Calton Hill Collective’s Summer Programme 2022

This summer, Collective Edinburgh presents three new, distinct artist commissions across the City Observatory site and online. Using the City Observatory site as a springboard, Collective’s programme considers the hidden histories and untold stories relating to our site and wider cultural history.

Bringing together new work by three artists, the summer programme of solo exhibitions and events reframes and questions complex figures, movements and systems whose legacies are woven into our collective cultural memory. All three projects have been developed with the artists, in some cases over a number of years, to explore how the legacies of the past can be reconsidered and re-presented to help us re-imagine the present and future.

The programme comprises the following:

A Matter of Precedents from artist, educator and writer Annette Krauss, explores the City Observatory’s status and designation as a ‘common good asset’ and has been developed in dialogue with those involved in Collective’s redevelopment of the site, alongside artists and cultural thinkers. The ‘common good’ is a form of collective property unique to Scotland, comprising buildings, land, structures, and monuments gifted to the people of a specific area. Drawing on her research on the commons, the artist’s project considers the specificity and lack of visibility of the Scottish commons, particularly in Edinburgh, and draws on Collective’s journey to the City Observatory as a way to explore the (imaginative) potential of the ‘common good’ as a particular legal, historically philanthropic, early capitalist anomaly entangled with colonial histories.

A research resource will be presented in Collective’s City Observatory Library and an online presentation will launch in August. The resource includes information on the ‘common good’ in Edinburgh along with propositions to imagine future uses for other common good sites.

Free, no booking needed City Observatory Library

Backwash fromGlasgow-based artist Camara Taylor is part of Collective’s Satellites Programme for emergent practitioners based in Scotland. The work can refer to the cleaning of filters, the receding of waves, backward currents or the reverberations of a particular event. It is also a name for the saliva infused liquid mixtures at the bottom of drinking vessels.

In this exhibition these fluid actions are mixed with their ongoing explorations of silt, slop and snaps. Through backwash, Camara offers new video and mixed-media works recomposed from the sighs and groans of a sinking kingdom; a short-lived Company; several ports and a pistol.

Runs from 18th June – 4th September 2022

Free, no booking needed The Hillside

The Beast,presented byScottish artist Ruth Ewan, is a tale centred on the obscured history of the iconic Scottish/American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. This new installation that comprises a new animation and archival material tells the story of Carnegie’s ruthless accumulation of wealth and the place he bought in history via an uncanny encounter with his paleontological namesake, Diplodocus carnegii.

This timeous project looks back at the era of industrial revolution where natural resources, geology and labour were seen as the right of the rich to plunder and appropriate for their own gain and ego but the work brings the story up to date.

Runs from 25th June – 18th  September 2022

Free, no booking needed City Dome

Irene Brown

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