This summer, ArtWizard is part of the Fringe marketplace of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and we are impressed by the way some of the exhibitors are transforming last year's lockdowns experience into art concepts. The concept named “Disconnected”, presented by the WHITESPACE Gallery is talking about the meaning of connection in our lives.
In the spirit of the new world created by the pandemic in the last year, the gallery created the concept in their aim to create a space for underrepresented voices in the society, giving them a nuanced and unconventional take on the world, as they don’t prescribe to the definitions and labels that are given to them, pointing out where the connection is missing and needs to be restored.
The thin red line of connection to the nature we find in the works of Emma Ahlqvist - a freelance Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Animator, and Comic Artist based in Edinburgh and Sweden, is marking the year we all spent apart and aims to redefine the idea of connections and what they signify in our lives. Her triptych of drawings follows the red line that can connect or disconnects our souls, making its way from the river to the mirror of ourselves and the locked house. In her works, Emma features her own wish to live closer to nature as it grapples with the issues around our current way of living and the disconnection to nature. The artist thus explores the trend of moving out of the city that has intensified during the pandemic, while still wanting to be connected to and accepted by the urban culture.
The exhibition “Disconnected” is part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the world's largest arts festival, which in 2018 spanned 25 days and featured more than 55,000 performances of 3,548 different shows in 317 venues, returning in 2021 with over 700 performances and shows both online and physical. Established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, it takes place annually in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the month of August. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has become a world-leading celebration of arts and culture, surpassed only by the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in terms of global ticketed events with Comedy being the largest section, making up over one-third of the program and the one that in modern times has the highest public profile, due in part to the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Visual arts foster some very Avant-guard and very different in nature exhibitions, varying from the “Disconnected” exhibition that features very young emerging visual artists, such as Robbie McKay, Emma Ahlqvist, and Hanna Moitt, to the story of St. Colombia as a Scottish episcopal church exhibition.
The Festival is supported by the Festival Fringe Society, which publishes the program, sells tickets to all events from a central physical box office and website, and offers year-round advice and support to performers. The Society's permanent location is at the Fringe Shop on the Royal Mile, and in August they also manage Fringe Central, a separate collection of spaces in Appleton Tower and other University of Edinburgh buildings, dedicated to providing support for Fringe participants during their time at the festival, offering this year a large arts marketplace open to gallery owners.