2 August – 2 September

Our ninth edition of the festival included 52 exhibitions across the city, alongside eight newly commissioned public works by some of Scotland’s best-known artists and emerging talents.

“Edinburgh Art Festival exhibitions are making Edinburgh one of Europe’s major hubs for art lovers” 
Daily Telegraph

View the Festival Guide:

View the Festival Map:

Commissions Programme


‘… this profusion of eccentricities, this dream in masonry and living rock, is not a drop-scene in a theatre, but a city in the world of every-day reality.’

Writing in 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson was already highly attuned to the fundamental contradiction at the heart of Scotland’s capital city: that a city which really should belong to the world of the visual imagination was in fact physically real, a fully functioning modern city that looked as if it has stepped out of the pages of a fairy tale.

Edinburgh Art Festival’s 2012 Promenade commissions explored these contradictions, taking you on a promenade through the city, and inviting you to experience the city (both Edinburgh specifically, and ‘the city’ in general) in new ways, whether in works which reflected and revealed hidden traces in the city’s iconic landmarks, or those which transformed the city of ‘every-day reality’ into a magical playground.

Participating Artists:

Andrew Miller: The Waiting Place 

Callum Innes: The Regent Bridge 

Susan Philipsz: Timeline 

Kevin Harman: 24/7

Anthony Schrag: Tourist in Residence 

Emily Speed: Human Castle

Partner Exhibitions

Jock McFadyen: The Ability to Cling… at Bourne Fine Art

Leslie Hunter: A Life in Colour and Human Race at City Art Centre

Weaving the Century at Dovecot Studios

Rachel Mayeri: Primate Cinema: Apes as Family, Cast Contemporaries and More Than Bird at Edinburgh College of Art

Cheer Up! It’s Not the End of the World… at Edinburgh Printmakers

Dieter Roth: Diaries at The Fruitmarket Gallery

Ian Hamilton Finlay at Ingleby Gallery

Philip Guston: Late Paintings at Inverleith House

Tania Kovats: Rivers at Jupiter Artland

Van Gogh to Kandinsky and Giovanni Battista Lusieri at Scottish National Gallery

Picasso and Modern British Art and Edvard Munch at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Roderick Buchanan: Legacy at Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Melvin Moti, Catherine The Great: An Enlightened Empress and New Jewellery from Northern Lands at National Museum of Scotland

~ in the fields at New Media Scotland

John Bellany at 70 and Picasso and Modern British Printmaking at Open Eye Gallery

Treasures from The Queen’s Palaces at The Queen’s Gallery

Carolee Schneemann, David Michalek, Art & Language, Robert Kusmirovski, Phenotype Geno- type, Static State, Jean Pierre Muller, Venus with Severed Leg, Wolf Vostell, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Robin Gillanders and Ally Wallace at Summerhall

Tim Rollins & K.O.S.: The Black Spot and Working Papers: Donald Judd at Talbot Rice Gallery

Associated Programme

6°WEST at St Triduana’s Chapel

Mick Peter and B.S. Johnson: Lying and Liars at Collective

Through the Looking Glass, Dimly at Contemporary Art Exchange


Harry Hill: My Hobby at White Stuff

We Are All U.F.O.-nauts at Rhubaba Gallery & Studios

Here/Now at The Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture

Soviet Grand Designs at Scotland-Russia Institute

Duncan Shanks at The Scottish Gallery

Orchard at Scottish Poetry Library

James Casebere: Home and Other Fictions at Stills

John Brown at Superclub

Ilana Halperin at The Travelling Gallery 


Providing fresh perspectives on visual art, Festival Detours is a series of intimate live performances in Edinburgh’s leading galleries by stars from the worlds of music, comedy, theatre, poetry and prose.

Joe Dunthorne at National Museum of Scotland

Inua Ellams at Talbot Rice Gallery

Simon Munnery at Ingleby Gallery