New arts centre set to open in Craigmillar

A new community arts centre is to open in Craigmillar and will bring with it a programme of creative activities that celebrates the artistic history of the area.

By Jacob Farr
Monday, 30th November 2020, 7:00 am
Mezzanine of the new centre and existing 19th century church
Mezzanine of the new centre and existing 19th century church

The centre, named Craigmillar Now, will be based in the 19th century Gothic church located on the corner of Fort Kinnaird Retail Park.It will deliver a programme that has been developed in consultation with the local community, and will look to support contemporary local artists and their work in order to develop a sustainable community arts centre.

A 6-month artist residency will be in place for the internationally renowned, local Syrian artist Nihad Al Turk and Iraqi photographer and filmmaker Laurance Darwish.

Nihad Al Turk said: “I am very pleased to join Craigmillar Now as their first artist-in-residence. I have been thinking about creating a new series of sculptures for some time but haven’t had the space or facilities to create them. I am also excited to collaborate on a new film and photographs with the artist Laurance Darwish.”

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Vanquished by Nihad-Al-Turk

A local archive is being developed with the help of residents and will look to preserve valuable historical information on important subjects like the Craigmillar Festival Society.

A community artwork celebrating the women of Craigmillar will also be created and will be led by artist Shauna McMullan in collaboration with local women.

Rachael Cloughton, Craigmillar Now co-founder and project manager, said: "Our hope is that Craigmillar Now will be a creative hub for all of the community – a place where we can celebrate the achievements of Craigmillar’s past and present. We are so excited to be housing the local archives at the centre, while also supporting the many talented people who live in the area today, through a programme of residencies, workshops, exhibitions and events."

Rev Dr Sophia Marriage said: “The diocese of Edinburgh is delighted to be in partnership with Craigmillar Now, and to support this new vision for the building. Art and creativity lie at the heart of our common humanity, and Craigmillar’s history has contributed so much to the art world. Craigmillar Now will continue this legacy, and ensure the area’s great creativity continues to be recognised and shared.”

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