The Edinburgh Art Festival
had its most successful year to date in 2008 it was announced today. Although only in its 5th year the Festival, which showcases Edinburghs celebrated galleries and artists, has quickly become established as a key player in the citys summer festival period.
Figures released today show that over 700,000 people visited the 50+ exhibitions and enjoyed the many events that formed the 2008 EAF, a significant increase on the previous year
We were delighted by the response to this years programme, says Joanne Brown, Festival Director. Alongside national and international artists whose work is rarely shown in the UK, this years EAF also showcased work by a new generation of Edinburgh-based artists and attendances were high across the board.
A particular success was the Art Late programme, which saw a number of the leading galleries opening on the evening of 28 August alongside a specially created series of events including The Running Tour - a whirlwind tour of the participating galleries; readings from the Matha Rosler Library at Stills; special guided tours of Dovecot studios; a live band in the new Ingleby Gallery and Spam The Musical at the Voodoo Rooms.
The Art Late programme proved particularly popular, adds Brown, and we are already looking at how to build on this to create an even more exciting event for the 2009 Festival.
Highlights of the 2008 Edinburgh Art Festival include the first UK retrospective of the work of Tracey Emin by the National Galleries of Scotland; a hugely popular exhibition of work by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at Fruitmarket Gallery; a major retrospective of work of Richard Hamilton at Inverleith House; a large-scale installation by Jane Frere at Patriothall; Eco-cyclorama at ECA; Andrew Grassie at Talbot Rice; Alexander Heim at Doggerfisher; a range of exhibitions in unusual locations including Ettie Spencer -Tobacco House, Richard Wilson, Advocates Close, Hugh Brady - 39, and Garden Gallery in Portobello; and no fewer than three new spaces opening their doors during Festival Ingleby Gallery, which showed work by Kay Rosen, Susan Collis and Mark Wallinger, Dovecot Studios and the Gallery at Eskmills. 2008 also saw the EAF showcase the work of Turner Prize nominee, Jim Lambie, as part of the Scottish Governments Expo programme.