AS LONDON hosts the forthcoming 2012 Olympic Games, the eyes of the world will sweep towards the United Kingdom and alongside British sporting achievement, Scotland’s cultural life will be firmly in the spotlight.
The British Cultural Olympiad celebrates the diversity of cultural life across the Isles and there will be a variety of arts projects funded by the Olympic committee north of the border. Hidden deep in the woods near Selkirk, Edinburgh-based artist Craig Coulthard has created Forest Pitch, a full-size football pitch in the middle of the woods. After the Games, native species of trees will be planted along the pitch markings to create a living sculpture.
London may have the Olympic Games this year but Edinburgh hosts over a dozen festivals every year, albeit of a very different sort. Scotland’s busy cultural scene makes us a major destination for global visitors; more than a million people attended the festivals in 2011 and the events have long been a stage to promote Scotland to the world.
Another defining feature of Scotland is the originality of our artistic talent. This can be seen in our success in recent Turner Prize winners. One of this year’s contenders is another Scot, provocative artist/filmmaker Luke Fowler, who exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2003. The previous three winners have all been Scots: Martin Boyce (2011), Susan Philipsz (2010), and Richard Wright (2009).
Scotland is distinguished by its contributions to international arts exhibitions too. Founded in 1895 The Venice Biennale is one of the art world’s largest and most prestigious shop windows. The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has promoted the best in contempory arts since 1909, including Scottish artists such as James Guthrie, Francis Cadell and John Duncan Fergusson. Recent notable contemporary artists representing Scotland include Jim Lambie, Charles Avery and Karla Black. Martin Boyce presented his own solo show in 2009, demonstrating Scottish artists are of world-class standards.
Geographically, there may be some distance from world-renowned international arts centres such as New York, Venice or Berlin, but Scotland holds its own on the world stage. With our international standard of festivals, our native flair for artistic originality and our outward-looking perspective, it is already shaping up to be an outstanding year for the Scottish arts.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east