The Diary

Double Uppers  on the Fringe

Double Uppers on the Fringe

Leafing through the Edinburgh Fringe programme as one does I got interested by the numbers of performers  running two or even more shows in the festival – comedians, in particular. One develops a nerdy appetite for possible phenomena like these – are there more of these double-uppers?  Is it something forced on performers by rising […]

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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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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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New Talent in the Edinburgh Art Festival

New Talent in the Edinburgh Art Festival

On the fringes of the Edinburgh Art Festival – I wish there was a fringe for it, a kind of free-for-all that would escape curatorial constraints – come some promising younger artists who still rely on the day job to cover the bills. Glasgow artist France-Lise McGurn  works two days a week in a restaurant.  “Them’s […]

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Harmonium – Edinburgh International Festival

Harmonium – Edinburgh International Festival

There’s a moment in the festivals when after tearing around for a while, sometimes weeks, you can stop and say: I’ve seen something special, truly memorable, to take away this year.    I can relax. It happened last night, on opening night.    Harmonium was utterly mesmerising, perhaps the best thing I’d seen through a dozen years in […]

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