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Edinburgh Art Festival to return

Corner Shop PR Isaac Julien's Lessons of the Hour.

By Conor Riordan
The Edinburgh Art Festival is to return after coronavirus forced the cancellation of last year’s event.
Organisers said the 17th edition will include over 35 exhibitions and new commissions in visual art spaces across the city.

This will be alongside an online programme of events and digital presentations.

Sorcha Carey, director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said: “Festivals have always offered a space for gathering, and this year more than any, we are proud to come together with partners across the city to showcase the work of artists from Scotland, the UK and around the world.

“Some exhibitions are newly made in response to the seismic shifts of the past year; others are the result of many years of planning and careful research – but all are the unique, authentic, and thoughtful products of our city’s extraordinarily rich visual art scene.

“The past year has revealed how precarious things can be for artists and creative freelancers, as well as for the institutions and organisations that support the production and presentation of their work.

“As galleries begin to reopen across the city, and we look forward to welcoming audiences safely back to the festival and our city, now more than ever we need the space for community and reflection that art and artists can provide.”

The festival is due to return from July 29 to August 29.

It will see a series of festival-led commissions and premieres created in partnership with visual arts organisations.

There will also be a specially invited programme of new commissions curated in partnership with an associate artist.

Among the works will be the UK and European premiere of Isaac Julien’s Lessons of the Hour, presented in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland.

This new 10-screen film installation by the celebrated British artist looks at the life and times of Frederick Douglass, the visionary African American writer, abolitionist and a freed slave.

He spent two years in Edinburgh in the 1840s campaigning across Scotland, England and Ireland for freedom and social justice.

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