City Art Centre celebrates history of female artists

A lecture on the history of women artists in Edinburgh was held yesterday afternoon at the City Art Centre in the lead-up to International Women’s Day.

Breaching the Glass Ceiling: Women Artists and Professionalism, part of a series of talks discussing female artists, shed light on the status of women artists in the late nineteenth century, their struggle to study their craft and their hope to be recognised as professionals.

Dr Joanna Soden, a Scottish Art specialist and speaker of the event, spoke to EN4 News about the importance of discussing female art:

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity doing such an event and being part of it. Women’s History Month is a continuation of the themes I was talking about through my talk which is about taking whatever opportunity you can and running with it. I think the higher the profile these women have is proof that they can have successful careers worth celebrating.”

The lecture discussed various female Edinburgh artists including Amelia Hill, the main female contributor to the statues seen on the Scott Monument and Mary Rose Hill Burton, a founding member of the Edinburgh Lady Artists’ Club.

Learning and programmes manager Margaret Findlay, who introduced the event, spoke about the success of this series of lectures thus far:

“I think talks like this are really important because art history is quite male dominated so its very important to highlight all the fantastic female artists there have been. This series of lectures we have had in the lead-up to International [Women’s Day] have been phenomenally successful, so that shows that there is an appetite for it.”

The lecture series will conclude this weekend with a talk on the works of artist Mary Cameron on Sunday, complementing the exhibition of her work currently on display.

Pictures from Afghanistan – An interview with David Pratt

David Pratt insists he has always had a connection with Afghanistan, even before he visited for the first time back in the 1980s and Glasgow Film Festival’s premiere of ‘Pictures From Afghanistan’ gives us the opportunity to look back on what he has experienced over numerous years.

When asked to tell us about the film, Pratt describes it as “a look back over the last 40 years of my relationship with the country and the reporting that I have done there”. He feels that it gives him a great opportunity to tell the story of Afghanistan that hasn’t been heard before.

Despite travelling across the globe, Pratt holds Afghanistan in the highest regard of those places and thinks that in some way or another, any foreign correspondent will have a “special” relationship with a country, whether that be from the people, to the landscape or simply experiences that has happened to them. For him though, it’s a combination of those things and the fact that even before visiting, he was always fascinated by the country.

“Even before I went to Afghanistan in the 1980s it was a place that had fascinated me, I’m fond of wild places and mountaineering when I was younger so that was an attraction.”

 

Pratt describes the natives as “people who are not good to make enemies of but are wonderful to make friends with” and feels that he has a duty to tell their story from an eyewitness perspective.

“There is a distinct dearth of eyewitness reporting these days. It doesn’t get more eyewitness than photo journalism.”

He continues to describe the fact that with modern technology, civilians have the ability to tell different stories. However, he insists that while it is great to see more eyewitness journalism, it doesn’t really help explain what can be happening in that moment.

“What we’re being inundated with is elements of people on their mobile phones. That doesn’t necessarily help explain what is happening.”

That being said, David agrees with the fact that editors are now reluctant to send reporters to war torn areas due to the potential backlash and having witnessed it himself understands with the reasoning behind this.

“Many news organisations are conscious of putting their staff into these situations due to what can happen.”

While it is difficult to put his love of the country into words, Pratt hopes that the film, which launches on Sunday 1st March at 1:15pm, will be able to tell the story. The film will be followed by a Q&A chaired by Allan Little and tickets are available on the GFF website.

 

Podcast: Who will be representing Great Britain at Eurovision?

 

Songwriter James Newman was announced as the UK’s entry to Eurovision 2020 this week with his song titled ‘My Last Breath’. Adam Zawadzki and Suzanne Oliphant tell us their thoughts as well as all other things Eurovision.

Click the player below to tune in.

Gallery Review: ‘Where I Stand’ by Michael Wildman

Striking, gritty and at times vibrant, Michael Wildman’s collection of photographs provides a visceral viewing experience at the intimate Upright Gallery in Bruntsfield.

Curated from his adventures throughout South America, Wildman shines a spotlight on the continent’s various urban locales, often with a hint of human presence.

Whether it’s the silhouette of a man in a dimly lit station, a woman walking down a darkened street with birds flying overhead or a man sitting by a balcony alone, every subject appears to be in some form of quiet, lonely contemplation. This is especially apparent in his monochrome photography with the darkness surrounding the subject, only further enhancing this feeling of isolation. Even the more colourfully composed pieces retain this sense of solitude.

Mongui, Colombia, one of the pieces currently displayed at the Upright Gallery | © Michael Wildman

This was amplified by the intimacy of the venue itself. The small-scale design of the building makes you feel like you’re there with the person in frame, enabling an easier connection with them as individuals.

Wildman’s focus on the rundown, dilapidated streets of Chile and Colombia are another highlight of his work, providing a lens into the urban decay of these locations. Boarded up buildings, graffiti and discarded heirlooms are powerfully conveyed through his photography, producing emotional yet captivating imagery.

This presence can also be felt in some of the more personal pieces where even the most optimistic images contain a sense of wear and tear in the environment, making the location as much of a character as the person it shares a space with.

Whether it’s Chile or Colombia, deeply personal or purely environmental, Wildman proves himself as an exceptional photographer and a storyteller capable of conveying pure emotion in a stills image.

Gig Review: The Gil Scott Heron’s Songbook at the Edinburgh Jazz Weekend

Equal parts exhilarating and mesmerising, Sunday night at the St Brides Centre proved to be a fitting tribute to a great American jazz poet as well as a tremendous conclusion to a great weekend of Jazz.

Starring acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Aki Remally and piano maestro Fraser Urquhart, the duo paid tribute to Gil Scott Heron in the only way they know how: with a truly fantastical display of jazz pulling from the famed musician’s catalogue of music.

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Remally is a tour de force both vocally and instrumentally. His skill is apparent when he can produce a smooth, silky ballad and switch at the drop of a hat to vocals filled with energy and passion. This vocal talent is only enhanced by his ability with a guitar, providing a harmonising medley of sound.

Urquhart also showcases his sheer skill as a musician throughout, either being a complementary and harmonious element or a dominant force, depending on what is required. A particular highlight of his talent was a fantastic drum solo near the end of the set; his aggressive yet elegant movements producing a performance equal parts mesmerising and intense.

Together, the two musicians complement each other perfectly, forming a must-see act worthy of both the songbook they paid tribute to as well as Scottish jazz fans’ attention.

Gorillaz, Carseat Headrest & Lady Gaga: The EN4 News Music Podcast

 

On this week of the EN4News Music Podcast, presenters Sonny Neil, Elise Kennedy & Neil McGlashan discuss some of this weeks hot releases, upcoming local gigs & festivals to keep an eye out for.

Click the player below to tune in.

 

EN4News UK Bulletin: 31/10/19

UK Correspondent Kris Gourlay runs thorugh today’s UK Headlines!

 

EN4News Local Bulletin: 31/10/19

Local Correspondent Heather Ferguson shares today’s local headlines!

 

 

EN4News International Bulletin: 31/10/19

International Correspondent Christopher Lamb shares the latest International Headlines!

EN4News Sports Bulletin: 31/10/19

Sports Correspondent Erin McRitchie runs you through today’s sport headlines.

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