Summerhall Festival Visual Arts

2 AUG - 23 SEPT 2018

Summerhall is delighted to present its visual arts programme. Our concept continues to be an implicit homage to the founding principles of the Edinburgh Festival and this year we are focusing on the ways art addresses socio-political changes and documents the conflicts.

On the 50th anniversary of the 1968 protests we will showcase the interdisciplinary practices of experimental artists who respond to the challenges of the world’s shifting powers and comment on evolving belief systems. We hope to engage, inspire and provoke dialogue.

Summerhall galleries are free

The programme will run from:

2 August till 23 September 2018.

  • Free the Pussy!

    Pussy Riot championed gender equality, LGBT rights, environmental activism and called for a female president. They challenged masculine authority and stood for freedom of expression.

  • Orson Welles

    We know the imagery of Orson Welles and the themes of power & love that he addressed, but these sketches and drawings, many exhibited for the first time, give us new insights into his life and work.

  • John Keane

    Paintings exploring themes of military, social and political conflict around the world dating from the artist’s appointment as the Imperial War Museum’s official artist for the Gulf War of 1990-91.

  • Kurt Schwitters

    ‘Kurt Schwitters has left the building’ explores what's saved with art-work, what might be salvaged or re-built in reconstructing its stories and how these stories sustain or possess a legacy.

  • Sura Medura

    Sura Medura

    UZ Arts presents the work of 14 UK based artists who have been resident at Sura Medura in Sri Lanka over the winter of 2017/2018. The programme includes performances, installations, video and visual arts.

  • Bbeyond


    This exhibition curated by Summerhall documents Bbeyond’s history, following on from the powerful exhibition of 200 hundred drawings, installations in our 2017 programme and performances by Prof. Alastair MacLennan and Prof. Sandra Johnston.

  • Richard Demarco

    From the Demarco archives - including a memorial to John Martin, co-founder of The Traverse and Forth Studios design agency.

  • Robert McDowell

    This showing is from the artist's collection. TIG presented complex often surreal truths t0 belie or satirise stereotyping by news media or propaganda such as that of sectarian muralists.

  • 1968


    Half a century old lingers on in our social memory as a momentous revolutionary date in cultural history, of valiant protests demanding equality and freedoms, confronted by state repression on both sides of the Cold War.

  • Magpies Nest

    The Magpie’s Nest

    XSexcentenary are a female collective that identify as older and create and perform work underpinned by themes of feminism, ageing and abhorring ageism.

  • Edinburgh People

    Edinburgh People

    Edinburgh People is a photographic journey through the lens of an Edinburgh taxi driver. Using his black taxi as his mobile studio, Walls frames an ode of his city. Showcased under an unobtrusive taxi backdrop is an anecdotal narrative that brings his portraiture of life.


    CAT (Creative, Aesthetic,Transgression) started life several years ago as a social media project.

  • A lady’s not a gent’s

    Discover the ‘urmutter’ of modernism, a great neglected feminist artist and watch all the myths about modern art evaporate before your eyes.

  • Elsa in Philidelphia

    Elsa in Philadelphia fills in the gaps in the critical period between Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s disappearance from New York and re-emergence in Philadelphia in the spring of 1917.

  • Muirhead Bone Collection

    Britain’s first official war artist, Muirhead Bone trained at Glasgow School of Art and was posted to France in 1916, arriving during the battle of the Somme.