Top 10 things to check out at Edinburgh Art Festival
David Bailey, Jack Nicholson, 1978

Edinburgh Art Festival is not short of competition for your attention, but it well and truly hold its own amidst all the other noise, with a strong programme of contemporary UK artists and performers alongside well-chosen international imports.

The EAF programme stretches from May to October, but August is where the whole thing comes alive with a number of the exhibitions, performances and venues getting involved throughout the month.

We’ve picked 10 stand-outs from this year’s programme, which you would be a big ol’ fool to ignore:

Lee Miller & Picasso

A truly inspiring friendship, American photographer Lee Miller met Pablo Picasso in 1937 and went on to take over a thousand photos of the iconic artist, who in turn painted her portrait six times before his death in 1973.

This exhibition looks to chronicle the pair’s long-standing friendship through Miller’s photography and Picasso’s artwork in a truly fascinating look into the world of one of the greatest figures in art.

May 23 – Sep 6: Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, EH2 1JD, more info

Phyllida Barlow: set

Phyllida Barlow, Installation view dock, Tate Britain, London,

The Fruitmarket’s spacious layout will be familiar to many Edinburgh natives – but sculptor Phyllida Barlow has attempted to play with the conventions with her giant installation pieces. Barlow uses basic materials such as plywood, cardboard, plastic and paper to build these all-encompassing structures that alter your perceptions of space.

Think you know the Fruitmarket? Think again.

Jun 27 – Oct 28: Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market St, EH1 1DF, more info

Bailey’s Stardust

David Bailey, Jack Nicholson, 1978

Picture: David Bailey

One of the world’s most renowned photographers, David Bailey’s many portraits of famous faces are instantly recognisable and always fascinating.

The Scottish National Gallery will be displaying over 300 portraits taken by Bailey in the largest exhibition of its kind ever to happen in the UK. If you’re looking for international pedigree in this year’s programme, then this is not to be missed.

Jul 18 – Oct 18: Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, EH2 2EL, more info


GARAGE, Edinburgh Art Festival

Emma Bowen

A venue space that often provides the highlights of the festival programme, GARAGE is an artist-run venue since 2006 with a definite DIY feel. Consisting of three gardens and a garage, GARAGE will be home to a number of exhibitions and live events every weekend in August. Highlights include a screening of Automorphosis – a look into the lives of people who turn their cars into mobile art pieces.

Jul 30 – Aug 30: Northumberland Street North West Lane, EH3 6JQ

Remote Centres: Performances from Outlandia


Luke Allan

The great outdoors comes to the city centre with Remote Centres. A structure based on the Outlandia Field Station, a remote tree house studio set amongst the woods of Glen Nevis will be brought to the Edinburgh College of Art. The Tent Gallery structure will play host to a number of performances and sound projects originally created within the Field Station setting including works from artists, musicians and Glen Nevis residents alike, in what will be a truly immersive experience.

Jul 30 – Aug 30: Evolution House, 78 Westport, EH1 2LE

Charles Avery, The People and Things of Onomatopoeia

Charles Avery, Detail of Untitled

The world that Charles Avery has created is something special. ‘The Islanders’ is the artist’s ongoing project since 2004, which attempts to depict a strange and wonderful island and its customs through huge paintings and sculpture works.

Sections of Avery’s work have been featured at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art before – but this exhibition will include a five-metre bronze tree sculpture growing from within Edinburgh Waverley Station.

Jul 30 – Sep 36: Ingleby Gallery, 15 Calton Road, EH8 8DL

The Number Shop

The Number Shop, Edinburgh


A new and exciting venue that only appeared on the art scene in the past year, The Number Shop is a renovated venue built from the remnants of an adult learning centre, which now plays host to interesting works from the resident artists.

The Number Shop will be a hub of activity throughout Edinburgh Art Festival with a programme of workshops, artist talks, Q&As and film screenings. All free to attend.

Aug 1-30: The Number Shop Studios & Gallery, 188-190 Pleasance, EH8 9RT

War on War Room

kennardphillipps, Here Comes Everybody (Paper money Study #1), 2015,

London-based kennardphillipps is an artist collaboration who use digital prints, newspapers and photography to touch on the themes of consumerism and surveillance. The duo will be displaying their exhibition Here Comes Everybody at the Stills Gallery – but also, interestingly, will be setting up a mini-workshop within Edinburgh’s St. James Centre shopping complex. The production space titled the War on War Room will be creating work which directly feed into their Stills gallery exhibition throughout the month.

Never doubt that Edinburgh Art Festival brings you the freshest ideas.

Aug 1-31: St. James Centre, 1 Leith Street, EH1 3SS

Festival Detours: Phill Jupitus

phill jupitus

It’s August in Edinburgh, you know you’re guaranteed to see Phill Jupitus at some point – but we’re pretty sure you weren’t expecting to see the goatee’d funny man amidst greenhouses and shrubbery.

Phill is taking part in the Festival Detour series, where intimate live shows with performers, poets and artists are held in Edinburgh’s leading cultural spaces. The comedian will be performing at the Royal Botanic Garden, which is well worth a visit any day, even when there’s less chance of al fresco comedy.

Aug 12: Royal Botanic Garden, Arboretum Place, EH3 5NZ

Art Late: Miaoux Miaoux

miaoux miaoux

The Art Late project looks to break the social norms and stuffiness surrounding art and bring it to the masses through club nights, gigs and film screenings. Glasgow-based electronic musician Miaoux Miaoux is set to headline the Art Late event, bringing his video-game sensibilities, arpeggios and offbeat synth sounds to a venue within the city.

Miaoux Miaoux interview: ‘Expect the arpeggiated death of the Universe’

Aug 20: to be confirmed

Images provided by Edinburgh Art Festival

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