Edinburgh Art Festival reveals full programme for summer 2024

EAF (Edinburgh Art Festival) has revealed the full programme for summer 2024, their 20th Birthday year, from 9 to 25 August.

For the 2024 programme, EAF will invite audiences to join them in a moment to collectively pause and reflect upon the conditions under which we live, work, gather and resist. EAF will use the opportunity of their 20th Birthday to connect with historic and contemporary ways of organising that have built infrastructures of care and pioneering activist movements over the past 20 years (and beyond). The programme, the biggest yet for EAF, spans the work of more than 200 artists,  and takes place all across the city, asking viewers to look again at Edinburgh through the eyes of the exhibiting artists. 

A woman (Male Broomes) surrounded by clouds of what appears to be smoke or cloth, lit in dramatic red and white lighting

Mele Broomes, image by Ruby Pluhar.

“This year, EAF celebrates persistence. Our programme traces lines through personal histories, the natural world, post-colonial landscapes, and the global political stage. We have invited artists from across Scotland, the UK, Europe, Latin America, and the SWANA region, who refuse inequity, isolation, destruction, and despair (in large ways and in quiet ways). We want to connect to our context and the city — to the people and movements who inspire change, who enable solidarity, and bring people together to work towards collective futures.” says EAF Director, Kim McAleese.

Across the city audiences will be able to experience a range of performances across three weekends:

  • At Custom Lane, Leith, Mele Broomes presents a newly commissioned outdoor performance; with progressions of vocal callings accompanied by live melodies and choreographies, this work pays homage to a series of conversations facilitated by Mele and the living archive. 
  • Prem Sahib will present their performance work Alleus, co-commissioned with Roberts Institute of Art and Somerset House Studios in Castle Terrace Car Park under Edinburgh Castle. The first time Sahib has worked with live vocalists, the work is a polyphony of live and pre-recorded voices. Alleus – ‘Suella’ spelled backwards – re-orders, re-directs and disrupts an anti-immigration speech by former home secretary Suella Braverman. Alongside this, across EAF, there will be an outdoor site-specific light installation by Prem Sahib – Liquid Gold. Presented after hours in collaboration with Bard, Leith, the artist invites viewers to be spectators, but never cross the threshold to the building’s interior.
  • EAF invites global practitioners to reflect on EAF24’s key themes in an opening proposition of how to make art at a time of global crises at Edinburgh College of Art. Join for a day of discussions, workshops, film, and food, focusing on how to sustain creative practices during times of global political crisis. EAF will join with Cooper Gallery (DJCAD, University of Dundee), a distinctive platform in Scotland for challenging practices and critical discourse in contemporary art, design, and culture; Falastin Film Festival, a volunteer-run collective bringing Palestinian art to Scotland through cinema, music, cuisine, and other storytelling mediums; Haven for Artists, a Beirut-based cultural feminist organisation rooted in intersectional feminism, gender, racial justice, and decolonial practices; Lighthouse Books, Edinburgh’s oldest radical, queer-owned bookshop and unapologetically activist, intersectional community space; and Más Arte Más Acción, a Colombian foundation using art and ecology to facilitate conversations about the Climate Emergency.
  • A festival within a festival, JUPITER RISING x EAF at Jupiter Artland invites audiences to explore, discover and celebrate underrepresented artistic voices, championing queer and QTIPOC experimental practice. JUPITER RISING is Scotland’s artist-driven art and music festival set in the iconic landscape of Jupiter Artland. 
  • EAF and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh also invite Más Arte Más Acción (MAMA) to present an artistic public intervention at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, in the form of a large table around a tree, to discuss the interconnections between humans and plants in times of rapid biodiversity loss. This intervention builds on MAMA’s 2022 contribution for Documenta fifteen in Germany and Possible Dialogues for COP26 in Glasgow, and will travel to COP30 in Brasil.
  • A Birthday Party at Custom Lane,  Leith to celebrate EAF’s 20th Birthday. Hosted by queer-led hair salon turned iconic party series Ponyboy, with EHFM’s impressive roster of DJs providing music.

EAF’s 2024 hub is City Art Centre and a range of projects include:

  • Sanctus! a new film installation by Renèe Helèna Browne exploring devotion in relation to portraiture, faith, and belonging. The project borrows its title from the Latin word for ‘holy’, chanted three times by the Prophet Isaiah upon seeing an apparition of God. Through the roles of onlooker and interviewer, Browne presents a fragmented portrait of rally car culture as a route to finding understanding with their mother Helen. Shot across Ireland over the course of one year, the film work moves through various events, from opening ceremony celebrations, drivers’ preparations, bystanders' excitements, to race day action, and adjacent diffing competitions. 
  • Co-commissioned by EAF and Auto Italia, Karol Radziszewski’s curated exhibition collects rare photographs and ephemera to trace the history of Filo Magazine, one of the first underground queer magazines in Central-Eastern Europe, founded by activist Ryszard Kisiel. Begun in response to Polish communist police suppression of sexual minorities, underground magazine Filo furthered activist conversations about sexuality, creativity and politics. Alongside, Radziszewski presents his paintings of queer, Central-Eastern European historical figures, hung in a style recalling Eastern Bloc propaganda portraits, exploring the unknown histories of LGBTQ+ communities beyond the US and Western Europe. This will be Radziszewski’s first Scottish solo exhibition. This exhibition will be accompanied by a programme programme of events with Karol Radziszewski and artist Agné Jokšé. 
  • This year’s PLATFORM early-career artists Alaya Ang, Edward Gwyn Jones, Tamara MacArthur and Kialy Tihngang, selected by Amal Khalaf and Eliel Jones, and EAF curator Eleanor Edmondson, will respond directly to the themes of the 2024 programme, centering intimacy, material memory, protest and persecution.

EAF asks visitors to look again at the city around them in new ways this summer:

  • EAF have invited Rosie’s Disobedient Press, a collaborative project by artists Lisette May Monroe and Adrien Howard, to reflect on the framework for EAF’s 20th Birthday and on the landscape of the city over the past 20 years. Rosie’s have been working with archives and organisations local to Edinburgh to look at language and words as a historical act of resistance and bringing this into our modern day circumstance. Rosie’s will present works of textual intervention which will appear in print, on clothing, across windows and banners throughout the city. 
  • Remnants: How you re-assemble a city will launch for EAF and is a free newspaper for Edinburgh, created by feminist architecture collective Voices of Experience, EAF and Panel. While the initial Remnants centered stories from Glasgow's Merchant City, the newest edition of Remnants will aim to connect to current and historical context and the city of Edinburgh and will be available to collect at Leith Library, City Art Centre, and across Edinburgh throughout August. 

A wide range of partner exhibitions take place from the East to the West and from the North to the South of the City:

EAF’s 2024 programme plays with scale. In the centre of town, Fruitmarket, Ibrahim Mahama is making a brand new body of work inspired by the Gallery's unique physical location, supported on columns above Waverley railway station. This proximity to – and dependence on – the railway is the starting point for large scale drawings, sculpture and installations referencing his own interest in and using material from the now defunct colonial-era railway of Ghana.  At Talbot Rice Gallery, El Anatsui’s exhibition will comprise a large selection of his iconic sculptural wall hangings, wooden reliefs and works on paper and will be the most significant exploration of El Anatsui’s practice, which spans more than five decades, ever staged in the UK. Los Angeles based painter Hayley Barker will make her first exhibition in Europe at Ingleby, where landscape and nature paintings strike a seemingly impossible harmony between intimacy and grandeur, appearing simultaneously dense and intricately painted, and yet open and full of space. At the National Galleries of Scotland, Do Ho Suh architectural structures and objects using fabric in what the artist describes as an "act of memorialization."

The programme allows us to look at recent and current socio-political history in new ways.  Women in Revolt! is the National Galleries of Scotland’s survey of feminist art that celebrates the women who challenged and changed the face of British culture, restaged in Scotland following its presentation at Tate Britain. The Edinburgh Seven Tapestry, meanwhile, at Edinburgh Futures Institute, commemorates the first women to matriculate at any British university. Designed by Christine Borland and created by Dovecot Studios, the tapestry triptych was created using a combination of traditional and modern materials and techniques and its organic shapes are based on cellular structure in motion. At the National Museum of Scotland, a new exhibition draws on Scotland’s rich history of Cold War-era protest and activism. Stills Centre for Photography presents Home: Ukrainian Photography, UK Words, a touring showcase with Ukrainian Photographies, featuring contemporary Ukrainian photographers exploring the meaning of home. Further photography can be seen at  Before and After Coal, at the National Portrait Gallery. At Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Sequoia Barnes, will show an Afro-surreal retelling of Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby, this new body of work unravels how the consumption of cuteness perpetuates oppression and marginalization including racialisation, infantilism, misogyny and brutality.   Also at ESW are Jan Pimblett’s public commission is a gathering of curiosities, strange beings, totems and relics that intersect into a narrative of otherness. EtchingRoom1 - Ukrainian duo Kristina Yarosh and Anna Khodkova - have create a mural that is a message of hope against the background of terrible events. It is a work of art and activism emblematic of our time which speaks of the artists’ experiences of conflict.

Meanwhile, across the city, Laura Aldridge and Andrew Sim will transform Jupiter Artland with Aldridge’s richly glazed ceramics, light, videos, textiles and sound, alongside Sim’s paintings depicting a dreamlike forest, with plants and trees growing beneath rainbows and star-studded skies. Making a return to Scotland for the first time, meanwhile, will be Dovecot Studios' major tapestry with Chris Ofili first created in Edinburgh. Collective also welcomes back early committee member Moyna Flannigan for an exhibition of new work featuring collages, alongside a constellation of paper sculptures that extend the principles of collage into three-dimensional form and space. At Sierra Metro, photographer Flannery O’kafka’s childhood bedroom and home studio bleed into the former carpet shop, as powder blue covers the space in a soft subversion of gender performance, respectability, and the picturing of disability.  Edinburgh College of Art invites visitors to a showcase of work by graduating students. The show combines new work from the schools of Art, Design and Architecture & Landscape Architecture within the beautiful studio spaces of the main building.

At Edinburgh Printmakers, Ade Adesina will showcase experimental prints combining inspiration from Adesina's African roots, British culture, and travelling into international landscapes, while Tayo Adekunle repurposes the imagery of ethnographic exhibitions into a powerful commentary on the fetishisation of Black women's bodies. Collectively-run gallery Sett Studios will showcase a vibrant range of work from their member artists, alongside a solo show from their youngest member, multidisciplinary creative, textiles artist, and DJ Rory Dixon. Travelling Gallery is delighted to be partnering with Community Land Scotland to celebrate 100 years of community ownership in Scotland. Through contemporary artists and new commissions, Where We Stand will tell the stories and achievements of the pioneers of community ownership, a movement that has transformed Scotland. Artists include Virginia Hutchison, Richard Bracken and Colin Tennant & Saskia Coulson; and new commissions by Francia Boakye, Kate O'Shea, and Emma Duncan, Jan Little & Helen Walsh. At the City Art Centre, Adam Bruce Thomson, one of the most quietly impactful artists of his generation has a long overdue exhibition. A long-serving tutor at Edinburgh College of Art, he worked across a broad range of media, mastering printmaking techniques, drawing in pastels, and painting in oils and watercolours. At Inverleith House, through music, literature, fashion, design, scent and visual art, Fungi Forms will take you on a spectacular journey, exploring fungi in science, culture and innovation. Artists sharing new and existing fungi inspired works include Simon Faithfull, Jo Coupe and Sion Parkinson, plus musician Hannah Read and designers and botanical artists from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Collection. Also looking at the natural world, the Scottish Gallery hosts two exhibitions. Renowned as a painter of timeless significance, Geoff Uglow's oeuvre stands as a testament to his unwavering originality. His canvases serve as eloquent odes to the natural world, capturing its transient beauty with unparalleled sincerity. Koji Hatakeyama: Scenes in Bronze includes enigmatic, patinated surfaces which represent the landscape, evoking a sense of time.  Finally, Style & Society: Dressing the Georgians at the Kings Gallery, exhibition explores what the Georgians wore, from the practical dress of laundry maids to the glittering gowns worn at court and how they ushered in many of the cultural trends we know today. 

EAF are also delighted to work with Art Monthly to support one early-career writer to attend and write about the festival, and The Skinny to support four emerging Scottish writers to respond to the programme.

EAF’s Civic programme also continues for 2024, having been an active part of EAF since 2018:

EAF’s continued evolution is built upon cultivating relationships with communities through trauma-informed approaches, which center lived experience, and amplify voices from groups who have historically been excluded from public spaces and creative sectors. This has allowed us to develop intersectional projects and form ongoing creative collaborations with new and ongoing partnerships, including monthly sessions with our Wester Hailes Adult Art Group, SCORE Scotland and other groups dedicated to social justice and art accessibility.

For EAF24, our civic engagement programme will deliver co-curated events between Edinburgh's communities, artists, charities and partner festivals. Participants of local organisations LGBT Youth Scotland and SCORE Women's Group will explore round table discussions through an artistic public intervention by Más Arte Más Acción. The EAF Wester Hailes Adult Art Group will take a look back on their deepest memories at Do Ho Suh’s ‘Tracing Time’ exhibition. Audiences can join a BSL-lead creative tour and workshop of Karol Radiziszewski's debut show 'Filo' with Edinburgh Deaf Festival, or attend the innovative performance lecture by PLATFORM's 2024 artist Edward Gwyn Jones. . The full civic programme for 2024 will be available to visit via the EAF website. 

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said, "The 20th anniversary of the Edinburgh Art Festival is a perfect opportunity to recognise how creative arts can inspire positive change and this year's ambitious programme showcases the immense talent of over 100 artists from diverse backgrounds.  I’m immensely proud to support the festival with £110,000 this year from our Expo fund, which aims to raise the international profile of Scotland’s festivals and help enhance their programmes through innovation collaborations."  

Emma Nicolson, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said: “We are thrilled to support  Edinburgh Art Festival as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. This year’s extensive programme, showcasing the exceptional talents of over 100 artists from diverse backgrounds, underscores our commitment to enriching Scotland's festival landscape and fostering groundbreaking collaborations. Edinburgh Art Festival offers a unique platform for local and international audiences to engage, connect, and experience the vibrant pulse of contemporary visual art. Congratulations to the Festival, its partners, and all the artists involved in making this milestone year truly special."

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said, “We are proud to support Edinburgh Art Festival and its 20th edition. The festival’s ambitious and diverse programme of exhibitions, events and works, much of which is free to attend, is a true testament to visual art in all its myriad forms. Local and visiting audiences are invited to explore, engage in discourse, connect with the city and beyond. Edinburgh Art Festival and its sister festivals are an integral part of Scotland’s events ecosystem and continue to build our national and international profile as the perfect stage for events.”

EAF (Edinburgh Art Festival) is the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art. Founded in 2004, we cultivate connections between artists, collaborators and communities to develop contemporary visual art projects in Edinburgh. In August, we present the UK’s largest annual visual art festival that is deeply rooted in the city and Scotland, with a global dialogue and connection. We amplify intersectional voices and perspectives. 2024 is EAF’s 20th birthday.

The festival is the moment once a year where we make public and bring together in a live moment all of the relationships and support structures that we embody. Since 2004, we have presented 20 editions, working with an average of 35 partner galleries and venues every year. We have programmed 685 events, in addition to the hundreds of other events presented by our partners. Since 2011, we have welcomed a total of over 2.5 million visitors to EAF.

www.edinburghartfestival.com | @EdArtFest


Our public funders are: Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. We are also supported by City of Edinburgh Council.

Our major programme supporters are: the PLACE Programme, a partnership between Edinburgh Festivals, Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland; The British Council and Event Scotland.

Media contacts

Nicola Jeffs & Siobhan Scott

Studio Nicola Jeffs

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