Visual Art preview – Hidden Door 2022

The visual artists chosen to exhibit at Hidden Door Festival 2022 represent a vibrant cross section of local and emerging talent.

From the 9 – 18 of June, Hidden Door will be filling the Old Royal High School with a wide range of visual art, much of which will be created in response to the building and its history, as well as exploring themes of identity and place. The exhibitions will span a variety of disciplines, showcasing work from recent graduates and established artists from Edinburgh and beyond.

Adela Kaluzinska will be exploring boundaries within landscapes and fabricated nostalgia through drawing and woodcarving, whilst Emily Knight will be bringing her vibrant oil and acrylic paintings. There will be an array of collage work, with Cat Madden combining painted surface with paper in her wall pieces, and Isabel Duffy’s cheery and colorful circular collages using found material. Gwynne Bilski’s Limbinal Mappings is an interdisciplinary installation featuring large scale ink, textile, and embroidery maps, with movement-based performances. 

Fiona Beveridge will be showcasing a collection of natural mixed media works produced whilst on residency in Oaxaca, Mexico, alongside Jagoda Sadowska’s unique illustrations which combine her Polish background with East Asian aesthetics. Celebrating deep sea corals found off the coast of Scotland, Jodi Le Bigre will be displaying her lithographic print work. Interacting with the unique setting of the Royal High School, Camilla Hanney will be creating an ephemeral floor drawing by gently sifting various materials over handmade stencils, whilst Tess Eden Glen will be curating an imaginative retrospective exhibition of a fictional Edinburgh artist.

Hidden Door is excited to continue its tradition of platforming unique and innovative sculpture artists, with Keziah MacNeill’s exploration of analogue photographic techniques will be displayed within innovative sculpture, alongside sculpture installations by Martin Crawford, which will utilise found materials and steel, and Paria Moazemi Goodarzi’s work, made with plaster cast, metal and fabric. Soorin Shin will be showcasing Four Seasons, a series of architectural metal sculptures representing Korean Norigae charms, whilst Amy Harrison will create a site-specific piece with mirrors, lights and paintings responding to the Royal High’s architecture. 

Sax Shaw will also be responding to the space, creating a glass sculpture with light that casts colours onto the surrounding area, and Eilidh Reilly will be opening up critical discourse on oral storytelling tropes through a curation of intriguing objects. Using archival sounds, Kirsten Millar will be working with the site’s neoclassic architecture and history to create an immersive archaeo-acoustic installation. Sasha Ballon will be bringing a performance which combines moving image, hard and soft sculpture.

Hidden Door Festival is excited to host Damien Cifelli’s Tarogamma Archive Installation, an atmospheric storytelling exhibition combining paintings, hangings and anthropological artefacts, alongside Miriam Mallelieu’s curated installation museum exhibiting print, sculpture and film. Maria Vigers will be continuing this year’s theme of innovatively responding to the Royal High School site with an installation using light and light-reactive materials, whilst Rebecca Tucker’s self-contained installation room bathed in green light, populated with absurd ceramic sculptures, will explore the history of the colour green. 

Drawing on research into queer theology, Catherine Street will be displaying her projected film, drawings and text work. Zoe Gibson will also explore projection, accompanied by paper mache sculptures and objects, in an immersive film installation. Emily Weaver’s video installation will explore ideas around the archeological findings of the Lepenski Vir fish people, Evie Rose Thornton’s hanging litmus paper will interrogate how climate change affects the sea, and Fraser MacBeath’s immersive audiovisual installation will critique the depopulation of the Hebrides.

This year’s festival will also feature the work of three artists currently undertaking a graduate residency at Leith Art School. These include Molly Kent’s explorations of health through textile work, Madeleine Wood’s multimedia installations, and Jack Whitelock’s abstract oil paintings.

Jill Boualaxai Martin, Visual Arts Programmer for Hidden Door 2022, said: “We’re so excited about the Visual Arts programme for this year’s Hidden Door Festival; the Old Royal High School is such a  landmark in the city and offers a unique exhibition space for artists to work in. Some  have been directly inspired by the building itself and have come up with innovative ways to respond to its architecture and history. Others are developing more personal lines of enquiry for the festival with archaeological storytelling, landscape, Scottish heritage, personal identity, and gender, as just some of the ideas in the mix.

“As usual, Hidden Door will be giving a platform to local and emergent creators, some of whom haven’t had the opportunity to put on an exhibition of this scale before, and we can’t wait to see how it all comes together!”

It was announced in January that this year’s Hidden Door will take place in the former Royal High School on Calton Hill, transforming the vast, forgotten complex into a vibrant, ten day multi-arts festival from 9 – 18 June 2022.

Hidden Door are working in partnership with the new National Centre for Music.

Hidden Door 2022 is supported by Baillie Gifford and other generous partners and sponsors.

The Skinny are the official media partners for Hidden Door 2022.

Edinburgh brewer Innis & Gunn is sponsoring this year’s festival and will be pouring a selection of their premium beers at bars across the site.

Tickets are available via or from Citizen Ticket.