1 August – 1 September

Our tenth festival edition included 60 exhibitions across the city alongside ten newly commissioned public works by leading and emerging artists from Scotland and beyond, and a month of special events. 

“This year the Edinburgh Art Festival is 10 years old. What started as not much more than a joint marketing enterprise is now a cohesive festival with an identity and character of its own.” 
Moira Jeffrey, The Scotsman

View the Festival Guide:

View the Festival Map:

Commissions Programme


Parley was an ambitious programme of ten publicly sited commissions by established and emerging artists from Scotland and beyond. Publicly sited work, by its very nature, often incites debate or polarises opinion. Parley invited artists and audiences alike to consider how art (and particularly art beyond the gallery) can be an agent of discussion, debate and social change.

True to the spirit of Parley, several of the works in the Commissions Programme stemmed directly from conversation and collaboration, whether between artists themselves, with our partner galleries, or through a direct invitation to the public to participate in the creation of work.

Krijn de Koning’s extraordinary platform, co-commissioned with Edinburgh College of Art for their Sculpture Court, proposed an architecture for debate and dialogue. It hosted a series of events throughout the festival, including two parleys, authored by artists Ross Sinclair and Rachel Maclean (co-commissioned with Edinburgh Printmakers) respectively.

In August 2004, just as the first Edinburgh Art Festival launched, staff began to move into Scotland’s new parliament building. The architects of the building, Barcelona based practice Miralles and Tagliabue, were clear that they sought to create ‘not a building in a park or garden but a form for gathering people’. This offers a resonant counterpoint for Parley which, like the Miralles and Tagliabue parliament, offers a form for gathering, a site for debate, discussion and exploration.

Participating Artists:

Christine Borland and Brody Condon: Daughters of Decayed Tradesmen

Peter Liversidge: Flags for Edinburgh 

Sarah Kenchington: Wind Pipes for Edinburgh 

Ross Sinclair: Real Life and How to Live it in Auld Reekie 

Robert Montgomery: Edinburgh Fire Poem 

Katri Walker: An Equilibrium Not of this World 

Krijn de Koning: Land

Sara Barker: Patterns – Co-commissioned with Jupiter Artland 

Daniel Padden and Peter Nicholson: Edinburgh Complaints Choir, originally conceived by the Finnish artists Tellervo and Oliver Kochta Kalleinen.

Kenny Watson: The Days and Fascia

Partner Exhibitions

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast and Dressed to Kill at City Art Centre

Fleece to Fibre: The Making of the Large Tree Group Tapestry; Artist Rugs: Dovecot’s Contemporary Rug Collection and Dazzle@Dovecot at Dovecot Studios

Paul Rooney and Leeds United; MA Art & Design and Collins & Goto: Spirit in the AirCO2Edinburgh at Edinburgh College of Art

Rachel Maclean: I HEART SCOTLAND at Edinburgh Printmakers

Gabriel Orozco: thinking in circles at The Fruitmarket Gallery

Peter Liversidge: doppelgänger at Ingleby Gallery

Mostly West: Franz West and Artist Collaborations at Inverleith House

Jeremy Deller with Alan Kane and Sam Durant: Scaffold at Jupiter Artland

Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands at the Scottish National Gallery

From Death to Death and Other Small Tales and Witches & Wicked Bodies at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Man Ray Portraits at Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Mary, Queen of Scots; IIana Halperin: The Library and Amazing Amber at National Museum of Scotland

Gregor Schneider: Süsser Duft Edinburgh 2013; Michael Nyman: Man With A Movie Camera; Fiona Banner: The Vanity PressOne Hundred Multiples

By Lawrence Weiner; Robbie Thompson: Ecstatic Arc; Ryan The Wheelbarrow: Werkr; Martin Green: Scuffed UndersideMoving Beyond, Chinese Modern Abstract ArtLast Of The Heroic Modernists – John Berger In Scotland; Scotland in Europe: Europe in Scotland (Demarco European Art Foundation); Johnny Miller: Hut Drawings; Stewart McCaffer: Saki and Flynn; Mads Teglers: Looking For Eva; Paul Robertson: Exhibition In A Pocket; Sun Ra: The Immeasurable Equation; Derek Jarman: The Blue Book; Marius Alexander: Preforming Eye; Jane Frere: Return of the Soul – The Wall – The Void; Robert McDowell: Troubles in Europe; Robert Kusmirowski: Pain Thing and Phenotype Genotype (Phg) at Summerhall

Transmitted Live: Nam June Paik Resounds at Talbot Rice Gallery

Associate Programme

Scottishness in Art: 1750–1980 at Bourne Fine Art

Doig Klasse at Canongate Venture

Game Changer and Observers’ Walks at Collective

The Vodnjan Collective at Doubtfire Gallery

PRODUCT at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop


Bobby Niven at Old Ambulance Depot

Alberto Morrocco at Open Eye Gallery

Staple Matter at Patriothall Gallery

Lovely Sky (Participatory Imagineering) at Rhubaba

Collectors’ Choice; 21 Revolutions: Two Decades of Changing Minds at Glasgow Women’s Library and Richard Murphy Architects at The Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture

Ana Maria Pacheco at St. Albert’s Catholic Chaplaincy

James Lumsden at Scottish Arts Club

Paul Reid, Elizabeth Blackadder and Stephen Bird at The Scottish Gallery

Angela Ferreira: Political Cameras at Stills