Leith School of Art, Edinburgh’s independent college of art, just completed its 30th anniversary year. The LSA’s end of year exhibitions showcase students from courses of all levels and duration. There are three separate exhibitions for Short Courses, Year-Long Courses and Contemporary Art Practice, with the opportunity to buy some of the art on show and to meet the artists and tutors.
This year’s anniversary exhibitions come with a hand-cut, lino-print souvenir map of Leith created by Foundation Course students as a leaving gift for Philip Archer, long-running Principal of the LSA. The map is also a tribute to the methods used by the LSA’s late founders, Lottie and Mark Cheverton.
LSA has an unrivalled reputation and a high success rate for students gaining access to courses at other leading art colleges and universities. Anyone who attended this year’s exhibitions can’t help but feel inspired by the work shown. Here are some highlights from the three exhibitions:
Contemporary Art Practice
This is a year-long, studio-based fine art course of one full day a week. The students learn to develop ideas and communicate meaning through enquiry and experimentation. The exhibition leaflet is poetic and complements the artworks.
An installation exploring memory, loss and family legacy through found words and objects. “Attending CAP has been stimulating and instructive on many levels – working alongside and seeing other people’s ideas and ways of self-expression has been fascinating and I’ve found it expansive and playful in terms of the materials we’ve explored. It helped me to find new ways of expressing thoughts and feelings about key areas of interest for me – loss, grief, love and hope – the invisible threads that connect us to our ancestors and inform the present.”
Using 19th Century health records from Midlothian and Peebles District Lunatic Asylum.
Recorded written administrative entries of anonymously presented women are stripped back to show their personal experiences, especially of the escapees. “The work considers our need to escape, physically and psychologically.”
25 North Junction Street
This former Norwegian Seamen’s church is the original building in which the LSA was founded, an inspiring space full of light and character. The artworks here are from the full and part-time year-long courses.
“I’m interested in the urban landscape and the way the city is continuously re-imagined and re-made.”
“My paintings hold much of their influence from the idea of a form behind a membrane/surface.”
“My current work depicts the light and atmosphere found on the Ayrshire coast.”
“This work is drawn from the absence of my brother, the emotion of loss, the inevitability of it and how it manifests itself.”
St James Campus
11A John’s Place
St John’s campus is also a church building and another light-bathed studio space. This exhibition includes submitted work from the day, evening, summer and weekend short courses. There is also a poignant tribute wall showing the work of Rhidian Crichton-Stuart who sadly passed away earlier this year.