— Artlink Edinburgh & Lothians


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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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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Scott vs Zombies Banner

Come along and hear Alan Grant, famous for his work on 2000AD and Batman, Scott and Liz Davidson, talk about their new comic – Scott vs Zombies on the 2nd of April at 6-7pm, Stockbridge Library, 11 Hamilton Place, Edinburgh, EH3 5BA.

As part of National Autism Awareness Day we will be auctioning some of original signed artworks by artist Robin Smith (2000AD and The Bogeyman). All proceeds go to work with people with autism. Preview the artworks HERE.

If you can not attend the evening event you can also put in a postal bid. Simply download the form HERE and email a signed copy to Vanessa Cameron,   info@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk .   Bids received before 4pm on Wednesday 2nd April will be registered.

Let us know you are coming! Book HERE.

Comics will be available for sale at the event or if you can’t make it – buy one now!

For more information please contact us on 0131 229 3555


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ligth and shade banner

Award-winning writer Nicola White – In The Rosary Garden, will be in conversation with Philippa Cochrane, Head of Reader Development, Scottish Book Trust at Morningside Library, 184 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4PU on the 18th February from 6pm–7pm.

As part of Ever, Present, Past, a year long programme commemorating 200 years of The Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Artlink commissioned writer Nicola White to explore the history of the REH, meet with staff and patients and create a fiction based on the hidden stories she uncovered. In the resulting work, a mysterious presence lurks among the corridors of Craig House, a woman walks into the sea and a baby is cared for by strangers. Based on real life stories, it offers a glimpse of the stigma of mental ill health over the centuries.

Nicola and Philippa will discuss the personal memories and documents that she drew on for the publication, the boundaries between fiction and truth, the importance of having our stories told, and the impact of a large psychiatric hospital on the Morningside community. Book early to avoid disappointment!


For further information please contact us info@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk

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VOICESSaturday 1st February, 11am, Talbot Rice Gallery
Voices from the Past 

Join us for a performative talk by Pauline Goldsmith and Ruth Honeybone, travelling backwards and forwards through time, creating a picture of the Royal Edinburgh hospital from the perspective of the people who have lived and worked there over the past 200 years.

During the research for Mark Dion’s ’200 Years, 200 Objects’, many stories about the Royal Edinburgh Hospital were unearthed. Some of these were obvious fabrications, whilst others would appear to be true, but all need to be told.

Artlink has put together a talk which knits together all these stories, from interviews and anecdotes found within the archive, to old newspaper articles and letters from 19th century patients. The result is a fascinating portrait of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital that is at times sad, at times humorous.

Introduced by Alison Stirling, Artlink.
Pauline Goldsmith is an award winning actress, comedian and writer.
Ruth Honeybone is manager of Lothian Health Services Archive and has been a key contributor to the research behind the Ever, Present Past exhibition.

This is a FREE event, but booking is required.


Saturday 8 February, 11am, Talbot Rice Gallery
Healing for Mind & Body – a history of hospital landscapes in Scotland

In an illustrated talk, Christopher Dingwall will consider how the designed landscapes that surround many of Scotland’s hospitals came to be seen as important in the treatment of patients.

The pioneering work of Dr. W.A.F. Browne, first at the Montrose Asylum, and later at the Crichton Royal Institution in Dumfries, will be considered, as will the way in which his ideas on occupational therapy grew out of his links with the early 19th century phrenological movement. Parallels with be drawn with other reform movements of the period, which saw the development of public parks and garden cemeteries.

Christopher Dingwall is a freelance landscape historian, formerly Conservation Officer, and now Honorary Research Adviser to the Garden History Society in Scotland. Among his special interests is that of 19th century social reform movements, and the ways in which these were reflected in the design of parks and gardens of the period.

This is a FREE event, but booking is required.


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