Emerging Writers Programme

Detail from Lynsey MacKenzie's work.
Lynsey MacKenzie, The Way (detail), 2022.

Emerging Writers – Edinburgh Art Festival X The Skinny

For our 18th edition, we partnered with The Skinny to identify four emerging artists in Scotland. With a workshop held by The Skinny’s Art Editor Harvey Dimond and visits to Edinburgh Art Festival’s 2022 exhibitions, our 2022 Emerging Writers – Sofia Cotrona, Beth James, Hazel Peters, and Isla Wade – created critical responses to and interviews with the minds behind EAF 2022.

From work on Lynsey MacKenzie’s painting installations for Platform: 2022 to reflections on the creative practice behind the Community Wellbeing Collective, the work produced by this year’s Emerging Writers is as broad, introspective, and insightful as the artwork and exhibitions they respond to in their pieces.

Have a read below of the articles, all published online by The Skinny throughout the festival month.

Sofia Cotrona

Hand touches keypad of mixing deck.
Offerings, film still by Rachel McBrinn, courtesy of Community Wellbeing Collective, 2022.

With a focus on the work behind the Community Wellbeing Collective and Oyster Readings by Cooking Sections, Sofia Cotrona explored Edinburgh Art Festival’s work across the city. With the former’s base in Wester Hailes and the latter’s at Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens, though the two works may be physically distanced, they are close in their heartfelt explorations of community, selfhood, and empowerment.

Beth James

Portrait of El Historiante Blanco, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Jose Campos.
Studio Lenca, El Historiante Blanco, 2020. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Jose Campos.

Focusing on Ashanti Harris’s Dancing a Peripheral Vision and Studio Lenca’s The Invisibles, both of the works Beth James focuses on in her articles explored personal links between past, present, and future. In her discussions with the artists behind both commissions at Edinburgh Art Festival, our increased understanding of their intentions and influences creates a richer experience, contextualising both works in terms of place and community.

Hazel Peters

Ashanti Harris and dancer perform against white studio backdrop.
Ashanti Harris, An Archive: The Rehearsal, 2018. Courtesy of Ashanti Harris.

It’s a privilege to have a clear insight directly from artists into the work they create, and that is exactly what Hazel Peters met with Ashanti Harris and José Campus to achieve. Both artists work for the 18th edition of Edinburgh Art Festival were deeply concerned with cultural traditions, and the visibility of all figures in different cultures. Taking in sculpture, performance, and photography, these artists explore the complex formation of identity in a way that invites audience engagement and thoughtful contemplation.

Isla Wade

Offset print drips down image of white sculptural forms.
Céline Condorelli, Zanzibar (detail), 2019, 6 colour offset print. Courtesy the artist.

Isla Wade explores Céline Condorelli’s After Work and Lynsey Mackenzie’s painting installations for Platform: 2022 for her work in this year’s Emerging Artists Programme. Deeply concerned with the physicality of the spaces in which their work is displayed, both artists create conversations between not only viewer and art, but conversations between the artworks themselves. Both Céline and Lynsey used their mediums to create deeply meditative, emotionally engaging work, which is thoughtfully discussed by Isla in her writing.