions which you can peruse at your leisure in the Bee Store.

Creating a welcoming entrance for the RHS Scottish Beekeepers display tent proved to be a real test. We had many ideas, but ultimately a hexagonal structure you see is the initial idea of Aidan Stephen. The rest of our team George Robertson, Ian Monteith, Iain Dunne, Vic Macrae, Helen Peak, James Carter and John Paul Costello brought together their ideas and skills to create this structure with furniture designer and maker Susan Harper.

shop advertising animationBees and beekeeping have an endless amount of facts to get absorbed in. In our studio we further immersed ourselves in the topic, which evolved into designs for three tables inlaid with marquetry. Each table carries a particular motif or piece of information that is illustrative of the team’s ideas.

Of the many talents inherent within our team is their interest in design and the practical use of everyday items. Julie Busk, Jeremy Roberts, Lewis Reay, Aidan Stephen and Leigh SK set about creating a range of ceramic and patterned designs with the skilled input of artist and ceramicist Frances Priest.

Jeremy Robert’s illustrations are the main design you see on the work aprons crafted by Annabel Bartle in a series of five unique pollen colour inspired designs.

For further information of this work or to commission your own bespoke piece of ceramics, textiles or furniture please contact patrick@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk or annabel@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk.

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Bench image on porty prom

Our new story Drift is now available to listen to on the Investigate Create website.

Drift weaves together stories from generations of women with connections to Portobello Prom across their lives. It was created collaboratively by visual artist and experienced audio describer Juliana Capes and writer/performer Laura Cameron Lewis, it was recorded by Hamish Brown.

To research the story, Juliana and Laura collected stories from local residents and project participants. Before recording, the work was performed live at the Dalriada and a promenade performance is now being planned for the summer.

Drift is part of the project Opening Lines which combines description, history and storytelling in response to locations across Edinburgh, creating events for sighted and non sighted audiences. Opening Lines events take place all over Edinburgh, visit the website to find out about past and future events.

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Opening Lines Event at National Library

Artlink is launching a new website, Investigate Create, providing information to open up the arts for people with sight loss, people with hearing loss and sign language users. Investigate Create launches on 11 June with an event in the Great Hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, featuring live music and work developed as part of the Opening Lines project. Poet Ken Cockburn and artist Julianna Capes will perform poetry and verbal description.

For thirty years, Artlink has been offering support and assistance to people with disabilities who want to enjoy Edinburgh’s vibrant and diverse arts scene. With 200 clients and over 100 volunteers, what is now known as the Arts Access service arranges over 1000 outings a year. The aim of Arts Access has always been to make each outing as enjoyable and hassle free as possible, and to make sure that nobody’s enjoyment is restricted by their particular needs.

Feedback from individual outings has helped Artlink to find out what works and what doesn’t, as well as raising awareness of the demand for improvements and innovations. At the same time, Artlink’s work with galleries to deliver accessible tours for people with hearing loss, and for people who are visually impaired, has introduced them to people whose ideas and opinions demonstrate that there is enthusiastic interest in taking part in a whole new experience of art. Rather than adding on access aids to existing work, why not develop work with access at the heart of it?

ARTLINK Let Loose Workshop

The resulting projects, Opening Lines (for people with visual impairment) and Let Loose (for people who are hard of hearing), have brought participants together with professional artists to develop unique and original artworks which can be fully enjoyed and experienced by a wider audience.

The Investigate Create website, which launches in June, aims to spread the word about this ongoing programme of innovative projects, events, and workshops. There are features on events, people and places of interest, and up to date, easy to use listings for accessible events in Edinburgh, which can be tailored to individual preferences.

The listings go beyond the usual categories for accessible performances. Investigate Create aims to enthuse and encourage new audiences into trying out different types of events, in different venues, and to increase confidence by including practical information to make booking and attending as easy as possible.

Below is a small taster of what you might find on the new site. Inspired by the National Library of Scotland and written and produced by Ken Cockburn.

A transcript of the audio is available here.

Contact Susan Humble susan@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk for more information.

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SomeBatSqueakPerformanceFlySaturday 26 April 2.30pm – 4.00pm
National Library of Scotland

Some Bat-squeak Echo of Other Time: a tour guided by fiction. Created by Ken Cockburn as the culmination of an Artlink project with the National Library of Scotland. The project considered the library as both a building and a collection. Within the collection are descriptions of fictional buildings, which have only ever existed in the imagination.

This performance will lead you on a journey through the National Library of Scotland weaving together fictions, description and music. Ken Cockburn’s explorations of the building together with staff and Artlink participants, has resulted in this rich and unexpected way to experience the library and its spaces.

This is a free event as part of Artlink’s Opening Lines which mixes description, history and storytelling in response to locations across Edinburgh, creating events for sighted and non sighted audiences.

For more info or to join the event, please contact: Susan Humble susan@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk or call 0131 229 3555.

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