12th Colony of Artists at Abbeyhill Primary School

Sat & Sun, 23 & 24 Sept 2017 | Daily 1-5pm  | FREE

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Join us for the festival premiere of 10 new projects from our artists-in-residence programme at Abbeyhill Primary School – the only programme of its kind in a Scottish primary school! Discover the stories of each residency project which took place throughout 2016/17 academic year at Abbeyhill Primary School and in the alternative classrooms of our partners! Meet some of our 10 artists-in-residence Helena Barrett, Jolanta Dolewska, Ailsa Lochhead, Tessa Lynch, Clare McAllister, Poppy Richards, Oliver Ridgewell, Eleanor Robertson, Marilyn Wilson and Anna York!

Meet and greet also some of the pupils aged 3 to 12 years, as well as the teaching and support staff who alongside our resident artists worked in dance and drama, plein air sketching and screen printing, photography and portraiture, costume design and installation, music and performance art!

Spread the word: Share our Facebook Event and join the social media conversation about the festival premiere of the 10 artists-in-residence projects here @IliyanaNedkova @AbbeyhillPS @colonyofartists.

Pop-up Art Cafe | Daily 1-5pm

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sample the sweet and savoury baking delights of the Abbeyhill Primary School parents and pupils in our Pop-up Art Cafe. Find it located for the first time at the school front gates overlooking the Abbeyhill Colonies! Purchase some exclusive artworks while supporting a good cause – the next generation of artists at Abbeyhill Primary School. Be assured that all the proceeds will stay at the school!

Look out for our limited edition mug A is for Abbeyhill Artists by our designerin-residence Theresa Pickles exclusively on sale at our Pop-up Art Cafe! Pair your mug with a rug A is Antoni Gaudi created by Charlotte Intihar and P6 pupils. Remember to go through our Pop-up Art Cafe before you check the exhibition and the live performance at the school. Then head to the homes of the exhibiting artists in the Abbeyhill Colonies via our cafe!

Artworks Treasure Hunt | Daily 1-5pm | FREE

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Take our traditional treasure hunt and spot the artworks ‘hiding’ in the main building and the courtyard of our beautifully restored purpose-built Victorian school. Find some old favourites at our Pop-up Art Cafe and some brand new artworks in Dazzled – our one-off live performance!

Free and downloadable: Download your copy of the Treasure Hunt 2017 of the 12th Colony of Artists exhibition at Abbeyhill Primary School! Or simply pick it up at our Pop-up Art Cafe on arrival.

Dazzled | live performance | Sun, 24 Sept 4pm | FREE

Enjoy our exclusive live performance in the school’s Assembly Hall on Sun, 24 Sept at 4pm. Not only it is one of the highlights of the wider 12th Colony of Artists show but the official closing festival event at the school! Dazzled is a triple bill performance starring the young people of Abbeyhill with the artists-in-residence Helena Barrett, Poppy Richards, Oliver Ridgewell, Eleanor Robertson, Marilyn Wilson and Anna York!

Start with a capella music in English and Polish as part of our ongoing POLSKI project before you see the newly devised drama and dance pieces all inspired by Ciara Phillips’ Every Woman dazzle ship – our first school-wide partnership with Edinburgh Art Festival. The school’s own Ukelele and Guitar Ensembles led by our resident artist Oliver Ridgewell will also provide the special support. 

Did you know: Abbeyhill Primary School has been on the map of the annual Colony of Artists festival since its inception in 2005 when year on year each class would mount their own take on a themed exhibition in the school’s Assembly Hall. We have kept this festival spirit alive and accompanied each artists-in-residence exhibition at the school since 2014 with a new class teachers-led themed display from Endangered Species (2014) and Flower Power (2015) to Summertime (2016) featuring all pupils, from Nursery to Primary 7. To coincide with Dazzled (2017), each class teacher worked with their class on a distinct dazzling  pattern display transforming the school’s Assembly Hall into a giant set design for the performance.

Spread the word: Share this Facebook Event for Dazzled and join the social media conversation about the performance here @IliyanaNedkova @AbbeyhillPS @colonyofartists.

POLSKI | Daily 1-5pm | FREE


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Join us as we continue to celebrate the outcome of the diverse POLSKI projects in the annual Colony of Artists festival! POLSKI is the unique series of Polish artists-in-residence at Abbeyhill Primary School which began in the academic year 2015/16 with the residency of Dawid Gumula and continued with the residencies of Monika Szydlowska  Jolanta Dolewska and Anna York in the following 2016/17. View all four POLSKI projects so far at the 12th Colony of Artists and be the first to hear as we publicly announce the new Polish artists’ residencies at the school for this academic year 2017/18 of Sylwia Kolasinska and Kristin Mojsiewicz.

Why POLSKI? Early on, we invited The Polish Contemporary Art Organisation to co-curate POLSKI at our school and build on the success of their latest group exhibition WAVES. Just like WAVES, POLSKI showcases Polish artists and artists of Polish descent at different stages of their artistic practice working with various media — photography, written word, printmaking, installation, collage, film, ceramics and performance.

While WAVES stands for the constant movement, outflow and influx of Polish talent to the British shores, POLSKI extends this metaphor to include the migration wave of Polish families and young people that started in 2004 when Poland joined the European Union. POLSKI focuses on the ripples of creativity at the heart of Edinburgh’s Abbeyhill Primary School by inviting Polish artists-in-residence to bring the wonder of contemporary art in the classroom to every pupil from Primary 1 to 7 through a series of residency projects. We couldn’t have done this without the generous support of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh and all the Polish families and young people in our school and wider Abbeyhill community.


The 12th Colony of Artists 2017 at Abbeyhill Primary School was curated by Iliyana Nedkova as part of the ongoing programme for spreading the wonder of contemporary arts to every pupil and teacher in and outside of the classroom.  It features the outcome of the artists’ residencies at Abbeyhill Primary School throughout 2016 and 2017 of Helena Barrett, Jolanta Dolewska, Ailsa Lochhead, Tessa Lynch, Clare McAllister, Poppy Richards, Oliver Ridgewell, Eleanor Robertson, Marilyn Wilson and Anna York.

Curatorial support by James Bell | Iga Bozyk | Patrycja Godula | Astrid Gracie | Amy Firth |Anne Houliston | Sally Ketchin | Keith Martin | Wendy Timmons
In partnership with Colony of Artists | Collective | Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh | Polish Contemporary Art Organisation | Edinburgh Art Festival | Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh | Leith Walk Primary School | Happy Ears | The Scottish Parliament | Centrala Books
Supported by Children & the Arts | Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh | Abbeyhill Primary School Pupil Equity Fund | The University of the West of Scotland | Curiouser & Curiouser | Venture Photography Edinburgh | Abbeyhill Primary School Parent Council
%d bloggers like this: