2014_04_24 CastleIt’s another busy week in the capital, with lots of things to do every day.  As usual, almost all of them are FREE – so as you’ll have had your tea, your evenings will be most economical…

MONDAY – start your week with art and song, and clear out your bookshelves for Christian Aid

Arusha Gallery’s new exhibition at St Mary’s Cathedral, 23 Palmerston Place, features paintings and sculpture by an exciting group of artists, including Aliissa Hyslop, Ingrid Nilsson, Elizabeth Rollins-Scott, Trina Bohan, Andrea Maguire, Inge Horup, Alice Boyle, Carl Melegari, Kate Walters, Benet Houghton, Rosemary Patterson and Joss Cameron.  Ongoing till 29th June.

Scottish Women’s Hospitals in the First World War: a talk about the women who braved disease, deprivation and war to care for the wounded in Serbia, Russia, and on the Western Front.  Stockbridge Library, 6.30-7.30pm.  To book call the library on 0131 529 5665 or email stockbridge.library@edinburgh.gov.uk Words & Deeds Exhibition: Women in Warfare will be on display at the library 1-30 May.

Tradfest: Allan Ramsay ‘Reviving Scots Song’Fred Freeman demonstrates the contribution of Ramsay (‘the genial agitator of Scots culture’) to Scotland’s national music.  5-6pm, National Library of Scotland.  Free but ticketed, contact the Scottish Storytelling Centre Box Office on 0131 556 9579

Trad Hall of Fame: the Scottish Traditional Hall of Fame is dedicated to giving recognition to musicians and pioneers who supported and influenced the development of Scottish traditional music.  Scottish Storytelling Centre, free and unticketed (ongoing till 11th May.)

Street Life of Victorian Edinburgh: the Colourful World of Ned Holt.  Holt, a showman in Victorian Edinburgh, painted the colourful street characters among whom he worked.  Exhibition accompanied by poems specially written by Edinburgh’s Donald Campbell. Ongoing to 20th June, 10am-5pm, Museum of Edinburgh, 142 Canongate.  Free and unticketed.

Christian Aid Appeal Book Sale with Art & Collectables – starts Saturday (see below) but donations for the sale may be brought to St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George Street today, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am-9pm.

TUESDAY – from folksong to organ music, from independence to the English language…

Tradfest and  Blackwell’s Edinburgh (South Bridge) present David Torrance ‘A New Union’ – Scotland in a Federal UK.’  In this new book, Torrance argues for a wholesale transformation of the famously uncodified British constitution.  He advocates a ‘new union’, a UK federation in which Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland become sovereign states on a more equal footing.   6.30-7.30pm.  To obtain your free ticket call in at the shop’s front desk or call 0131 622 8218.

Tradfest: Clash of the Titans: Revival & Renaissance.  Raymond Raszkowski Ross examines the famous clash between Hamish Henderson and Hugh MacDiarmid about the role of folksong in literature, and its wider significance for Scottish culture. 6-7pm National Library of Scotland. Free tickets from the Scottish Storytelling Centre Box Office on 0131 556 9579.

Tradfest: Cafe Ceilidh.  A free afternoon of traditional songs and music in the Storytelling Court of the Scottish Storytelling Centre.  2-4pm, unticketed.

Walter Scott & the Storytellers:  Anne Fancett and Lisa McKenna explore Scott as ‘Wizard of the North’ and master storyteller.  2-3.30pm at the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge.  Book by calling the Scottish Storytelling Centre on 0131 556 9579.  Part of Tradfest.

University of Edinburgh: Professor Bettelou Los,, Forbes Chair of English Language, gives her inaugural lecture ‘Changing English.’  5.15-6.15pm, Lecture Theatre 175, Old College, South Bridge.

St Mary’s Metropolitan (RC) Cathedral, Picardy Place. Concert with Belgian organist Luc Ponet from Our Lady’s Basilica in Tongeren.  Music by Widor, and the mighty ‘Storm’ Fantasia by Jacques-Nicholas Lemmens.  Free entry, retiring collection.  7.30pm.

WEDNESDAY – a new exhibition at Bon Papillon, and even more talk of independence..

In the Outdoors is a new exhibition of paintings by Leo du Feu and Susan Smith at the Bon Papillon Gallery, Howe Street.  Leo and Susan (his mother) share a passion for landscape, and the animals and birds of Scotland.  Ongoing until 2nd June: open 10-5 Wednesday to Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.

Tradfest:  Revolution by the Pen: Scotland’s Literary Renaissance – a talk by Donald Smith, author and storyteller.  12.45-1.30pm Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, The Mound.

Tradfest and Blackwell’s Edinburgh present Gerry Hassan ‘Caledonian Dreaming – the Quest for a Different Scotland.’  Hassan examines the state of contemporary Scotland, the independence referendum and its wider consequences. 6.30-7.30pm.  Collect your free ticket from Blackwell’s front desk or call 0131 622 8218.

Reviving and Bereaving: Walter Scott & the Ballads.  Kaye McAlpine and Lucy Macrae explaine Scott’s love of the Border ballads and demonstrate their lasting power and emotional appeal. National Library of Scotland, 6-7pm.  Free tickets from The Scottish Storytelling Centre Box Office: 0131 556 9579

Ruskin & Geddes: A Natural Revival?  Writer Tom Hubbard and artist Kenny Munro lead a journey ‘from natural source to artistic stream’, showing how the arts & crafts movement and the Celtic Revival grew together in Scotland, rooted in the natural environment.  2-3.30pm, National Library of Scotland; free, book via the Scottish Storytelling Centre Box Office: 0131 556 9579.   Part of Tradfest.

University of Edinburgh: Scotland’s Religious Future.  Professor Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the School of Divinty in conversation with Mike Russell MSP, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.  The event will address the changes Scottish independence could bring constitutionally and to the church in Scotland, as well as covering the position of faith communities, and religious and cultural identity. 6-7pm  (doors open 5.30pm), George Square Lecture Theatre, George Square.  Free but booking essential via eventbrite.  Further information from  Julia.Woolman@ed.ac.uk

Collective Gallery, City Observatory, 38 Calton Hill – an informative tour of the exhibitions led by gallery staff.  Drop in, no booking required.  1pm every Wednesday.

THURSDAY – it’s the busiest day again

Portrait Gallery

Untaught to Shine – see Friday.  Ticketed performance at 7.30pm only today (ie no free pop-up): prices and contact details as Friday. National Portrait Gallery, Queen Street.

Portrait Gallery Insights: Making History.  Imogen Gibbon.  5.30-6pm at the National Portrait Gallery.  Free but limited places, so booking essential on 0131 624 6560

The Drawing Room: Artist-led workshop exploring contemporary drawing practice.  Booking required: 0131 624 6410 or email education@nationalgalleries.org   5.30-6.45pm, Gallery of Modern Art ONE.

Tradfest and Blackwell’s Edinburgh present Dilys Rose: Pelmanism.  Dilys Rose, Scottish poet, fiction writer and teacher of Creative Writing at Edinburgh University introduces her new novel, Pelmanisn – ‘a razor-sharp portrait of mental illness and its impact on those around you.’  To obtain your free ticket, visit Blackwell’s front desk or call 0131 622 8218.

At Looking Glass Books, Annie Donovan, prize winning author of Buddha Da, will introduce her new novel, Gone Are The Leaves, ‘an enchanting story of friendship, betrayal and growing up.’  6.30pm.  More details from the bookshop on 0131 229 2902.

Local singer/songwriter Catherine Lomax plays folk & acoustic covers plus her own original material.  Part of Tradfest. 7-10.15 pm at the Ensign Ewart Bar, 52-523 Lawnmarket.  Free and unticketed.

A Lovely Way to Burn.  Louise Welsh discusses her latest novel with the BBC’s Serena Field.  A Lovely Way to Burn is the first book of The Plague Trilogy and takes the reader on a terrifying journey into the depths of London in the grips of a pandemic.  6pm at the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge.  Booking essential: call 0131 623 3734 or visit www.nls.uk/events/booking.

University of Edinburgh Centre for South Asian Studies: ‘Seeing Like a Feminist.’  A public lecture by Professor Nivedita Menon (Jawaharial Nehru University, New Delhi and Singhvi Visiting Professor, University of Edinburgh).  4-6pm, Conference Room, David Hume Tower, George Square.

Reporting Europe’ – University of Edinburgh Europa Institute (supported by the Office of the European Commission in Scotland): a panel of journalists (Lesley Riddoch, Alex Massie, Paul Gillespie, Dr Simon Usherwood and John Palmer) will discuss the role and responsibility of the media when it comes to ‘reporting Europe.’ 6-7.30pm, St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry Street.  Free but booking essential via eventbrite.

FRIDAY – wind down with some theatre

Cleaning Up Titian’s Venice – a talk by Dr Jane Stevens Crawshaw of Oxford Brookes University.  Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, 12.45-1.30pm.  Free

Untaught to Shine: Stellar Quines theatre company present eclectic, site-specific theatre inspired by the women’s stories held within the Portrait Gallery collection.  National Portrait Gallery, Queen Street. A free pop-up performance at 2pm and a ticketed performance at 7.30pm (£8, tickets from Scottish National Gallery Information Desk or by calling 0131 624 6560 between 9.30am & 4.30pm.)

Scotland’s Storytelling Renaissance: Donald Smith, storyteller and founding Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre on why live storytelling has re-entered the cultural mainstream in Scotland. 6.30-8pm, Meadows Lecture Theatre , Old Medical School, Teviot Place.  Part of Tradfest and At Home in Scotland: Stories of Place. Free tickets from eventbrite.

Gayfield Creative Spaces launches Summer in the City: see Gayfield’s new premises and hear about its programme of exhibitions and talks for August and September.  6-9pm, 11 Gayfield Square.  RSVP to  john@gayfield.co.uk

****STOP PRESS**** We have now  heardthat the event at Gayfield Arts is to be postponed from this Friday, 9th May to Friday 30th May (same times – 6-9pm). *****

Voluntary Arts Week starts today throughout the UK.  For full details, locations and times see www.voluntaryartsweek.org. This week”s events (with lots more to come next week) include: the Scottish Mineral & Lapidary Club Open Week  at 20 Maritime Lane, where you can see members at work in their dedicated workshop. (drop-in, suitable for ages 10+.) and Knitting for All – relaxed informal knitting meet-ups across the city for all ages, beginners and experts equally welcome.


Collective Gallery preview event for  Camille Henrot’s ambitious film work ‘Grosse Fatigue’. which won the Silver Lion at the 55th Vienna Biennale in 2013.  It attempts to tell the story of the world’s creation from a computer desktop and using the collection of the Smithsonian Institute.   Tonight 6-8pm, then from tomorrow till 16th June (NB closed Mondays.)  Collective Gallery, City Dome, 38 Calton Hill.  For more information call 0131 556 1264 or www.collectivegallery.net

SATURDAY – celebrate World Fair Trade Day! 

2014_02_05 City Chambers 4

Edinburgh Fair Trade Fiesta starts with a parade, leaving the City Chambers at 1pm and proceeding via the Mound to Princes Street Gardens for a five hour concert, starting at 2pm.  All welcome to join in the parade, which will include schools, students, inter-faith groups, businesses, organisations, youth & community groups and individuals.  The FREE concert will include reggae, pipe bands, jazz, soul and samba; there will be Fair Trade information, food and drinks stalls.  High-profile supporters will speak at the event, calling for action for fairer, more sustainable trade with developing countries.   Part sponsored by Scotmid and by the organisers, Edinburgh-based Hand Up Media.  See www.scottishfairtradeforum.org.uk for further information, or email  Olga@handupmedia.co.uk

TER along the canal 1Willow Crafts Workshop, Canal Centre, Edinburgh Quay: join the Scottish Waterways Trust to get artistic with willow and add your creation to the Union Canal CraftBomb.  Part of Voluntary Arts Week – see website (as Friday) for details.

My Name is Margaret Morris: a dance performance by Stuart Hopps, choreographer and former Director of Scottish Ballet.  Gallery of Modern Art Studio (at the back of the Gallery building), 2-3pm.  This event is free but ticketed: tickets can be obtained in advance from the Information Desk in the Gardens Entrance of the Scottish National Gallery, The Mound or by calling 0131 624 6560 between 9.30am-4.30pm.

TER Gallery of Modern ArtGallery of Modern Art Highlights Tour 2 – 2.45pm and 3-3.45pm, Gallery of Modern Art ONE.  Free, meet at main entrance.

Waterstones, Ocean Terminal: meet local author Quentin Jardine, as he signs copies of his latest Bob Skinner novel, Hour of Darkness. The body of a murdered woman is washed up on Cramond Island, stirring up unwelcome memories for those who knew her, Chief Constable Bob Skinner most of all….  2.30pm, but Waterstones advise you to arrive early.  Further information on 0131 554 7732.

Christian Aid Book Sale with Art & Collectables – now in its 40th year!  Starts today, then Monday 12th to Friday 16th May. St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street.  For more information call the church office on 0131 225 3847 or see www.standrewsandstgeorgeswest.org.uk

SUNDAY – a film about the past, a debate about the future…

Portrait Detectives! For children aged 4-12 years.  Follow clues and solve a mystery from history.  Portrait Gallery, Queen Street, 2-4pm. Free.

Tradfest Debate: Revival or Renaissance.  Tradfest performers and activists look across the artistic spectra to consider the present and debate the future, and what if anything should be done about it.  Teviot Row House (Dining Room), 13 Bristo Square, 5-6.15pm, free and unticketed.

The documentary film ‘Black Box BRD’, ‘the double story of a victim and a suspected perpetrator’, will be shown at Summerhall as part of a project by Dora Osborne, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Edinburgh University, supported by the Goethe Institut.  Director Andres Veiel  focuses on the aftershocks of the violence of the Red Army Faction, a left-wing terrorist group that emerged in West Germany in the 1970s.  He works with the survivors of violence, asking them to remember both victim and perpetrator. There will be a brief introduction.  7.30-9.55pm, 18 years + only. Free tickets are available via the WeGotTickets website.

Lots to choose from again this week (and the Festival hasn’t even started yet…) – enjoy!