Community Events A New Primer

A New Primer
Thursday 10 August - Sunday 20 August 2023 11:00am - 6:00pm
St Margaret's House

inaugural festival exhibition
St. Margarets House, Edinburgh, 10-20 Aug. 23
preview thur. 10 aug, 6-8

a n e w p r i m e r are an artists collective with the intention of creating an imaginative space for exhibition, dialogue and community engagement.

This exhibition highlights over thirty artists working in and around Edinburgh. The disciplines vary from sculpture, installation, drawing and painting and the subject matter is broad.

After COVID and the crash, when the political and tectonic plates are shifting, the world’s largest arts festival bursts into life in August in Edinburgh, promoting and celebrating the broadest range of artistic talent from around the globe. In amongst this stramash of culture are a group of Edinburgh based artists who have persisted in making and exhibiting work, in many cases under the radar of public scrutiny.

Like Berlin or London, Paris or Peebles, there are studios in which artists are working, in their unheated flats or in communal studios, garrets and garages, huts and hovels…Most of them work, real jobs to pay for the real art they create. This goes on all the time, all year round. Mostly unseen. This exhibition is to celebrate the act of creativity and perseverance.

The exhibition in St Margaret’s House will represent just a handful of these creatives. The work here is extremely varied, there is no theme, nothing to restrict the artist’s output other than scale. Some of the artists are well known, prize winning and exhibit internationally. There is installation art, painting and drawing, sculpture and print. The common thread is the consistency of output and the fact that these are Edinburgh based artists.

Amongst the sculptural pieces is Denny Hunter’s Artobotic, a unique project that makes art accessible to the general public via vending machines placed in public spaces. Since its inception in 2016, Artobotic has successfully proven that art can be made accessible and affordable while promoting the work of artists. The machines, previously installed in diverse locations from galleries to barbershops, offer the public a chance to explore the world of art in a fun and affordable way.

Karen Akester’s witty and beautifully crafted bronzes ‘Casca’s Whispers ‘ elude to mischief , conspiracy and power dynamics, a similar sense of figurative play is exploited in Emma McCloud’s arranged sculptural installation. Marcin Krupa, an artist who studied sculpture in Gdansk, works here with wood where his figures emerge from the raw material through honed craft skills and imagination suggesting something more ancient in the works. Drawing and sculpture combine in the paper works of Irene Jordan, powerfully expressive charcoal figures facing a tiny, fragile paper sculpture in all its vulnerability.

There is painting here too, Alan McGowan and Aine Divine both represent strong responses to the life model in oil and watercolour respectively. Paul Mowat’s small landscapes and figure studies blend memory and observation, light and mood beautifully. Colour and the imagination are whimsically toyed with in Komachi Goto’s vibrant paintings. Fee Scroggie, inspired by research into ancient European cultures, symbology, hermeticism and metaphysics, creates a spectral and evocative large painting while the colourists, Olivia Irvine and Ginny Elston conjure imagery based on memory and place with confident idiosyncrasy.

The opening event on the 10th August with have sculptor and performance artist Sean Lee’s “The Baron Nonesuch Band” play an eclectic, energetic short set in a studio adjacent to the main gallery at 7pm.

St Margarets House is the ideal venue for this: an ex office building, re-invented and re imagined to support local artists and creatives with affordable work space, and, more than that, a community hub in which ideas might flourish, dialogues begin and work gets done!

a n e w p r I m e r

Komachi Goto

Marcin Krupa

Paul Mowat

Location details

St. Margaret’s House – Gallery 1
St Margaret's House, 151 London Road
Edinburgh EH7 6AE

How to find St Margaret’s House