Monthly Archives: August 2012

FESTIVAL… We spent a day touring three small galleries:

INGLEBY GALLERY- Ian Finlay Hamilton

FRUIT MARKET GALLERY-  Dieter Roth Diaries

STILLS – James Casebere, Home and Other Fictions

Enjoy the pictures.

The festival has come to an end for another year. We are happy to bid farewell to the 500,000 tourists who have been clogging our streets for the past weeks. Have a great year and see you in 2013.

WORK IS EXHAUSTING… Ben on his second Friday! I was not working, but got up with Ben and cycled with him for a coffee date at MILK, a simple little cafe near his office. 

Ben headed to the office and I headed to the swimming pool. 

CALLUM INNES… Known for his colour-blocked abstract paintings, amongst other work, Edinburgh based artist Callum Innes works for the very first time with light, this work floods the dark tunnel on Calton Road with colour to show the magnificent architecture of the Regent Bridge above.

The bridge was designed in 1814 by Archibald Elliot to create an entrance to Edinburgh where the London Road entered the New Town. It was completed in 1819 and solved the long-standing problem of entering the capital through narrow and inconvenient medieval streets.

Working with architect and lighting artist Gavin Fraser, Innes created a scheme that transforms the flat sides of the lower arch at street level into an illumination of colour. The work follows a brief to create a structured and yet deliberately random order of coloured light, the color has changed several times-emphasising the giant curve of the arch above. 

The Regent Bridge is commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival and Ingleby Gallery (which I have pictures from coming soon).

SPEED OF LIGHT

What do you get when you put Ben in a specially-designed light suit and tell him to RUN? A performance piece, Speed of Light which is part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Ben and a group of over 150 runners performed a choreographed routine for two hours.

I was a member of the walking audience the night Ben performed. We had a slow and steady climb to the highest point of Arthur’s Seat (the event was accessible to all fitness levels). We were guided by some excellent volunteers and with the help of a special staff with light section on the end.

It was a beautiful evening for the performance, warm and dry. Most people were walking in pairs and I found a fellow solitary walker- Frances. She was excellent company and knew Arthur’s Seat so well as she is an avid walker.

(The runners up close)

(Trying to get the exposure just right- 60 seconds is a long time to stay still)

(Ben- third blur from the right)

(Love the colours)

(Ben, is that you?)

Ben had an awesome experience, so awesome in fact he is going to be doing it all again this Wednesday. It is not the best activity to be going on a night you have to go to work. I did not get home until 1.00 and poor Ben was off the hill at 1.00 and home about 1.45.

WOJTEK (VOY-TECH) THE BEAR, A PLAY

GUEST POST! Ben wanted to share Festival Week fun with you!

The professor (Phd and everything) who runs the creative writing class I went to over the fall and through the winter and he also runs the script writing class I donate my reading talents to is a playwright.

This summer sees the production of his play ‘Wojtek the Bear’, the play is an onion of a show, many layers, may produce tears, but tastes great when cooked.

I offered my services training up the plays director, the company secretary and the playwright himself in the dark arts of Facebook in return for a choice networking introduction.  

I also got comp tickets to the limited run of the ‘directors cut’ version of the play at the Netherbow theatre during June. The theatre is below the Scottish Storytelling centre, which is itself attached to the John Knox house, and next to one of the oldest toll gates leading into old Edinburgh. An auspicious location that the bear was more than equal to.

The play takes us on a journey around war torn Europe in the company of a bear and his human-mother and eventually ending at the Edinburgh Zoo. I made myself familiar with the basics of the story, helped by Clare who used to do PR at the Edinburgh Zoo. Eating lit cigarettes, drinking beer, Polish soldiers jumping into the enclosure to wrestle with the Bear. All these things we got to experience form the point of view of the bear, just one of the remarkable achievements of this play.

Due to the success of its first run, it is showing at the Hill Street Theater during the festival. I was able to secure a couple of tickets for us. Buffy was not a huge fan of the shortened version. I can only imagine what she would have thought of the full-length work. We both agreed the acting was impressive and the man, playing the bear (thankfully, not in a furry suit), actually seemed bear-like.

We also saw the experience of Polish immigrants in Scotland after the war, a hint of the religious tensions and the eery humanity of the feet, feet with toes.  

LOVELY

(Photo courtesy of Edinburgh International Festival)

Ben was to be have an interview with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and we thought it would be beneficial to be on the ticket roster as fans of the SCO.

We had the pleasure of seeing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Usher Hall. The orchestra was joined by Angelika Kirchschlager, an Austrian mezzo soprano, who performed the six French poems by Théophile Gautier. It was beautiful, the instrumentals, the vocals, the theatre and the company. It was a great way to celebrate Ben’s first day of full-time work outside the home.

A NEW SIM-SPEC(TIVE)

The Edinburgh Art Festival is happening as I type. This is such a fab time of the year to live in Edinburgh. During the month of August there are loads of free workshops to join.

I was a bit late looking at the calendar of events, but I was lucky enough to find a photography workshop which ran last Saturday at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

It was run by the Contemporary Ary Exchange and Kate Martin, who has such an interesting background and visible passion for the arts and making them accessible to everyone. This was evident in the theme of the workshop- Photography Workshop for Sighted People. I am sighted so it was perfect, right?

Kate’s ‘photographers in residence’ and our workshop leaders were Rosita McKenzie and Andrew Follows who are visually impaired. Rosita is completely blind and Andrew is blind in one eye and suffers from tunnel vision in the other. Rosita and Andrew are working photographers and have an joint exhibition Through the Looking Glass, Dimly in Edinburgh at the moment.

Right from the start Kate, Rosita and Andrew made me feel very comfortable and explained that we would have the opportunity to experience what it was like for them as photographers.

We used sim-specs which replicate different visual impairments. The photos of the objects were taken while I was wearing the tunnel vision spectacles (reproduces a speck of vision in a void of darkness) and hazy vision (hazy vision with light scatter and glare and variable visual acuity). The amount of concentration to focus what little vision I had remaining on the objects was remarkable. I had a vague idea of Andrew must feel- of course, I could remove the sim-specs and review my work.

To add to the challenge, for the second session, I worked with Rosita outdoors. I was blindfolded and relied on Brian, whom I had only met that morning, to be my eyes and guide me around the yard of the ECW. Before we began, Rosita explained to us how we should lead a person with a visual impairment, you have to have trust in your leader, something which I had to develop quite quickly with Brian and vice versa. 

Through Brian’s descriptions of the location, I knew the areas I wanted to photograph and he carefully led me to where I needed to go. You have to rely even more heavily on touch to ensure you can get the good photo. Rosita also told us to use the sun and where it was hitting our faces to position ourselves when taking the picture- an excellent tip. 

You can just snap away and there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ picture.

What a fantastic experience. Now when I take photos without my sim-specs or blindfold, I try to incorporate some of the top tips from Andrew and Rosita.

FESTIVAL WEEK

Greetings!

Hope your weekend is going well. We are enjoying some wonderful sunshine and some unusual ‘heat’ and humidity- you should see my Southern Belle hair- very voluminous.  

To give you a preview, this week at Turning Over a New Leith it is going to be festival week. A fun way to see what we have been exploring and seeing during this period of cultural overload. Ahh, August!

See you on Monday.

B

WAITING… At the Waiting Place. #edinburghartfestival (Taken with Instagram)

Ben and I have been talking about taking a weekend trip to celebrate his being hired. Now that he has a job, but has not yet been paid, but we like to put the cart way before the horse. It was one of the reasons this marriage works so well.

We are looking for fun, easy and not too far. I have had the good fortune of visiting all but Prague, but I am leaning towards Rome (remember Roman Holiday)- the art, architecture and possible warm weather, if we go soon or Amsterdam. I have been once before, but the group I was with was a bit too interested in the coffee shops and not the seeing of the sights.

Any suggestions?

Thanks Ben for landing your dream job- let’s get out of here!

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