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Broken Palmyra

Broken Palmyra

Syria’s director general of antiquities sent me these photographs of broken statues at Palmyra, taken on his mobile phone after the site’s recapture from ISIS. Here is the link to my story on our interview at the Art Newspaper.  It leads off on anti-smuggling seizures but includes an update on the situation at Palmyra.   […]

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Edinburgh Fringe – The End is Nigh

Edinburgh Fringe – The End is Nigh

Sprinting for the Finish Sarah Richardson’s round-up, what to see  heading into the last weekend.. You’ve laughed, you’ve blubbed, and you’ve destroyed at least one half decent pair of shoes. But there are still a few days of the Fringe to go, so where should you direct your last remaining energy? Here, especially for those […]

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Van Gogh Find Yourself

Van Gogh Find Yourself

  I am taking my new best friend Vincent Van Gogh to the gala for mental health at the Pleasance tonight.    We met on the mile in the first week of the Fringe. Please note:  This is a post from the 2016 Festival.   His show Van Gogh Find Yourself is at the Natural Food […]

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First Week on the Festival

First Week on the Festival

Written in haste, a quick run-down of what I’ve seen and liked in the 2016 Edinburgh festival thus far. With some shades of the film Source Code, Stop the Train is a grown-ups’ musical,  sexy and sophisticated in issues and attitudes.   Its sharp, singable and selling out.  The action starts when an old and eccentrically white male threatens lives on an […]

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Shocked – 2016 Fringe

Shocked – 2016 Fringe

In the front row of an intimate Fringe venue on Saturday night audience a young woman kept turning around to look at me,  and others  behind her,  with her eyes open wide, her expression clearly asking – what is going on here?  How am I meant to react?  What am I watching? In show I witnessed in my […]

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Art Festival Fringe contd

Art Festival Fringe contd

Scotland’s oldest private art gallery says it may seek a festival listing next year – in the Fringe programme. The Scottish Gallery is one of three major  galleries on Dundas Street, centre of Edinburgh’s art trade, that are out of the Edinburgh Art Festival this year.   The Fine Art Society is another grand dame of the Scottish trade, […]

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Art Festival Fringe

Art Festival Fringe

Call it ‘beyond the art festival’, or the Edinburgh Art Festival Fringe. Within Edinburgh, there are several  private galleries with significant exhibitions, particularly for the collector in various budget ranges,   that  are not in the line-up of this year’s festival. Outwith the city, there are also several promising shows, perhaps for mid-August, when you need a […]

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Folk Art – Findhorn Sandcastles

Folk Art – Findhorn Sandcastles

I choose to regard the Findhorn Week sandcastle competition as an expression of creative art.   The Starfish won out with the late addition of a seaweed trim,  though there was also a strong case for the Unicorn’s pre-Raphaelite naivety. The works were a temporary installation.  The tide had taken them by the afternoon. Findhorn Week is run […]

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ReUnion

ReUnion

Union Gallery – Reunion When Alison Auldjo began converting a former charity shop into the second incarnation of the Union Gallery, removing a lowered ceiling and turning a pokey back storage room into a well-lit stairwell, she knew exactly the picture she wanted in the space. It was Phil Braham’s Ophelia Bathing, a painting she had […]

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Surreal Encounters:  Collecting the Marvellous at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Technically speaking, Surreal Encounters is what I’d call a stunner.    In particular the middle room on the ground floor of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, where they are showing Salvador Dali’s vast Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope. I’m no expert on the Surrealists but in terms of Scottish gallery exhibitions this is […]

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Scottish Arts Club

Scottish Arts Club

Edinburgh is going wild for Britart until May but spare a thought and a short walk to three artists exhibiting in the Scottish Arts Club. The club exudes an old Edinburgh charm with a cast of characters to match; it has tottered  on from crise to crise over the years, and can be a difficult space to stage a show with much impact, […]

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Cordis Prize 2016

Cordis Prize 2016

The new Cordis Prize for tapestry, the only award of its kind in the UK,  came home in its second year.  From about 100 entries, and a short list that included artists from Japan, Denmark, Belgium and Brazil, the Scottish weaver and Edinburgh College of Art teacher Susan Mowatt won the £5,000 prize for her work, Black/time/lines/white/time/lines. The […]

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Montbéliard, My Love is like a red, red rose

Montbéliard, My Love is like a red, red rose

In the late summer of 2015 the mayor of Montbéliard, a small but historic  city nestled against the Swiss border in north-eastern France, had this idea.   Montbéliard prides itself on a Christmas market and Christmas scene that draws hundreds of thousands of people from across the region, including Switzerland and Germany.    Scotland was the invited guest this year […]

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The Art of Christmas

The Art of Christmas

Our parents conspire to make us believe in Father Christmas; reindeer footprints by the fire place, stockings mysteriously filled.    But the loss of that belief, the joining of the conspiracy. is itself a Christmas ritual,  a symbol of moving out of childhood innocence into knowing adulthood. Le Gui et le Houx, Noel dans l’imagerie popular,  a small […]

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