Living with an artist basically means it’s impossible for me to escape art. Aside from covering the walls of our house, it’s part of our daily conversations. What new ideas are forming, how are certain pieces of work progressing, what do we make of such and such… you get the idea.
Naturally, therefore a common pastime for us is perusing the many small galleries that Edinburgh has to offer. We can be utterly scathing of some – but there’s no denying that there are some absolute gems just on our doorstep.
I truly believe that people should shop locally whenever possible. Supporting local galleries is obviously a great way to do this. I know it’s easy to pick up prints at somewhere like Ikea or online – but there are loads of local offerings at incredibly affordable prices:
Marchmount Gallery is a small independently run Gallery, that lies a stones throw away from the Meadows. They have a massive range of art and crafts by a wide variety of exhibiting artists. The price range is broad which means it’s easy to pick up original artwork without having to commit a huge amount of money to it.
Out of the Blue Drill Hall
Out of the Blue isn’t a gallery as such, but rather is a space for a wide variety of projects. Some artists are permanently based there, but it also often hosts temporary exhibitions. It has a great wee café and an awful lot going on.
Through her Edinburgh Galleries membership, my Mum went on a guided tour here and was amazed there was so much going on. You can check out their calendar here.
EMBASSY is a non-profit making artist-run gallery with close links to Edinburgh College of Art. The gallery holds a yearly programme of exhibitions and events and exhibits at off site projects – some more to my taste than others – but it’s always worth a look in. Students particularly are appreciative and it’s definitely a way to feel current!
The Red Door Gallery
The Red Door Gallery is in on one of my favourite streets in Edinburgh. Victoria Street epitomises Old Town for me – the multiple levels, the variety of shop fronts, and always full of hustle and bustle. Red Door stock a huge selection of art prints alongside things like note cards, wrapping paper, jewellery and even knitwear. It’s a great place to find something a bit more original or different. Although they have a lot available online, it’s always nice to browse before heading up to the Royal Mile in search of coffee!
Run by printmaker Jill Hodge and Fine Art photographer Aysha Malik, Amber Arts has a beautiful curated gallery space. Throughout the year the gallery showcases a range of local and international artists promising a varied experience for each visit. They always stock a variety of contemporary original prints as well by some great printmakers and artists.
It’s situated in Abbeyhill: which may be an area less frequented by tourists to the city but it’s totally appreciated by local residents. It’s a bit of a trek for us to get to – but also offers framing and printmaking workshops – so is full of life and worth the hassle!
I know this is a tiny sample of everything Edinburgh has to offer and that’s before even starting on the Lothians. Do you have a favourite local gallery? Please do share your finds over on my Facebook page! Or you could always check out my husband Mike’s page here! Very excited that details of his new exhibition will be coming soon.