Four of the world’s leading graffiti artists from Brazil are teaming up with Scottish talent to decorate the walls and turrets of the south side of Kelburn Castle, on the west coast, 35 miles from Glasgow, in a project aimed at challenging the public’s perception of graffiti. Os Geomos are identical twin brothers whose surreal art stems from the hip hop culture of South America while Nina Pandolfo is well-known for her representations of children and animals. The final participant, Nunca, portrays native rural South Americans. The project, which kicks off on Saturday 9 June, will involve the artists and organisers living together in the castle for a month, their process being documented by a television company and an official photographer.
The winners of Making It, Big in Falkirk’s quest to find the next big thing in Scottish music, are hi-energy electro punk five-piece Dance Lazarus Dance. The band, whose members hail from Glasgow and Edinburgh and who have been compared favourably to The Blood Brothers and Franz Ferdinand, beat off stiff competition from four other finalists. They will now play the music stage at Big in Falkirk on Saturday 5 May. Their prize also includes instruments and equipment as well as the chance to record a session with Real Radio and spend a day at Nebula Sounds recording studios in Denny. www.biginfalkirk.com
Jon Morgan, the new director of the Edinburgh Fringe, is to take up his post in June. Currently Executive Producer with Contact Theatre in Manchester, whose work has toured internationally, Morgan previously worked as an advisor on drama and dance touring to the Scottish Arts Council and was involved with the bid to establish the National Theatre of Scotland. Morgan said of his appointment, ‘It’s an exciting and demanding time for the Fringe and it’s clear to me that working in partnership with the huge variety of groups, individuals and supporters that make up the festival is key to the Fringe’s continuing success.’ Current Fringe director Paul Gudgin plans to leave on the day of the 2007 Fringe programme’s launch, Thursday 7 June. www.edfringe.com
Meanwhile, the Edinburgh Art Festival board has unveiled its first ever Director. Joanne S Brown will lead the festival, now in its fourth year, in showcasing world class visual arts exhibitions and events to an international audience. This year’s festival, which runs from Thursday 26 July-Saturday 2 September, includes a special focus on Picasso, with complementary exhibitions at the National Museums and National Galleries. The programme also features exhibitions of work by Andy Warhol, Richard Long and William Blake as well as site-specific work by Alex Hartley at the Fruitmarket Gallery and Nathan Coley at Doggerfisher. Full details of the programme will be announced in May.
Mercer’s 2007 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey has delivered the shock result that Glasgow is the UK’s highest scoring city for health and sanitation (in 48th place overall) followed by London and Birmingham in positions 63 and 66. Calgary in Canada came top while Baku in Azerbaijan brought up the rear.
Glasgow-based theatre company Solar Bear has been awarded £106,799 from the Big Lottery Fund to set up Scotland’s first Deaf Youth Theatre. The company has previously been responsible for a number of pioneering productions for both deaf and hearing audiences, related to their core values of inclusion, integration and access, including the award-winning Seeing Voices and a translation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream into British Sign Language. At present, Solar Bear United, the company’s youth wing, is starting rehearsals for Broken (pictured), a new physical theatre piece to be performed at Glasgow’s Tramway, Wednesday 6-Saturday 9 June. www.solarbear.org.uk
Dundee Contemporary Arts is to host four days of live experimental music, avant garde film screenings, installations and talks with this year’s Kill Your Timid Notion.
Now in its fourth year, the determinedly iconoclastic festival will showcase a number of internationally renowned artists, including work by American painter and experimental film producer Ken Jacobs, Cube, Japan’s Kanta Horio and Greg Pope. Six themed international film programmes will explore such topics as ‘Humans’, ‘In and Out’, ‘Lost Sound’ and ‘Beyond Image’ while a pair of installations, ‘Beyond 6281’ and Barry Weisblat’s ‘Chord of the Fifth Force’ will run throughout the festival.
Journalist Brian Morton will be appearing in conversation with some of the featured artists in the evening (with the welcome bonus of a free beer for participants).
Curator Barry Esson, who also programmed Glasgow’s Instal at the Arches, is excited about this year’s programme. He said ‘There is always such an amazing buzz around DCA for Kill Your Timid Notion and this year we’re really looking forward to introducing artists from New York, San Francisco and Tokyo to Scottish audiences.’
The festival runs from Thursday 12-Sunday 15 April. For further information or to book tickets call DCA box office on 01382 909990 or visit www.dca.org.uk.