The first two exhibitions of 2021 will bring light and colour back into Summerhall’s spaces that have sat empty for much of 2020.

Abigail Simmonds’ sparkling ‘Space Becomes Time’ will see the upstairs Meadows and Corner Galleries filled with life buoys, corrugated sheeting, ping pong balls and many other carefully chosen objects painstakingly covered in sequins.

While in the downstairs galleries, James Sinfield and Radosław Liweń’s ‘Remote Control’ will delve into the anthropocene, exploring the many ways in which we as humans impact the environment around us.

While Summerhall was able to programme a small number of exhibitions towards the end of 2020, this will be the first time in many months that our War Memorial, Sciennes, Meadows and Corner Galleries will all be open to the public simultaneously. The exhibitions will open early in 2021, pending a move back to tier 3 level restrictions.

Summerhall Exhibitions Manager Kasia Jackowska says: “After so many months of empty rooms, we are thrilled to be filling both our upstairs and downstairs galleries with art this January. We’ve worked closely with Abigail, James and Radosław to bring these exhibitions to life, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming audiences .”

In Abigail Simmonds’ first solo exhibition, she plays with the slippery concepts of space and time to create mysterious, glittering objects that reflect the viewer back to themselves. Space Becomes Time is made up of objects taken from film and television: a lifebuoy from The Twilight Zone’s Judgment Night; violins from the pre-Code Hollywood musical Gold Diggers of 1933; a three-metre long piece of hawser rope from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic crime thriller Rope.

Simmonds takes each object and transforms it – a process that sometimes takes months or years at a time – painstakingly covering it with sequins. This process is slow, considered and meditative, as Simmonds tracks the passage of time not in hours, but in sequins. ‘Space Becomes Time’ will fill Summerhall’s upstairs galleries from early in the year until Sunday 21 March 2021.

James Sinfield and Radosław Liweń’s ‘Remote Control’ grew out of the two painters’ experience of sharing an Edinburgh studio throughout lockdown. The exhibition is a collaboration, with the two painters using radically different approaches to explore the absurdity and beauty of the human-impacted world.

Radosław’s use of clean lines and clear blue backgrounds create the illusion of a simple world. However, as we move closer we start to notice things we hadn’t before – an uncanny figure, a sense of objects held in a strange tension.

James is inspired by psychogeography – the effect geographical locations can have our emotions and behaviours. His work is an attempt to make sense of post-industrial Edgelands, those spaces that sit on boundaries between country and town.

Paint is applied and then removed, revealing many layers. This process echoes the repeated erasure and construction of the Edgelands themselves. Both James’ and Radosław’s work deals with the aloneness of occupied space and what it is to live in a world of late capitalism.

‘Remote Control’ can be found in Summerhall’s ground floor galleries from early in the year until Sunday 21 March 2021.

All exhibitions are free, open 12pm – 6pm, Wednesday – Sunday