A new dawn

Katharine Gemmell takes a look at what’s in store as Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery gets set to reopen this summer after a multi-million pound redevelopment


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SPECTRA: ABERDEEN’S FESTIVAL OF LIGHT Brightening up the dark winter nights, public light artworks will animate spaces across Aberdeen city centre at this four-day festival. This year’s festival celebrates Aberdeen’s rich coastline and waters in recognition of the national Year of Coasts and Waters. Various venues, Aberdeen, Thu 13–Sun 16 Feb,

DUNDEE WOMEN’S FESTIVAL This annual festival features

two weeks of events, dramas, discussions and workshops to celebrate International Women’s Day. The theme for 2020 is ‘Women Making Waves’ and the programme of events aims to encourage women to keep informed, stay confi dent and make a difference. Various venues, Dundee, Sat 29 Feb–Sat 14 Mar, dundeewomensfestival.

STANZA: SCOTLAND’S POETRY FESTIVAL The cleverly titled StAnza is a literary festival that focuses rmly on verse. Joining the locals in St Andrews for readings, performances, slams, open mics, jazz, lms, workshops and poetry-related art exhibitions and installations are a host of Scottish and international wordsmiths. Various venues, St Andrews, Wed 4–Sun 8 Mar,

PUPPET ANIMATION FESTIVAL The UK’s largest and longest established annual performing arts event for children pulls some strings to present a feast of puppet-based entertainment for all age groups, working with local authorities, organisations and venues all over Scotland. Various venues, Scotland, Sat 28 Mar–Sat 18 Apr,

T he Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh has been closed since September last year while major refurbishment and expansion works took place as part of a £3.75m development project. But the contemporary art gallery has announced it’s set to reopen this summer with an ambitious programme to celebrate its rebirth.

As part of the redevelopment, the gallery on Market Street has taken over the former fruit and vegetable warehouse next door, most recently home to the nightclub Electric Circus. This new space is intended to be used for ‘active cultural use, as an expansive, inspirational space where artists can make new work in and for the Fruitmarket Gallery, creating a regular programme of Fruitmarket Gallery commissions curated in-house.’

Expected to open in August, this new space will allow the gallery to provide a year-round multi- artform programme. ‘This project has opportunities for artists and audiences at its heart,’ says Fruitmarket Gallery director Fiona Bradley. ‘It delivers an inspirational new space for creative, collaborative working and renovates the Fruitmarket’s existing spaces, ensuring that we can continue to operate at the forefront of contemporary culture for decades.’ To celebrate the gallery’s new vision, Glasgow- based Turner Prize-nominated artist Karla Black will present a major exhibition for the inaugural programme across the existing galleries and the new warehouse space. While this is the rst time the Fruitmarket has worked with the artist on home soil, though the gallery did curate Black’s solo presentation for Scotland in Venice at the 54th International Biennale in 2011.

16 THE LIST 1 Feb–31 Mar 2020

The exhibition will two major new commissions as well as existing work that explores the range of Black’s practice, from both public and private collections.


‘This is an exciting year for us with our refreshed and renovated existing building, and as we work towards opening an inspirational new space for creative, collaborative working’ says Bradley. ‘And we can’t wait to work with Karla Black.’

Elsewhere in the programme, the gallery has commissioned artist-poet Rhona Warwick Paterson and dancer-choreographer Eve Mutso for Beginning a line beginning a building. This will consist of a live archive of transition, using poem, drawing, dance, lm and performance to respond to the gallery’s evolution. Poets Janette Ayachi, Callie Gardner, Jane Goldman, Iain Morrison and Tom Pow have all been invited to work on a guided process of writing to record this change.

The gallery will also revive Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s acclaimed Night Walk for Edinburgh, originally staged at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival. This immersive experience takes place from 16 November until 31 January and will be a free event. Bradley adds: ‘As we work towards the reopening of the Fruitmarket, we are using poetry, drawing, dance, lm and performance to refl ect on the spaces of the gallery from the beginning of the development through the refurbishment, marking the transition into the new and renewed spaces.’

For updates on the gallery reopening and future events, see