14th Colony of Artists at Abbeyhill Primary School

Sat & Sun, 21 & 22 Sept 2019 | 12-6pm

EXHIBITION |  Daily 12-6pm | FREE

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Join us for the festival premiere of 12 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 2018/19 academic year at Abbeyhill Primary School and in the alternative classrooms of our partners! Meet some of our artists-in-residence Alice Myers, Rodney Relax, Joanna Lubonska + Catherine Gemmell, Jan Bee Brown + Russell McLarty, Kate Nave + Luke Kersten, Lotte Kravitz + Theresa Pickles, Katie & Sophie Owen + Naomi Garriock, Citadel Arts Group, Oliver Ridgewell, Eleanor Robertson + Nic Gareiss and Marilyn Wilson!

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 brought the wonders of drama and music, poetry and photography, installation and performance art, storytelling and philosophy, comic book and graphic design!

Share our Facebook Event and join the conversation about the festival premiere of all our new artists-in-residence projects either or Facebook or on Twitter here @IliyanaNedkova @AbbeyhillPS @colonyofartists.

Holyrood Park | Our Outdoor Classroom | Daily 12-6pm


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Download the work-in-progress of our Holyrood Park map here:

Holyrood Park Our Outdoor Classroom Map Front Cover

Holyrood Park Our Outdoor Classroom Map Back Cover


POP-UP ART CAFE | Daily 12-6pm

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sample the sweet and savoury baking delights of the Abbeyhill Primary School parents, pupils and teachers in our Pop-up Art Cafe. This year we are going entirely single-use plastics-free!  Find our cafe located in our art and music classroom in the Main Building. 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 book Abbeyhill Memories accompanying our brand new binaural sound walks created with our drama company-in-residence Citadel Art Group. Find also the few remaining limited edition mugs A is for Abbeyhill Artists by our designerin-residence Theresa Pickles exclusively on sale at our Pop-up Art Cafe!  

Remember to check the rest of the exhibition, the sound tours and storytelling sessions before you head to the homes of the exhibiting artists in the Abbeyhill Colonies via our cafe!

ABBEYHILL SOUNDSCAPE | Daily tours 12.30, 1.30, 2.30pm | FREE

Take one of our short binaural sound tours and delve into the history of the school and Abbeyhill area!
The sound walks feature dramatic scenes devised and recorded in sessions throughout 2018/19 and led by our drama company in residence Citadel Arts Group with Primary 4 and Primary 6 pupils, 60 + year old school’s alumni and the drama group at the school.

See also the accompanying archival photography exhibition and the brand new book of Abbeyhill Memories available as a limited edition publication in our Pop-up Art Cafe with copies donated to the school’s library.

Tours last about 45 min each and would appeal to anyone – young and old. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ABBEYHILL STORIES | chit-chat sessions | Sun 22 Sept 12.30, 1.30 or 2.30pm | FREE

Take one of our three chit-chat sessions full of stories about Abbeyhill and our great blue planet. Learn to sing a new sea shanty or two.  

Head for the school’s library where you will meet and be guided by our storytellers-in-residence Jan Bee Brown and Russell McLarty.    

Aimed at families with children aged 12 and under. Sessions last approximately 20 min each.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FESTIVAL FINALE | live dance, poetry and drama | Sun 22 Sept 4-5pm | FREE

Enjoy our traditional festival finale in the school’s Assembly Hall! Not only it is one of the highlights of the wider 14th Colony of Artists show but the official closing festival event at the school! Our Festival Finale is a triple bill performance starring the young people of Abbeyhill with the artists-in-residence Oliver Ridgewell and Rodney Relax, Eleanor Robertson, Marilyn Wilson and Citadel Arts Group!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Did you know:  The Assembly Hall in the Main Building of Abbeyhill Primary School has always been our festival hub since the annual Colony of Artists started in 2005.  Year on year each class would mount their own take on a themed exhibition there. We have kept this festival spirit alive and a new class teachers-led themed display has accompanied each of our artists-in-residence exhibitions on view throughout the rest of the school grounds since 2014. The class teachers-led displays featuring all pupils, from Nursery to Primary 7, have included  Endangered Species (2014), Flower Power (2015), Summertime (2016), Dazzled (2017), Farewell to Aileen Patterson (2018) and No to Single-Use Plastics (2019).  In 2013 we started with only 5 artists-in-residence projects bringing the wonder of contemporary arts to every child and teacher through partnerships with various funders and organisations! Since then we have welcome over 50 professional artists to the school!

POLSKI | Daily 12-6pm | 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. Throughout 2017/18 we worked with Sylwia Kolasinska and Kristin Mojsiewicz. This year, at the 14th Colony of Artists, see the world premiere of our latest POLSKI residents Joanna Lubonska and Zu Dominiak. Joanna’s residency was also kindly supported by our first marine conservartionist–in-residence Catherine Gemmell.

Be the first to hear as we publicly announce the new Polish artists’ residencies at the school for the new academic year 2019/20. 

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, creative writing, 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 14th Colony of Artists 2019 at Abbeyhill Primary School is curated by Iliyana Nedkova as part of the ongoing programme of artists’ residencies for spreading the wonder of contemporary arts to every pupil and teacher in and outside of the classroom


Curatorial support by Iga Bozyk | Patrycja Godula | Vlad Hasiu | Sally Ketchin | Keith Martin | Wendy Timmons | William Forrest | James Preston | Simon Preston 

In partnership with Colony of Artists | Collective | Polish Contemporary Art Organisation | Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh | School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh | Marine Conservation Society | Traditional Dance Forum Scotland | Holyrood Park Education Centre, Historic Environment Scotland | Leith Walk Primary School 

Supported by Colony of Artists | Children & the Arts | Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh | North East Edinburgh Community Fund | Vanessa Neil | Young Scot and Creative Scotland through Time to Shine Grant Fund | Young Scot and Natural Heritage Scotland through Future Routes Fund | Calton Youth Ministry Trust | Abbeyhill Primary School | Abbeyhill Primary School Parent Council

%d bloggers like this: