Edinburgh Art Festival Picks 2013

Once again, Scotland’s capital is playing host to a whole array of exhibitions, performances and other visual arts at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Difficult though it may be to pick a few highlights from this year’s impressive line-up, here are just some of the must-sees.

No Foreign Lands
By Peter Doig
Venue: Scottish National Gallery
Running from 3rd August – 3rd November 2013

Having been born in Edinburgh, Turner Prize winner Doig now returns to his homeland to showcase his most recent work. Although the title of the series of paintings would have you believe that they simply depict landscapes, this is certainly not the case. Instead, Doig paints ghostlike and faceless figures rowing and playing cricket to give his work an almost ethereal feel to it. Does this blur the line between what is real and what Doig has simply imagined or by not giving his subjects identities is Doig suggesting that such activities transcend nationality and can unite people? It is up to you to decide.

By Peter Liversidge (after Max Klinger)
Venue: Ingleby Gallery
Running from 1st August – 21st September 2013

Recommended videos for you

Conceptualist Liversidge innovatively uses Klinger’s 1881 work, Entführung, to tell an elaborate and surreal story about the way in which obsession can wholly and completely consume someone. Throughout the series of etchings, there is a recurring motif of a white glove, which is used to explore ideas from nineteenth-century theorists such as Sigmund Freud. At the end of the sequence, Liversidge brings the story to life by physically featuring white gloves on the gallery floor. In this way, he appears to successfully combine contemporary art with movements from other historical periods. This exhibition is not one to miss.

* Follow Country Life magazine on Twitter

By Sara Barker
Venue: Jupiter Artland
Running from 1st August – 15th September 2013

As Barker’s first time creating structures for outdoor use, she appears to work well with her woodland surroundings. Her wire and metal installations seem to have a dual purpose: both to provide a place where people can come to gather their thoughts and shelter from the elements and of course, as a fantastic piece of artwork to appreciate and admire. Indeed, it gives us, as viewers, a space in which our thoughts can inhabit and perhaps even develop too. Why not go and see for yourself?

Süßer Duft
By Gregor Schneider
Venue: Summerhall
Running from 2nd August – 31st August 2013

Arguably one of the more avant-garde exhibitions of this year’s festival comes from German artist, Schneider. He explores, and makes strong statements about, controversial topics such as slavery and racism by juxtaposing the ideas of light and dark, black and white, good and evil. Due to this, his work is sure to be deeply harrowing to some viewers, but it is this very fact that makes this exhibition so unforgettable and causes it to have such a lasting impact on those that go to see it. Without a shadow of a doubt, this exhibition should be on your list.  

Witches and Wicked Bodies
Venue: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Running from 27th July – 3rd November 2013

Witches and other supernatural creatures have long incited the interest and intrigue of the general public. In the Tudor era, for instance, being convicted of witchcraft was punishable by death. This was the time in which Albrecht Dürer lived in. The work of Dürer, as well as other artists such as Francisco de Goya, gives us a greater understanding of the origins of these myths and the impact they might have on society as we know it today. In particular, the exhibition allows us to explore how these myths may have negative implications on how women are culturally portrayed in the present day. Due to the abundance of artwork on this topic, expect to see a wide range of representations of witches from male to female, beautiful to grotesque, beguiling to repulsive.

 * Subscribe to Country Life; Country Life on Ipad