Edinburgh Art Festival 2021 – Programme Announced

Our 17th edition will bring together over 35 exhibitions and new commissions in visual art spaces across the city.

Art is Back

Edinburgh Art Festival 2021
29 July – 29 August

We are delighted to announce that we will return from 29 July to 29 August this year, following an exceptionally challenging period for the creative sector.

Our 17th edition will bring together over 35 exhibitions and new commissions in visual art spaces across the city, complemented by an online programme of events and digital presentations.

As galleries begin to reopen after many months of closure, this year, more than any, we are proud to cast a spotlight on the uniquely ambitious, inventive and thoughtful programming produced each year by Edinburgh’s visual art community.
All our festival venues will be following the latest government Covid guidelines to ensure visitor safety, and we will be keeping our website regularly updated on what audiences can expect during their visit.

We look forward to sharing full listings in late-Spring, but for the meantime we are delighted to confirm that Edinburgh Art Festival will return!

Highlights from the Programme

Our festival-led programming features major new commissions and presentations by leading international artists, including the UK & European premiere of Lessons of the Hour by Isaac Julien in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland; and two new festival co-commissions, with work by Sean Lynch in collaboration with Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; and a sound installation by Emeka Ogboh with Talbot Rice Gallery

In a new approach for the festival, we are delighted to collaborate with Glasgow based artist, film-maker and programmer, Tako Taal as Associate Artist. Responding to the festival’s invitation to reflect on themes and ideas emerging from Isaac Julien’s Lessons of the Hour, Taal has invited new commissions for public and digital spaces, by a new generation of artists living and working in Scotland: Chizu Anucha, Sequoia Barnes, Francis Dosoo, Thulani Rachia, Camara Taylor and Matthew Arthur Williams.

We will also see the return of Platform, the festival’s annual showcase supporting artists in the early stages of their careers to make and present new work – with Jessica Higgins, Danny Pagarani, Kirsty Russell and Isabella Widger invited to create new work for Platform: 2021.

There will also be chance to discover new generation artists at some of our partner galleries across Edinburgh, including the work of Satellite participant Alison Scott at Collective and Sekai Machache at Stills.

Solo presentations across the capital include Christine Borland at Inverleith House, RBGE, Alberta Whittle at Jupiter Artland, Frank Walter at Ingleby Gallery, Ian Hamilton Finlay at The City Art Centre, Sonia Mehra Chawla at Edinburgh Printmakers, and a major exhibition by the artist Karla Black for the newly developed and reopened Fruitmarket.

This year’s edition will also feature important retrospectives and major survey shows including The Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure at National Museum of Scotland, Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour at The Queen’s Gallery, Joan Eardley at The Scottish Gallery and Archie Brennan at Dovecot Studios.

View Our Press Release