Arts Access - Online Arts and Culture (Autumn Edition)

Arts Access Online Arts and Culture Autumn Listings
Opera and Classical Music | Theatre  |  Literature  |  Dance  |  Comedy  |  Film  |  Arts and Culture Virtual Tours  |  Scottish Art Gallery and Museum Tours  |  Life Drawing  |  Scottish History and Culture  
Classical/Opera

Breath Cycle – Scottish Opera For people with breathing difficulties and those recovering from COVID-19. Singing is a fun and creative way to improve your health and wellbeing – no experience necessary! The benefits of singing regularly are widely recognised, from improved lung function and circulation to a strengthened immune system, improved posture, and better breath control – it can even provide relief from stress and anxiety.


SCO – The Lark Ascending Ryan Wigglesworth makes a welcome return to the SCO for a specially recorded online concert of poignant nostalgia and bracing energy. We start proceedings with the ecstatic rapture of Vaughan Williams’ evergreen nature portrait The Lark Ascending, with former SCO Leader Benjamin Marquise Gilmore as soloist. (Free)(Online)


Scottish Opera: On Screen A growing collection of Scottish Opera films, including brand new commissions from contemporary music makers, re-workings of much-loved favourites and staged concert performances. Created exclusively to be experienced on-screen. (Free) (Captioned and audio described performances available)


RSNO – Autumn Digital Season live-streaming six stunning concerts from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday nights. (Paid)(Online)


RSNO – Free Digital Content Digital content including ‘Spotlight on our Orchestra’, ‘For the Family’, ‘Digital Season Highlights’ , ‘Our Chorus’ and ‘Principals in the Spotlight’. (Free – scroll to bottom half of their page)(Online)


Theatre Listings

The Dream Frequencies – Traverse (Audio Play) Journey with MJ and his contributors from dusk until dawn – from the unsettling to the bizarre to the soothing and back again – in this immersive audio theatre experience which transports listeners into the unknown and unexpected worlds inside the heads and under the eyelids of others. (Free)(Transcript available for each episode)


Thirteen Fragments – National Theatre of Scotland  An artistic response to the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Post Covid-19 Futures Commission addressing how Scotland can emerge from the pandemic as a more equitable society. Rooted in the experience of the last year as a woman of colour, this intimate digital artwork brings artforms together to explore the meaning of female resilience in Scotland today. (Free)(Captioned Performance)(Audio Described Performance)


Sundown Stories – Capital Theatres Sundown Stories is a series of short stories adapted for film for anyone who might enjoy a calming and relaxing story. The stories, written by and for persons living with dementia, are delivered in a calming environment, a gentle pace and soothing tone. (Free) (Captioned, some BSL, Dementia Friendly)


StageText Listings of online captioned performances, talks and events from across the UK. (Free and Paid)(Captioned)


Vocal Eyes Provides listings of Audio Described online theatre performances and events accessible to blind and partially sighted people. (Free and Paid) (Audio Described)


Literature Listings
Online Guide to Scottish Poets – The Scottish Poetry Library Online A popular resource for lovers of poetry the world over (Free)


National Library of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)

Dance

Starstruck – Scottish Ballet One of the first choreographers to bring the ‘American style’ to Europe, the legendary Gene Kelly was invited to create an original work for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1960. His jazzy, joyful Pas de Dieux was highly acclaimed at the time as ‘a breath of fresh air’ but has been rarely performed since. It has now been given a new set of wings for its UK stage debut and world premiere on screen. (Paid)


SBTV – Scottish Ballet Online Trailers, tutorials, behind the scenes videos and short documentaries from Scottish Ballet. (Free)


Comedy Listings

The Stand on Demand Archive of performances from The Stand comedy club. (Paid)


Film Listings

Edinburgh Short Film Festival 10th Anniversary Online programmes of 10 Years Best Film, 10 Years Best Comedy & 10 Years Best Animation. (Online)


MUBI.com features hand-picked films to watch or download. From forgotten gems to festival-fresh cinema. From cult classics to award-winning masterpieces. Changes daily.   (Paid)


British Film Institute Rent the latest releases, subscribe to classics and explore the best from the BFI, national and regional archives. (Paid and free)


Virtual Tours

Weymss Caves, Scotland 4D tour online. (Free)


Edinburgh Landmarks Virtual Tours of Edinburgh’s buildings, attractions, view points and famous streets. Use the arrows to move around and explore. (Free)


Arts and Gallery

CCA Annex An online project space for interviews, films, essays, publications and performances from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts (Free)(Accessible website options) 


Ray Harryhausen:  Titan of Cinema virtual exhibition experience – National Galleries of Scotland The virtual experience includes five specially created films, images and texts from the exhibition, and archive films and objects from Ray Harryhausen’s life and work and 3D model videos. (Paid)


National Galleries of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)


Night Walk for Edinburgh – The Fruitmarket Gallery Following Janet Cardiff’s voice and walking in her footsteps, as you participate in Night Walk for Edinburgh you will be led through the backstreets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, unravelling a disjointed tale – part game-playing, part surrealistic poetry, perhaps even a murder mystery – layered with history, invention and memories. (Free)


2020: Stories, Portraits, Visions – Scottish National Portrait Gallery Online and in gallery, a display which offers visitors an opportunity to reflect on the events of this year and glimpse brief snapshots into other lives lived during this difficult and troubling time. (Free)


National Museums of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)


Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Sculpture Park described virtual tour. (Visual Impaired Accessible. Free)


Life Drawing

The ATYN online drawing club All are welcome to join from anywhere in the world. We can all sketch together, taking 2 hours to relax and create. (Paid)


Scottish History & Culture Listings

Scottish International Storytelling Festival We invite you to imagine something different, somewhere else, someone else. To look again at ourselves and at the world around us. A hybrid series of live and online events. (Online)(Captioned) 


 Scottish Storytelling Centre Online Events A selection of online events from the Scottish Storytelling Centre. (Online) 


Self-Guided Audio Walks Compiled by The University of Edinburgh a collection of walking routes and audio tours of Edinburgh, Scotland and beyond. (Free)  


The National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive (formerly the Scottish Screen Archive) has something for everyone. Explore around 100 years of Scotland’s history captured by amateur and professional filmmakers. (Free)


SCRAN Cultural heritage learning blog which offers digital access to over half a million photographs, moving images and sounds from museums, galleries, libraries, archives and the media. (Free)


Lost Edinburgh an online, interactive archive, allows its followers to share, discuss and learn from the city’s colourful past through like minded individuals and even the city’s own residents. (Free)


Historic Environment Scotland Explore the collections online – archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage. (Free)


Pastmap.org Dig deep into the history of places in Scotland and beyond to discover fascinating insights into hidden stories and histories of buildings, towns and cities. (Free)


Tobar an Dualchais contains a wealth of Gaelic and Scots recordings such as folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, traditions, stories and other information.  (Free)


Historic Environment Scotland Explore their object collection online. (Free)


School of Scottish Studies Archives Explore an online collection of traditional music from the Shetland Isles. (Free)


Please note: Artlink is not responsible for the content of external links, and some sites may require registration and/or payment to view content.

Room with a View

 

Artlink would love to see what you see outside your window.

Draw, paint, collage – or even photograph – the view from one of your windows (or doorway, or balcony etc) and send a photo of it to: glasshouses@artlinkedinburgh.co.uk.

We will not include people’s names, but by sending the images to us you are giving us permission to share these artworks online so that others can see the wonderful work produced. Please include a rough location so people can know the area the view is from.

 

Cherry Road - Colouring in Book

Cherry Road Colouring in Book

We’ve come up with a fun bit of art that you can do at home. We turned portraits of the staff at Cherry Road into a colouring book for one of the residents and want you to join in. Download the book here or the individual sheets below by right-clicking and saving to your computer – they’re A4 sized – and print them off at home if you can. If you look on the cover you’ll see loads of objects you can cut out and add to your picture if you want, or get creative with your own!

We want to see your wonderful creations; you can send us a picture via email here or tag us on Instagram @artlinkedin

Click on each image below to download each individual sheet, or right-click and save to your computer; they will download as pdfs and are sized at A4. You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Cherry Road Colouring in Book Download

Online Fun for Midlothian

Online Fun for Midlothian

(Click to jump to section)

Pop Concerts and Chats  |  Scottish Music  |  Quiz Nights  |  Animals  |  Dance Parties  |  Fun Random Stuff | Art Making  |  End of Day Wind Down | Hashtags to Explore

Helpful Hints:

  • If hyperlinks aren’t loading when clicked or are slow to load, copy and paste into internet browser’s address bar.
  • For USA live streams use The Time Zone Converter to convert times for UK

Pop Concerts and Chats

Quello – Free full-length concerts
From Coldplay, Madonna, Maroon 5, The Beatles, Alabama Shakes, Nirvana, The Lumineers, Hall & Oates, Coachella, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Buble, Damian Marley, Korn, Beck, Green Day, Slash, Megadeath, My Chemical Romance, A$AP Rocky, Alice Cooper, Iggy and the Stooges, Taylor Swift, Major Lazer.

Qello.com


Miley Cyrus: Bright Minded Live with Miley. Miley Cyrus’s daily chats with her famous friends. Watch on Facebook, Youtube & IGTV! Stay lit in dark times!


Christine and the Queens host a daily Insta session (10pm GMT). Parisian pop icon Christine is dealing with social distancing in the best possible way: by hosting a nightly live set from her home studio streamed for free via Instagram. Christine and the Queens (Requires Instagram account).


Madonna’s ‘Quarantine Diaries’ Videos involve her singing a version of her hit Vogue that is about eating fried fish, and sitting in a bathtub full of flower petals discussing how Covid-19 doesn’t care about “how rich you are”. It’s certainly compelling. Quarantine Diaries. (Requires Instagram account).


Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie has been streaming live concerts to make us all feel better about staying inside. Death Cab for Cutie Live.


Charli XCX
Pop star Charli XCX has been uploading “self-isolating livestreams” on Instagram. The first episode was an “emo chat” with Christine from Christine and the Queens, in which the two musicians discovered creativity, and Charli wore a ski mask. Then Charli and Diplo did an at-home workout routine together. A couple of days ago she streamed an art class with musician Clairo.


Continuously updated lists of live streamed musical performances and online concerts (click on link or copy and paste links into browser)

Timeout Live Streaming Concerts

Vulture Live Streaming Concerts

U Discover Music

Scottish Music

Edinburgh Ceilidh Club

At home ceilidhs and Scottish music from the Edinburgh Ceilidh Club.


#COVIDCeilidh

Hashtag to follow with hundreds of Scottish Trad musicians playing music from their homes. COVID Ceilidh.


Quiz Nights

Jimmy Carr – The Little Tiny Quiz of the Lockdown

Updated daily.


Goose’s Quizzes Edinburgh
Our team have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure you don’t have to go without your weekly pub quiz. We plan to do an online quiz every evening for the foreseeable future. Goose’s Quizzes.


The Big Fat Virtual Quiz Fundraiser (Saturday 25th April)
The Big Fat Quiz will be bringing family fun & entertainment right to the home. The quiz will be themed around many of the great TV shows, such as Friends, The Office, Breaking Bad, YOU, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, The Crown and many more. Are there prizes? Don’t you worry! We’ve got some awesome (and not-so-awesome) PRIZES to be won throughout the night so don’t you fear!  The event will be live streamed and you can take part with your phone, tablet or even a laptop, but please note it’s only one device per team. The Big Fat Virtual Quiz.

Zoo Live Streams:

Marwell Zoo in Hampshire features a video webcam of the flamingos and photo webcams of the lemurs, giraffes and penguins – with images updating every 30 seconds or so.


Edinburgh Zoo has a variety of webcams set up for virtual visitors to watch Yang Guang the panda, as well as penguins, tigers and koalas.


Dublin Zoo has a variety of cameras which capture the movements of the elephants, penguins, giraffes, zebras and rhinos.


Enter a Virtual Dog Show
Dog Furiendly is partnering with dog-related businesses across the UK to host Bark Aid, which will raise funds for charities that need support to cope with the virus.

Dance Parties

Every night at 19:00 GMT, BigKitchenDisco takes the edge off social distancing with some social disco dancing. Listen how you like.


You may be trapped indoors, but that doesn’t mean your social life has to suffer. Every Friday while the coronavirus crisis continues, Queer House Party will be streaming a party live from their living room to yours. Hosts Harry Gay, a seasoned DJ known for throwing DIY dance parties, and DJs Wacha and Passer will be spinning mixes of queer bops, throwback pop and techno clangers so you can dance, sing, chat and virtually party with like-minded queers across the world.


BoilerRoom.tv. Direct from artists’ homes and private spaces, these transmissions are a way to remain connected while apart.


One for the night owls – Virtually Nowadays  (Midnight-4am GMT ). One of the best indoor-outdoor clubs in the world, NYC’s Nowadays has closed for the time being but is streaming four-hour-long sets every night.


Art Making

Isolation Art School. Projects, lessons and tips by artists to help people get creative while housebound during the Covid19 crisis.


Artist Activity Packs (coming soon)
Art is where the home is will give you ideas about how to get creative at home. Anyone can have a go – there are no specialist materials required, plus it’s completely free to download. featuring contributions from UK artists including Annie Morris, Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Grayson Perry, Harold Offeh, Idris Kahn, Jeremy Deller, Michael Landy, Ryan Gander and Vanley Burke.

Fun Random Stuff

The Sofa Singers is a free and weekly online singing event from James Sills that brings hundreds of people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection.


Drag Aerobics in your living room with Dolly Trolley. Feeling that lactic acid build up from all those days working at your desk (or bedside table – everyone’s wfh now right)? Get moving with a little help from London cabaret star Dolly Trolley, who will be streaming a drag aerobics class on Instagram and Facebook Live every Wednesday at 7.30pm, straight from Dolly’s living room.


Bongo’s Bingo. The bingo night that combines the fun of Legs Eleven and Two Fat Ladies with intermittent dancing on tables and pub-quiz-style challenges – isn’t letting a lockdown stop the fun. The gang are streaming their bingo events live from their isolation bungalow with bingo, pub quizzes, music, prizes, live call-ins and audience dares thrown in. Players are encouraged to donate to the NHS during each show. Basically, it’s the live, unscripted escapism we’ve all been waiting for.


Your access to Cirque du Soleil content, all in one place. Circus footage, behind the scenes video, virtual reality, learn to paint your face like a performer and circus workout routines.


Science Experiment a Day. Glasgow Science Centre will be bringing a bit of science into your home every day at 10am to help keep everyone inspired in these challenging times. Including ‘Elephant’s toothpaste’ experiment and ‘Make your own lava lamp’.


Lucky Voice Karaoke (One Month Free). If you’re stuck in the house and looking for something to do, then maybe try turn cabin fever to disco fever. For a month’s free subscription to our online karaoke service, head to our online karaoke player and enter code LUCKY20.


HomeTasking from the TV show Taskmaster. Alex Horne here, the Taskmaster(s assistant), to make self isolating and social distancing slightly more bearable with #HomeTasking.


Musical Bingo Cribs is your BIG night IN IN! Gather around a laptop and experience the game like never before as we take things online for a virtual experience! Musical Bingo Cribs is bringing the – virtual – party to you over a night of tunes, challenges and bingo. Get on your glad rags, fix yourself a drink and get ready to dance, drink and lip-sync your way to victory as your hilarious hosts put you through your paces.  Played via Zoom this is your chance to turn your crib into the club and get jiggy with us from the comfort of your home. Musical Bingo: Turning Cribs to Clubs since 2020.


Pianist Led Virtual Sing-a-longs
Each evening, the talented pianists of this currently shuttered New York staple belt out favourite showtunes online. Head to Time Out New York for the weekly schedule and the Venmo address of each player.


Cards Against Humanity
With people searching for ways to stay connected with friends and get some entertainment, a host of new experiences have popped up, one of which is a virtual game of Cards Against Humanity. The online version enables you to come up with just as many dark and hilarious card pairings and watch as your friends do the same. May contain language and content that is not appropriate for all users.


AGENT VENTURE – Online Immersive Game 4-5 Players (paid £5)
EVER WANTED TO BE PART OF A HEIST? Become a team of secret agents, and execute a daring heist from the comfort of your own home. With a live cast, and digital clues to guide you, all you need is a computer and phone to play online.


Magic Masterclass (paid – £9.99)
Learn magic from one of London’s top magicians, live from the comfort of your own home. Over the course of an hour, you will learn six sensational tricks to entertain friends and family, in a fun interactive experience. This class is aimed at the complete beginner. All you need to take part is a deck of playing cards, and some change from your wallet.

End of Day Wind Down

Online Jigsaws
Upload a photo to make your own customised online jigsaw or use a ready made one from the website.Jigsaw Explorer.


Bedtime Stories with Dolly Parton
Goodnight with Dolly. Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time.

Hashtags to Explore

Discover more culture, comedy and connections on Twitter using the following hashtags:

##MuseumFromHome
#ArtCanHelp
#VisitfromHome
#MuseumMomentOfZen
#TogetherAtHome
#DancersOfInstagram
#PlantsMakeMeHappy
#ViewFromMyWindow
#AtHomeWorkouts
#IsolationFilmClub
#IsolationCreation
#freedrawingschool
#CultureConnectsUs
#CreateToConnect
#CreativeQuarantine
#IsolationLife
#QuarantineAndChill
#MyPandemicSurvivalPlan

Discovery – finding meaningful activity through the senses

Discovery is a new project to design a digital resource for people with complex needs of any age to find activity to appeal to particular sensory interests. So many of the requests we receive are from parents or carers looking for personal, meaningful opportunities that allow people to connect with something that reflects who they are, and have freedom to enjoy that.

With the expertise of a software engineering team from JP Morgan’s Force for Good programme,  Artlink will create a unique directory to browse experiences from the perspective of people with particular sensory interests in Midlothian by collating knowledge suggested by parents and support teams. Working in collaboration with park rangers, community organisations and heritage facilities we will share opportunities with sensory appeal.

We aim to create a responsive web page (for phone, iPad or desktop) by Summer 2019 to allow parents or carers of people with profound and multiple learning disability to find specific experiences for those they care for.

Watch this short film – it does a better job of describing this project than words!

Discovery will to use unique local knowledge to share meaningful activity.

Where can I watch owls fly?

Where are there interesting places for someone who loves to listen? 

My daughter loves reflection – where can I find lots of mirrors?

I support someone who loves the movement of trains – where can we go? 

Supported by JP Morgan Chase, National Lottery Year of the Young Person and Midlothian Council

Lottery award celebrating young people with creative skills

Young Midlothian People with complex needs awarded Year of the Young Person National Lottery Funding.

 

£9800 from the National Lottery Year of the Young Person awards will celebrate the creative talents of young people with autism and complex needs. The project entitled Creative Directors, supported by Artlink Edinburgh, will offer one to one support for young people to direct their own community projects focused on their unique skills like acting, drumming, animation and even listening.

 

The funding will involve six amazing young people from Bilston, Penicuik, Gorebridge and Loanhead, whose untapped talents will be the focus of community activity to benefit other young people in Midlothian;

  • Lewis loves acting but there’s no local group that suited his needs and interests – he will set one up for him and his friends.
  • Jordan has recently showed huge ability for drumming and will organize a music concert for friends and family.
  • Chris has amazing listening skills but needs quiet spaces he can really tune into the sounds around him – he will work with community venues to involve him and many others with complex needs.

 

Artlink Midlothian Coordinator Kara Christine said “The project focuses on young people who have evident, but untapped talent because the youth groups or activities that exist locally aren’t always set up for people with anxieties or complex support needs. This project will put them in charge in contributing their skills to make a difference for others in Midlothian.”

Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Seona Reid, said “ This funding will help young people to make a positive change in their lives and I wish Artlink Edinburgh and Lothians every success as it works to improve young people’s health and wellbeing in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Young People.”

Scott vs Demons

COMIC LAUNCH & EXHIBITION

As part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, Artlink launches Scott vs Demons, a comic which takes a satirical look at the bureaucratic mistreatment of vulnerable people with chronic ill health and disabilities.

The comic takes as its starting point the experience of Scott Davidson, a young man with autism, and goes on a flight of fantasy where we get to experience the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) assessment process for the ridiculous farce it is.

On show at Artlink will be the original artwork for the comic and an opportunity to meet with some of the people behind the comic and talk with them about the ideas behind its creation.

Exhibition Venue: Artlink, 13a Spittal street, Edinburgh, EH3 9DY

Comic signing with Alan Grant & Scott Davidson: Friday 25th August, 9.30am- 5pm

Exhibition of Original Artwork: Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August,  9.30am – 5pm

Where to buy your copy:  At Artlink, Blackwells Books, Deadhead Comics and other retailers or buy it online by clicking here.

Support Us

descriptive Jupiter Artland (2)

It is a quick and easy way to support our Arts Access service which provides opportunities for  disabled people to enjoy the arts. A relatively small donation can make a big difference!

£5 pays for return transport.

£10 helps towards a theatre ticket.

Thank you!

For more information about Gift Aid and the Small Print look here.

Priceless

Read about the imaginative projects we’ve been creating in Midlothian. Small businesses and individuals have given their time, their skills and their creative spirit to this venture. And what they receive in return is priceless…

Drift

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

But by Anne Donovan

Artlink’s first foray into fiction. Anne Donovan created a beautiful short story in collaboration with carers about their experiences of a care system which does not necessarily offer the support they require.

Utopia

Utopia

What would happen if we took time to learn from a person with profound learning disabilities or complex needs and if we found more imaginative ways of interpreting the subtle ways they try to communicate with us? In this magazine you will encounter the beginning of a new way forward.

This publication is also available in Braille, Tape and Large print formats.
Please contact us for your copy.

The Makers in 2021 Part 1 - Theatre and Dance

The Makers are group of like-minded creatives with and without learning disability.  The Makers  involves a wide variety of creative workshops inspired by creative interests. It’s about working with others to learn something new, develop a skill, make something, or make something happen together and to have a whole heap of fun at the same time.

During 2021 The Makers have kept connected and creative with online sessions and joyful in person workshops when restrictions eased. Over the next six weeks we’ll be bringing you a series of three updates about what they’ve been up to.

Theatre for the Fabulous with Suzi Morrice & Keith McNeil

Theatre for The Fabulous came about because one of the Makers, Keith McNeill, and other Makers are passionate about acting and drama. Keith likes to make people laugh, he’s a showman and naturally puts people at ease. He loves drama and wants to develop his own skills whilst helping others to enhance their acting skills. He has been working in collaboration drama professional Suzi Morrice to learn and develop the skills to co-facilitate a series of Zoom and in person drama workshops with The Makers. Keith & Suzi brain storm workshop ideas together, and support each other to run the sessions. Theatre for The Fabulous workshops have involved improvisation, drama games, creating monologues and making people laugh. When restrictions lifted this year Suzi & Keith were able to bring the whole group together for the first time for a series of in person drama workshops at The Steading in Rosewell. We’re hoping with the help of additional funding that this can become a more regular workshop.

“Totally buzzing after the workshops, loved it”
Keith McNeill

Dance with indepen-dance
Cheryl, Sophie, Morvern, Ben, Leanne, Emma, Marc, Amanda, Sam, David, Nicola, Audrey and Michaela love to dance. When lockdown hit we all stopped moving as much, and were stuck at home most of the time so we asked dancers Wils & Aimee from Glasgow based Indepen-dance to help get us moving again on Zoom. We posted out a series of dance props to everyone. It was so sort after we added more dates, then more after that, people didn’t want it to end so it happened every Monday morning at 11am to see us through the darkest days of lockdown from January – April 2021.  Last month, we eventually all met up in person in Dalkeith Country park for a really amazing socially distanced boogie to the beats together in the park with Wils & Aimme.

“Loved it, Monday mornings were great, Wils is very funny, he makes us laugh as well as dance!”
Morvern Robb

“Dancing in the park was amazing”
Robert Kocaba

Due to the popularity of these dance workshops we’re working in collaboration with more local Dalkeith based KIC Dance to offer more in person dance workshops over the autumn.

Next up: The Makers in 2021 Part 2 – Music Making 

Arts Access Post Lockdown Vintage Club

Arts Access was very excited last month to host our first Vintage Club outing since March 2020.

With restrictions in Scotland lifting, Arts Access was keen to invite our Vintage Club members to an outdoor event which did not feel too crowded or busy, but which fulfilled the aims of a successful Vintage Club event – a chance to socialise while doing something new.

We decided to team up with Lissa from Joy Rides Edinburgh to offer Vintage Clubbers a trip round the Meadows on Betsy – a customised electric trishaw which takes two passengers. We had worked with Lissa to offer individual outings during the summer, and these had gone so well we wanted more people to have the chance to enjoy a stylish breath of fresh air.

Members of the Vintage Club were invited to book a time slot to take part in the day, and all eight spaces quickly booked up – lots of pedalling for Lissa!

We used Soderberg Pavilion Café on the Quartermile as our base, and offered cake and coffee to the members and the volunteers who brought them. It was brilliant to see volunteers in action again, and to meet up with people face to face.

The day was a great success, and sun even came out for us!

We’re gradually opening up, and offering more bookings and outings to Arts Access members, as well as more volunteering opportunities. Email us for more information.

 

Arts Access During Covid-19 2020

Client and Storyteller Socially Distanced in Garden

Artlink’s Arts Access service has been running for over 35 years, helping people who need support to go out to arts events with a volunteer driver/companion.

The great thing about Arts Access is its variety and flexibility. Our 200 clients range in age from their early 20s to over 100. People live in many different situations, some with families, some alone, others in supported accommodation, care homes, and hospitals. Over 100 volunteers come from all walks of life, from artists and archaeologists to physiotherapists, doctors and IT specialists. What unites us all is our love of going out together, and enjoying all kinds of arts events, including live performances, cultural talks, musicals, exhibitions, concerts and films.

The Covid-19 crisis has been difficult for Arts Access. Theatres and venues have been closed, and performances have been cancelled and rescheduled far into 2021. Many of our clients are shielding or have health conditions which make them particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, and others require physical support – perhaps an arm for guiding or balance – which social distancing guidelines prohibits. While online cultural content has blossomed, many of the people we work with don’t have internet access.

Working with the Scottish Storytelling Centre this summer, we arranged socially distanced storytelling.

Client and Storyteller Close Up

Storytellers were matched to people based on their interests and experiences, and we travelled to Sweden and Kenya while dodging the drizzle in our Edinburgh gardens. Being together and having this face to face contact was so cheering and positive, that we are planning to offer more of these sessions during the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in October.

Volunteers have been staying in touch with our clients with regular phone calls, maintaining relationships which have been nurtured over the years. We want to try to harness this resource of goodwill and communication, and plan to gather stories about past outings, and what Arts Access means to people. We hope that collating these stories will highlight the importance and longevity of the project, and help us to feel optimistic about what the future will bring.

Arts Access Online Arts and Culture (Festival Edition)

Art Festival | Book Festival | Fringe | International Festival | Festival Carnival | Opera and Classical Music | Theatre  |  Literature  |  Dance  |  Comedy  |  Film  |  Arts and Culture Virtual Tours  |  Scottish Art Gallery and Museum Tours  |  Life Drawing  |  Scottish History and Culture  
 

Edinburgh Art Festival – Rotten TV a digital residency and broadcasting studio for artists and thinkers from Indonesia, Brazil and the UK, rethinking perceptions of life, death and ecosystem renewal. Six episodes will be broadcast throughout 2021, culminating in a broadcast to coincide with the COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow, November 2021. (Online)


Edinburgh Art Festival – Camara Taylor: holus bolus , is inspired by the tellings and re-tellings of the life and death of William Davidson (1781 – 1820). Conspirator, radical or wrongfully convicted, Davidson was the son of a Scotsman, the Attorney General of Jamaica, and a black woman.  Taylor works with and against court transcripts, rumour, anecdote and regency era records and ephemera; questioning what these can tell us about Black presence – or even a single figure. (Online)


Edinburgh Art Festival – Chizu Anucha: Slump, subside and other farewells an audio work and video documentation of a live performance combining archive materials and original music. The piece will build a collective imagination of a utopian future by tuning into the temporal resonances of the many black abolitionists that visited Edinburgh in the 19th century. (Online)


Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh Book Festival – BSL Events A variety of online BSL interpreted events from across the Book Festival (BSL)(Online)


Edinburgh Book Festival – Captioned Events A variety of online captioned events from across the Book Festival (Captioned)(Online)


Edinburgh Book Festival – Learning Disability Friendly Events  A variety of online learning disability friendly events from across the Book Festival (Learning Disability Friendly)(Online)


Edinburgh Book Festival – Online Events A variety of online events from across the Book Festival (Online)


Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Edinburgh Fringe – Online Events A variety of online events from across the Fringe (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Ariadne auf Naxos Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in a filmed concert performance of Richard Strauss’ comedy Ariadne auf Naxos. It’s the party to end all parties. But two entertainments have been double-booked to mark the evening’s climax – a serious opera and a slapstick comedy. The star soprano is throwing a tantrum and the staff are hiding the chaos from the boss. There’s only one solution: perform both shows at the same time. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Chineke! Orchestra & William Eddins The Chineke! Orchestra joins dynamic mezzo soprano Andrea Baker in a filmed performance of the trailblazing song cycle woman.life.song, featuring influences of pop, blues and jazz. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Chotto Xenos Choreographer Akram Khan and director Sue Buckmaster take young audiences back in time to explore how war begins and how it ends. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Dancing in the Streets: Alice Ripoll Rio de Janeiro-based choreographer Alice Ripoll’s celebratory film about the lives of her company’s dancers. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Dancing in the Streets: Janice Parker Choreographer Janice Parker’s reflective filmic series Small Acts of Hope and Lament, shot in Edinburgh on her iPhone 6. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Dancing in the Streets: Omar Rajeh Beirut-based choreographer and dancer Omar Rajeh’s film presents a micro to macro view of his home city. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Lament for Sheku Bayoh Writer and Director Hannah Lavery leads an artistic yet grief-filled response to the 2015 death in Scottish police custody of Sheku Bayoh. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Malcolm Martineau & Friends Distinguished pianist Malcolm Martineau and a gathering of musical friends in a filmed concert of songs based on the poetry of Sir Walter Scott. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – Talisk Combining concertina, fiddle and guitar, the fiery Talisk trio are filmed giving a typically fast-paced and genre-bending performance. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – The Soldier’s Tale A darkly humorous musical storytelling filmed performance combining dance, theatre and International Festival resident artist Nicola Benedetti’s superb violin playing. (Online)


Edinburgh International Festival Theatre at Home – You Bury Me From writer Ahlam and director Katie Posner, this film presents the award-winning You Bury Me as a poignant snapshot of post-Arab-Spring Cairo. (Online)


Edinburgh Festival Carnival

Edinburgh Festival Carnival Highlights from the three-day celebration with a vibrant mix of performances all free and brought to you on Youtube. (Online)


Opera and Classical Music Listings

Breath Cycle – Scottish Opera For people with breathing difficulties and those recovering from COVID-19. Singing is a fun and creative way to improve your health and wellbeing – no experience necessary! The benefits of singing regularly are widely recognised, from improved lung function and circulation to a strengthened immune system, improved posture, and better breath control – it can even provide relief from stress and anxiety.


SCO – Musical Postcards This summer as we can’t get on the road quite yet, we will be sending out a series of musical postcards from our players to you. Coming to you from iconic locations across Scotland, as well as favourite Summer Tour venues, join us for musical moments every Friday at 1pm. (Online)


Scottish Opera: On Screen A growing collection of Scottish Opera films, including brand new commissions from contemporary music makers, re-workings of much-loved favourites and staged concert performances. Created exclusively to be experienced on-screen. (Free) (Captioned and audio described performances available)


Digital Season RSNO Spring/Summer 2021 Over the coming months you can enjoy nine spectacular orchestral and chamber concerts, filmed live for you in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the RSNO’s Studio, with COVID-19 secure measures in place. (Paid)


Friday Night Club – RSNO Archive Concerts 15 free online concerts from our archives, featuring beloved music performed by world-class musicians. (Free)


Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Watch at Home 11 concerts filmed at a variety of locations across Scotland and broadcast online. (Free)


Theatre Listings

The Dream Frequencies – Traverse (Audio Play) Journey with MJ and his contributors from dusk until dawn – from the unsettling to the bizarre to the soothing and back again – in this immersive audio theatre experience which transports listeners into the unknown and unexpected worlds inside the heads and under the eyelids of others. (Free)


When The Sun Meets The Sky – Traverse (Audio Play) Set in iconic Edinburgh locations – from summertime in the Meadows after the war, to a Beatles gig in the ABC on Lothian Road, Christmastime on the Mound in the 80s and ending up in the Port O’Leith after the turn of the millennium, When The Sun Leaves The Sky tracks Maggie through the decades as she discovers herself, her city and tries to get to the bottom of a mystery that’s eluded her since childhood. (Free)(Dementia Friendly)(Large Print, CD & DVD versions available)(Sensory Box)


The Coming Back Ball – National Theatre of Scotland A glorious celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, and intersex elders. Your hosts for this digital event will be Karen Dunbar and Jamie Rea. The Ball will feature performances from Scottish icon and long-time project supporter Horse, the sensational performance poet Dean Atta, a contribution from Maggie Kinloch and the legendary Jo Clifford will perform a new piece inspired by the project. Look forward to music, dancing and the chance to chat with fellow Ball attendees via your zoom table. (Pay what you wish) (Audio described) (Captioned)


Dear Deelight – National Theatre of Scotland The brand-new drag-ony aunt phenomenon doling out sage advice and sassy quips. Dreary dates, bad boyfriends and rocky relationships – the Real Housewife of Leith has all the answers. (Free)


Sundown Stories – Capital Theatres Sundown Stories is a series of short stories adapted for film for anyone who might enjoy a calming and relaxing story. The stories, written by and for persons living with dementia, are delivered in a calming environment, a gentle pace and soothing tone. (Free) (Captioned, some BSL, Dementia Friendly)


StageText Listings of online captioned performances, talks and events from across the UK. (Free and Paid)(Captioned)


Vocal Eyes Provides listings of Audio Described online theatre performances and events accessible to blind and partially sighted people. (Free and Paid) (Audio Described)


Literature Listings
Online Guide to Scottish Poets – The Scottish Poetry Library Online A popular resource for lovers of poetry the world over (Free)


National Library of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)

Dance Listings

Dark Full Ride – Scottish Ballet Set to a cacophony of music recorded by four drummers, Dark Full Ride mirrors interweaving percussive sounds with movement. This film follows four dancers as they explosively intertwine and interact on a dark and empty stage, reflecting the labyrinth of sound and changing tempos created by the drums. (Membership required – Free to sign up)


Dive – Scottish Ballet Scottish Ballet’s Choreographer in Residence Sophie Laplane partners with James Bonas (The Crucible) and film director Oscar Sansom to create Dive, a short film inspired by French artist Yves Klein and what has become the world’s most famous shade of blue. (Membership required – Free to sign up)


Odyssey – Scottish Ballet Choreographed by Scottish Ballet Soloist Nicholas Shoesmith (Catalyst, The Fates) and directed by Ciaran Lyons, this high-octane short film takes viewers on a journey through a game-like landscape inhabited by otherworldly beings, where the real and virtual collide. (Membership required – Free to sign up)


SBTV – Scottish Ballet Online Trailers, tutorials, behind the scenes videos and short documentaries from Scottish Ballet. (Free)


Comedy Listings

The Stand on Demand Archive of performances from The Stand comedy club. (Paid)


Film Listings

MUBI.com features hand-picked films to watch or download. From forgotten gems to festival-fresh cinema. From cult classics to award-winning masterpieces. Changes daily.   (Paid)


British Film Institute Rent the latest releases, subscribe to classics and explore the best from the BFI, national and regional archives. (Paid and free)


Virtual Tours

Weymss Caves, Scotland 4D tour online. (Free)


Edinburgh Landmarks Virtual Tours of Edinburgh’s buildings, attractions, view points and famous streets. Use the arrows to move around and explore. (Free)


Arts and Gallery

CCA Annex An online project space for interviews, films, essays, publications and performances from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts (Free)(Accessible website options) 


Ray Harryhausen:  Titan of Cinema virtual exhibition experience – National Galleries of Scotland The virtual experience includes five specially created films, images and texts from the exhibition, and archive films and objects from Ray Harryhausen’s life and work and 3D model videos. (Paid)


National Galleries of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)


Night Walk for Edinburgh – The Fruitmarket Gallery Following Janet Cardiff’s voice and walking in her footsteps, as you participate in Night Walk for Edinburgh you will be led through the backstreets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, unravelling a disjointed tale – part game-playing, part surrealistic poetry, perhaps even a murder mystery – layered with history, invention and memories. (Free)


2020: Stories, Portraits, Visions – Scottish National Portrait Gallery Online and in gallery, a display which offers visitors an opportunity to reflect on the events of this year and glimpse brief snapshots into other lives lived during this difficult and troubling time. (Free)


National Museums of Scotland Explore the collections online. (Free)


Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Sculpture Park described virtual tour. (Visual Impaired Accessible. Free)


Life Drawing

The ATYN online drawing club All are welcome to join from anywhere in the world. We can all sketch together, taking 2 hours to relax and create. (Paid)


Scottish History & Culture Listings

Scottish Storytelling Centre Online Events A selection of online events from the Scottish Storytelling Centre. (Online) 


Self-Guided Audio Walks Compiled by The University of Edinburgh a collection of walking routes and audio tours of Edinburgh, Scotland and beyond. (Free)  


The National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive (formerly the Scottish Screen Archive) has something for everyone. Explore around 100 years of Scotland’s history captured by amateur and professional filmmakers. (Free)


SCRAN Cultural heritage learning blog which offers digital access to over half a million photographs, moving images and sounds from museums, galleries, libraries, archives and the media. (Free)


Lost Edinburgh an online, interactive archive, allows its followers to share, discuss and learn from the city’s colourful past through like minded individuals and even the city’s own residents. (Free)


Historic Environment Scotland Explore the collections online – archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage. (Free)


Pastmap.org Dig deep into the history of places in Scotland and beyond to discover fascinating insights into hidden stories and histories of buildings, towns and cities. (Free)


Tobar an Dualchais contains a wealth of Gaelic and Scots recordings such as folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, traditions, stories and other information.  (Free)


Historic Environment Scotland Explore their object collection online. (Free)


School of Scottish Studies Archives Explore an online collection of traditional music from the Shetland Isles. (Free)


Please note: Artlink is not responsible for the content of external links, and some sites may require registration and/or payment to view content.

MARC MY WORDS

MARC MY WORDS is a magazine produced during lockdown by KMAdotcom and The Makers member Marc Smith. A prolific artist and wordsmith, MARC MY WORDS showcases Marc’s diverse skillset encompassing poetry, line drawing, collage and word art, inviting you to explore his ideas and share your own.

“Tell me about yourself, let me understand what you are on about – people see each other and they go one way. Understand different people but don’t take it to the end.”

A shared interest in ideas and collaboration led to Tate Curator Linsey Young getting in touch with Marc to find out more about his work and the work of KMAdotcom. Marc, Linsey and KMA artist Laura Aldridge met up over Zoom during lockdown to discuss his practice. Read the conversation and keep up with Marc’s work on his website.

“Believe in your self. Take me to the top. Always find something to do.”

I MISS A DANCE

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In March 2020 Artlink was asked by Mental Health Day Services in West Lothian to provide art sessions at Pentland Court, St John’s Hospital in Livingston as a part of the response to the emerging pandemic. Here adults with enduring mental ill health receive rehabilitation support in preparation for their return to community living. Being resident in hospital during these times can be incredibly isolating, mundane and does little to encourage an individual to think ahead with positivity. So, it was important for us to create an arts input that encouraged forward thinking and planning towards a time when there could be a positive and active involvement in our communities.

We mostly work in a small, adapted studio space in Pentland Court so that we can work in a socially distanced and Covid safe way. Whenever the easing of restrictions allowed, we have also made use of the well-equipped ceramics and arts studio at the nearby Howden Park Centre. We have been exploring ways that conversations about experiences during current Covid times can be visualised. The time together offers us an opportunity to look at different ways in which we can develop our ideas that reflect our shared interests and passions and think about how this work might be adapted for more public situations.

‘I Miss a Dance’ is inspired by conversations between Sharon and artist Francesca during the studio sessions. Both love music, dancing, and socialising. Their collaborative work is inspired by the things they miss. With the same energy and creativity they have shown in developing the work, they are now planning to create a series of props and backdrops for community and creative events at Howden Park Centre in the year ahead.

Continuity and the opportunity to get back involved in our studio workshops have been important over the past year. Stuart has been an ever-present creative force within our Sanctuary project at Boghall since 2015. When Stuart became unwell in 2020 he had to stay at Pentland Court for a short period. During this short time of ill health Stuart continued to explore his interest in poster making and screenprinting and when he returned home he continued this work at our studio sessions at Boghall.

We look forward to sharing the creative energy and experiences of the many people involved at Pentland Court and our other Leylines projects with others in our communities when the time comes.

 

Spring 2021 Online Cultural Activities

Edinburgh and Glasgow Urban Maps
Frozen Theatre
Frozen Light’s 2065: The Multi-Sensory Movie
2065 follows a group of rebels living outside the system. Join Frozen Light’s Archivist-Rebel in Residence as they guide you through what life was like in 2065.  
Order a movie ticket and you will also receive a sensory box in the form of a Rebel Pack by post. This box will be full of the smells, tastes and textures of 2065. The Rebel Pack is accompanied by a movie link to watch as you explore your sensory items. 


Edinburgh and Glasgow Urban Maps

The maps show Edinburgh and Glasgow as a cities of nature, bringing green and blue spaces to the fore – the parks, woodlands, playing fields, nature reserves, rivers, and coastline. It incorporates symbols marking places to walk and cycle, take in views, and geodiversity sites. It shows open space rather than roads and buildings. The maps aim to stimulate us to see the city differently: to think more deeply about the cities as a places, and our place in them. It’s a resource to encourage more awareness and more action for people and nature. 2,000 free maps for schools, health settings, youth and community groups in each city were created and printed.


Pyramid Open Show

Article (audio version available if you’d prefer to listen) 
Themed around creative responses to a unique sensory call out of the colour orange, the sound of pink noise, and the word ‘ouch!’ Gill Crawshaw takes a look at an innovative curation process developed by the Leeds-based arts collective Pyramid.


Irregular Art Schools
Irregular Art Schools – A Research Project Exploring Professional Development Opportunities for Learning Disabled Artists
It will co-develop and pilot different professional development opportunities with learning disabled artists from Pyramid, testing how existing structures such as artist-led spaces, universities, publishing and social care can better serve learning disabled individuals.


Touch as Narrative
DYSPLA are currently in development of an Intimate XR (Extended Reality) Installation which explores touch as an artistic pursuit, from the perspective of a neurodivergent woman, specifically exhibiting traits of High-Sensitivity and Tactile Synesthesia. As part of Living Record Festival 2021, using ASMR & binaural techniques. DYSPLA is a Dyslexic and Neurodivergent arts collective based in London. 
Touch:

Post touch-workshop recorded discussions:


My Heritage
Animate the faces in your family photos with amazing technology. Experience your family history like never before.


BBC Soundscapes
This collaboration brings virtual soundscapes of music and nature directly to audiences with Radio 3, 6 Music, BBC Sounds, BBC Two’s Winterwatch, the interactive BBC Sound Effects Archive and an innovative scientific experiment.


2020 A YEAR TO REMEMBER

Storytelling for Arts Access

What seemed to start off as just another year, with a nice bit of symmetry in its numbers, became a year which we will not easily forget. The pandemic has been tough for a lot of people and highlighted inequalities that many face every day. It brought into focus that, what might have been strange for many of us, was the everyday norm for others. What we learned though is that our collective imagination, our capacity to adapt and our ability to make something out of nothing remains undimmed.

It has been amazing to witness the collaborative effort in communities and it makes us feel hopeful that this can be built on and that the future holds real positive potential. Artlink artists and staff responded to the pandemic with passion, showing amazing commitment, incredible generosity, and fantastic imagination. They rarely felt overwhelmed, worked collaboratively, brought a new energy to often complex situations, and showed what was possible.

It has been a challenging year. A year where we have learned a lot and can be inspired by what we achieved.


Thursday Live!
Thursday Live! is a programme of performances curated by Artlink in collaboration with Cherry Road Day Centre, Bonnyrigg. Before lockdown, every Thursday a different entertainer would visit the centre and perform in front of an audience of staff and visitors. When visits to the centre were not possible, Thursday Live! went online. Performers filmed themselves at home, and videos were streamed to Artlink TV. More recently we have been performing in people’s gardens, tailoring each perfomance to the interests of the people.

A Frame is Not a State of Mind
Chris McAdam worked with Artlink’s Patrick O’Growney and artist James McLardy during lockdown. He spoke to James about the work they did together: “When lockdown started Paddy was trying to think about ways to keep in touch and creative even though we could not get out. Paddy had sent me a link to a video which James had shot from his window. When I watched the video, it made me want to give it a go. But most importantly I wanted to stay in touch. During the week I was making videos and sharing them through WhatsApp.” The result was amazing! View it here.

Arts Access at the Storytelling Festival
Working with the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Arts Access arranged socially distanced storytelling. Storytellers were matched to people based on their interests and experiences, and we travelled to Sweden and Kenya while dodging the summer drizzle in our Edinburgh gardens. The feedback was fantastic.

“A wonderful, magical experience. The experience brought a little bit of cultural magic into my otherwise non descriptive life.”

Collective Matter x KMADotcom

worked together to create a new collection, celebrating the shared energy and commitment to nurturing individual and collaborative creativity found within the KMAdotcom artist studio. In the studio, artists produce artwork together inspired by their diverse interests and practices. Collective Matter is the result of the group working together and drawing inspiration from trips to Collective’s site and regular studio visits.

Crafting with Joan
Joan is a long-time friend of the Artlink Hospital Arts programme and had been attending the workshops at the Glasshouses for many years. For anyone who knows Joan, they will know that lockdown was not going to put a stop to her creativity. Joan created this series of fun ‘Crafting with Joan’ cards: Swan | Ladybird | Frog | Dragonfly | Bee; they contain all the instructions you need to craft your own creatures. What a busy bee!

THURSDAY LIVE

Before lockdown every Thursday, a different entertainer would visit Cherry Road Day Centre, Bonnyrigg and perform in front of an audience of staff and visitors. Thursday Live! is curated by Artlink, putting the interests of the people who use the day centre first. Acts which encourage participation are especially popular – dancing is encouraged!

When visits to the centre were not possible, Thursday Live! went online. Performers filmed themselves at home, and videos were streamed to Artlink TV on YouTube , so that anyone could watch them on their phone or home computer. Local artists familiar to Thursday Live! regulars were able to tailor performances to an audience who they knew well – Annabel Sings ran karaoke sessions; cabaret singer and musical saw player Markee de Saw and clarsach player Siannie Moodie’s performances were particularly enjoyed by one day centre regular, who was able to watch recordings of their videos multiple times. The online performances built on the existing relationships and experiences that have been nurtured over the years.

As lockdown was lifted, socially distanced live performances were introduced, both in the homes and gardens of day centre visitors, and back at Cherry Road. The brilliant Edward Reid visited the centre, singing through windows, and moving through different areas of the building to perform to individuals. Markee De Saw played a set especially for the person who had so enjoyed watching her performance online. Harpist and song writer Esther Swift performed in the back garden of a person who loves the soothing sounds of the harp. For other individuals who enjoy comedy slapstick, clown artist Cammy Sinclair and comedy dance duo Buff and Sheen popped up in back gardens to bring some much needed laughter and delight.

People and their support staff have been telling us that they’re not physically moving as much as they used to. So, over November we are collaborating with Indepen-dance hit squad dancer Wils McAslan to bring tailored movement, dance, energy and fun into people’s back gardens and outdoor settings. Wils has created individual prop bags and a series of dance and movement based ideas and inspiration for people to keep moving after he’s gone.

Being flexible and innovative with the premise of Thursday Live meant that we were able to sustain the connections between day centre visitors, performers, and staff, and facilitate intimate, bespoke events which had the excitement of a live performance. Although managing the changes forced by lockdown was difficult, there were positive developments which came out of learning to work differently. Using online performances meant that performers not local to Edinburgh, or even Scotland, could appear on Thursday Live – a puppet cabaret show, a magician, dancers, could all perform from their homes all over the world.

Contact between Artlink and wider households and support networks also increased, as carers and family members phoned staff to discuss the logistics of events, and clients phoned to give feedback. These relationships existed before lockdown, but were intensified as communication and contact became more vital to people. In future, will things go back to normal? The live, face to face connections and physical interactions will continue to be important in establishing and sustaining trust with the people we work with, but having the option of online contact has proved useful for collaboration and contact with multiple agencies.

A FRAME IS NOT A STATE OF MIND

             “I am proud of myself for making something unique through being creative during a challenging time. It is a time capsule that I created myself.”

Chris McAdam has been working with Artlink’s Paddy O’Growney and artist James McLardy over the last months. He spoke to James about the work they have been doing together since March.

“For the last few months I’ve been working on a film based on the sights and sound within the home.   When lockdown started Paddy was trying to think about ways to keep in touch and creative even though we could not get out. Paddy had sent me a link to a video which James had shot from his window. When I watched the video, it made me want to give it a go. But most importantly I wanted to stay in touch. At first, we spoke on the phone and then began to meet up on zoom every Thursday. During the week I was making videos and sharing them through WhatsApp. I was editing the videos myself using apps on my phone. James suggested I use the phone camera functions to make it more organic and natural for future editing.

I started to find things that I was interested in experimenting with, like shooting in black and white and playing around with sounds around the home. I started to find my own style. When we met up on zoom, we discussed the video clips and began messing with editing software, screen-shared on his computer. I sent him a clip from Midnight Cowboy, and we chatted about films we liked. 
Each time I started making a new video I began to think about how it could add something, and bring something different to my work. I started to experiment more with new ideas. This led to me looking at shadows, light, and reflection on objects in and around the house. 

I was thinking about old style film and how you can change how things look. It was at this point that we started editing a short film every week. Sometimes I doubted myself and I had to challenge myself to feel that what I was doing was worthwhile. Sharing the short films withive me the focus I needed to keep experimenting and challenging myself. I felt a sense of achievement. Because I had worked with James before lockdown I trusted that meeting up online would be fun. At the beginning we had a laugh messing around with shooting and editing videos. Once I had built up enough video material, I was able to begin to relax and talk more about the art. Working one to one has enabled us to discuss things that we would not normally have time to do. The quality one to one time was invaluable because it gave me a chance to work in my own environment. Working in my own house in this way has taken my mind off my anxieties. 

I am proud of myself for making something unique through being creative during a challenging time. It is a time capsule that I created myself. Lately I have been thinking about making films and using the editing equipment in different environments. This gives me a sense of hope. Obviously, I could not recreate what I have made during lockdown, but I would really like to use this experience to make new work.  I would love people to come across this work and be able to read the background of how it was made. I want it to encourage other people to challenge themselves to do something creative.”