July 23, 2021
Today we reveal plans to transform a disused warehouse into a vast exhibition and performance space as part of our 2021 arts festival in Granton, Edinburgh this September.
This year’s five day festival is taking place outdoors, on land next to the Granton Gasworks, from 15 – 19 September. However, the open air venue isn’t suitable for visual art exhibitions, so we have now got the chance to make use of a nearby warehouse as well, if we can raise the necessary funds to make it happen.
The additional venue will double the footprint of the festival, allowing us to exhibit the work of recent art graduates whose degree shows were cancelled due to COVID-19. The graduates, proud parents and audience members alike will be able to immerse themselves in the exhibition experience whilst staying safe and covid-compliant.
To support the plans, we have launched a crowdfunder to raise £10,000, with supporters able to pick from a wide range of rewards including an immersive treasure hunt experience through the festival grounds, exclusive hand-printed T-shirts from Acorn Print Studio, VIP passes for the festival and limited edition prints by Hidden Door artists.
The visual artists will be chosen from Hidden Door’s Graduate Support Network, launched earlier this year to support recent graduates. These artists will be paid for their work through the proceeds raised from this year’s Crowdfunder. For many of them, it will be their first paid creative opportunity.
Hannah Stewart, Project Manager, said:
“Graduates across Scotland have missed out on the opportunity to exhibit their work because of the onset of a global pandemic. This has greatly impacted their introduction to the industry and their subsequent livelihood.
“It goes without saying that the last 16 months have been challenging for everyone, especially the Arts and Culture sector. These artists are not only trying to establish themselves and their career, but to reinforce the importance and value of art and culture during these unprecedented times. As a festival that celebrates the artistic integrity of Scotland and the wider UK, it is Hidden Door’s duty to help alleviate these artists’ feelings of being devalued, discouraged and despairing.
“We at Hidden Door want to help give these emerging artists the exhibition they deserve. We also want to make sure Scotland doesn’t miss out on the fresh creativity and drive that enriches the country.
“We have the venue and we’ve found the talent; we just need the community’s support to make it happen!”
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The visual artists taking part in the Hidden Door Graduate Exhibition are:
Adela Kaluzinska, Alliyah Enyo, Becky Brewis, Cara Kennedy, Csian Jemecel Canave, Eilidh Nicoll, Emily Knight, Jack Waygood, Josie KO, Katelyn Grant, Keziah Macneill, Kirsten Millar, Leah Moodie, Madeleine Kaye, Martha Stefani-Bose, Martin Crawford, Mclaughlin + Williamson, Miriam Levi, Molly Kent, Paria Goodarzi, Rhona Sword, Sam M Harley, Scott Hunter and Verity Church.
They all graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art, Glasgow School of Art, Grays School of Art, University of Dundee, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and Edinburgh Napier University in 2020 or 2021.
The festival has steadily grown in size and reputation since 2014, when it cleared out the abandoned Market Street vaults to run a 9-day arts festival showcasing local creative talent. In 2015 the festival moved to a hidden courtyard behind Kings’ Stables Road, and returned in 2016, attracting over 12,000 visitors to experience a wealth of art, poetry, theatre, cinema, dance and music.
In 2017 the festival breathed new life into the old Leith Theatre, attracting rave reviews and critical praise for resurrecting “Scotland’s best new live music venue”, winning VisitScotland’s Thistle Award for “Best Cultural Event”.
In 2018, the festival returned to Leith Theatre, also taking up residence in the derelict former State Cinema, just around the corner. Following a farewell weekend event at Leith Theatre in 2019, and a quiet 2020 due to the pandemic, organisers are now setting their sights on the Granton Gasworks and a nearby disused warehouse to bring people back together in 2021.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Hidden Door team have also been producing a series of online live shows, connecting artists and audiences, and showcasing some of the best emerging talent in Scotland. The free shows can be viewed at hiddendoorarts.org/live.