Edinburgh studios and gallery space The Number Shop hosts four exhibitions over Edinburgh Festival

Founder Alistair Grant on the background behind artist-led exhibitions

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*4PrivateView: Alistair Grant

Soon after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, Alistair Grant founded The Number Shop, a complex of studios and gallery space in a previously empty property on the Pleasance. Throughout the festival The Number Shop will host four informal exhibitions with work from current studio holders.

Why did you decide to start The Number Shop?
I found that coming out of ECA, if you wanted a studio space you were either going to have to pay a fair amount per month, be put on a long waiting list or be willing to travel out of the centre of town. So The Number Shop came from a desire to combat those issues by keeping it affordable, flexible and central as well as specifically supporting recent graduates and young artists.

How did you decide on the location of the project and the artists that would hold studios and show exhibitions?
After talking with the council and seeing the plans, and how suitable the space was for the project, I made the decision to settle at The Number Shop. There was a call-out to get the initial studio artists in but for exhibitions it is an open and free process for people who want a show. You just have to ask.

Who has been involved in setting up the project and keeping it going?
So far, the set up and management has been done by myself, which I am happy with because I am learning lots from the role. I think towards the end of this year I will ask around to see if there can be any specific roles for people within the project when it comes to community projects, funding, residencies and the general arts programme.

What's next for The Number Shop?
Its been a period of flux over these first months, mostly due to the decorating, so now we are more settled it would be nice to focus on and flesh out the arts programme and get the local community involved in the project too.

The Number Shop, exhibitions until Sun 21st Aug, free.

The Number Shop

188–190 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9RT

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