Founded in 2004, Edinburgh Art Festival is Scotland’s largest annual celebration of visual art. Attracting over 250,000 visits each year, the Festival brings together galleries, museums and artist-run spaces, alongside public art commissions and an innovative programme of special events. During July and August, Central Station is going to publish a series of blogs taking a closer look at what’s happening this year.


Our programme of public art commissions for this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival is titled Parley, exploring art’s capacity to create dialogue. Sitting alongside this themed programme, the Festival Detours series of events seems particularly fitting.

Each year we invite artists from the worlds of music, poetry and theatre to respond to exhibitions in Edinburgh Art Festival galleries in a series of intimate performances which provide fresh perspectives on visual art.

In its third year, the Festival Detours performances take place in gallery exhibitions that themselves explore dialogues between artists – be they collaborations, influences of artist’s practices on others, or the translation of an artwork into a new medium by other hands. This year’s Festival Detours are set to create new conversations and to contribute in their own way to the Parley.


Billy Letford at City Art Centre
12 August, 6-6:40pm

Billy Letford, poet, brings his unique voice to the exhibition Coming into Fashion, a Century of Photography at Condé Nast, an exhibition that charts multiple generations of iconic fashion photographers from Edward Steichen to those still practicing today such as David Bailey and Mario Testino.

Winner of the New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust, Billy Letford has received rave reviews for his work which combines experimental structure with cadences and accents of ordinary speech to produce “moments of transcendental insight” (The Guardian).


GOL at Talbot Rice Gallery
16 August, 6-6:40pm

The band GOL uniquely fuse traditional Persian arrangements with contemporary electronica, jazz and world music. For the Art Festival, GOL will give a one-off performance within the Nam June Paik Resounds exhibition at Talbot Rice Gallery. This exhibition is the first Name June Paik exhibition in Scotland, no other artist than whom has had a greater influence on the use of technology in art.


Roddy Woomble at Dovecot Studios
20 August, 6-6:40pm

Lead singer with Idlewild, Woomble is highly acclaimed for his solo releases of contemporary folk, and will perform an acoustic set in response to the exhibition From Fleece to Fibre at Dovecot Studios. At the heart of this exhibition is a tapestry of Victoria Crowe’s celebrated painting, Large Tree Group (1975), was chosen by Dovecot Studios in 2012 to be transposed as part of its centenary celebrations.



Louise Ahl (Ultimate Dancer) at Inverleith House
24 August, 6-6:40pm

Louise Ahl is an exciting contemporary choreographer and performer, whose alter-ego Ultimate Dancer will create a one-off performance at Inverleith House, interacting with the exhibition Mostly West: Franz West and Artist Collaborations.

This is the first exhibition of works made by West in collaboration with other leading visual artists including Douglas Gordon, Marina Faust, Mike Kelley and Sarah Lucas, encapsulating Franz West’s belief in the juxtaposition of various viewpoints.


Booking for Festival Detours has just opened on

Tickets are £4 and spaces are limited.