8 July – 4 November 2018
City Art Centre, Edinburgh
Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm, Free Admission

40 years of the Travelling Gallery is celebrated and showcased in a new exhibition at the City Art Centre, forming part of Edinburgh Art Festival. The new exhibition, Travelling Gallery at 40 charts the history of the contemporary art gallery in a bus which forms a unique and integral part of Scotland’s cultural provision and its commitment to making art inclusive and accessible.  

From Lerwick to Dumfries and Renfrew to Dunbar, Travelling Gallery has taken art to every part of Scotland so that people from every background and community have had the opportunity to engage with excellent, experimental and inspiring art practices.

In this its fortieth year an exhibition over two floors at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre will celebrate Travelling Gallery’s journey – past, present and future, and take pride in Scotland’s commitment to take art out to communities. 

Housed within a newly commissioned and site-specific installation by Scottish artist Mike Inglis entitled ‘Settlement’, an active programme of talks and events will provide a platform for bigger discussions on the accessibility and diversity of contemporary art in Scotland. The programme will not only celebrate the important and integral work of Travelling Gallery but will explore and test its values within todays contemporary context, advocating for its vision that Scotland is a nation in which everyone has the opportunity to experience and engage in the arts.

Travelling Gallery’s rich and socially important archive will also be shown for the first time alongside some of the original artwork from its incredible exhibitions history. The presentation will celebrate the enjoyment and excellence that has embodied the organisation since its inception in the late 70’s and will allow the viewer to reflect on the last forty years of the Scottish visual art scene. 
The artists who have contributed to the Travelling Gallery over the years include Christian Marclay, Lucy Skaer, Tania Kovats, Tessa Lynch, Rob Churn, Torsten Lauschmann, Charles Avery, Rachel Maclean, Ilana Halperan, Christine Borland, Ross Sinclair, Nicolas Party, Ciara Philips, Douglas Gordon, Mandy McIntosh, Dalziel + Scullion, Jonathan Owen, Charlie Hammond and Henry Coombes to name but a few. 

Of course, Travelling Gallery will still be on the road its 2018 programme will celebrate the organisations commitment to showcasing the best in current contemporary art. The Spring exhibition Are Teenage Dreams So Hard to Beat? Explores our adolescence through work by Arpita Shah, Alice Theobald and Holly White. While the Autumn 2018 tour will see a new commission by emerging Scottish artist Gordon Douglas, where he will cleverly observe Travelling Gallery as his subject.

Claire Craig, curator of the Travelling Gallery said, 'Everyone involved in the Travelling Gallery over the last forty years is so excited to celebrate and shout about the incredible work the organisation has done and continues to do. Not just in providing access to contemporary art but making it fun, enjoyable and inclusive. The wealth of artists Travelling Gallery has worked with over the years should also be noted, commissioning work by exciting Scottish artists and exhibiting work which is reflects the best of international visual art.'

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, Director Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, previous Travelling Gallery Curator and Driver said: “Whenever I am asked to talk about my career, ‘My Days as a Bus Driver’ is a great way to start!  It was the Travelling Gallery that ignited my passion for engaging art with audiences - something that has driven my career to this day. Not only organising the exhibitions but being on the bus, talking to the public and hearing their response informed my belief that it’s not art that puts people off – it’s the context in which it’s presented. The bus removes all barriers to access – it was a great learning experience for a young curator.' 

A brief history
Travelling Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in a bus. It was initiated by the Scottish Arts Council in 1978 and began as a one-person curator and driver operation.  

In 1983 it was considered so successful that SAC invested in a new bus, purpose designed, which went out on the road for the next 25 years. 

In 1997 it transferred to CEC with funding to continue its national service. In 2007 the demand for the service and additional funds from the National Lottery and CEC enabled the building of a brand new, improved and inclusive Travelling Gallery bus.

The beautiful new Travelling Gallery bus was launched in Edinburgh on 12th April 2007 and has improved access, more floor space, new hi-tech audio-visual equipment and increased security.
Each year it presents two 16 week exhibitions which tour to remote, rural, urban and suburban communities across the country. Each exhibition has a strong creative learning programme of artist talks, film screenings, workshops, events, learning packs and interpretative materials. 

Lauren Printy Currie, installation view, Autumn 2017. 

Travelling Gallery works well in partnership and over the years has collaborated with Glasgow Woman’s Library, New Media Scotland, Stills Gallery, Turner Prize and Tramway Glasgow, V&A Dundee, National Museums of Scotland and even Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. 

Travelling Gallery at 40 is part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2018. Find out more about this year’s Festival programme at Edinburgh Art Festival @EdArtFest #EdArtFest

ENDS

For further information, interviews or images please contact Susie Gray 07834 073 795 or Kate Bouchier-Hayes 07825 335 489

The new Travelling Gallery was made possible through a National Lottery grant of £173, 500 from the Scottish Arts Council, over £100,000 of funding from The City of Edinburgh Council, who have run the gallery since 1997, and additional funding from The Friends of The City Art Centre and the Adapt Trust.

In 2015 Mike Ingles created a new design for the outside of the bus. The Ark Camps Murals, imagine and illustrate new Scottish rural (feral) communities who are engaged in the construction of giant Ark structures from the debris of old boats and wooden structures which no one imagined would ever be used again. 

Travelling Gallery is supported by Creative Scotland and Edinburgh City Council. The new Travelling Gallery was made possible through a National Lottery grant of £173, 500 from the Scottish Arts Council, over £100,000 of funding from The City of Edinburgh Council, who have run the gallery since 1997, and additional funding from The Friends of The City Art Centre and the Adapt Trust.

Over the period 2015 – 2017 alone over 52,000 people came aboard the bus to discover the art inside, and it visited 391 locations the length and breadth of Scotland.
'The Travelling Gallery is a fabulous resource which helps our young people to develop a depth of understanding of art. It challenges perceptions, raises awareness, promotes curiosity and enquiry.' South Ayrshire
 
'What a fantastic gallery. So engaging and staff so interactive and friendly! Thank you for a great session.' Isle of Lewis
 
'Thoroughly encouraging. Such insight expressed with skill, emotion and power. I wish that you will go from strength to strength. Many thanks. You are all wonderful' Dunbar
 
“Have heard a lot about the Travelling Gallery and it’s great to be able to experience it for real. Fabulous community resource.” Birnam

Events as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 
Art Late with The List Festival Party
2nd August, 5:30pm 
Art Late 2018 kicks off with four exciting exhibitions across multiple floors at City Art Centre, featuring Platform: 2018, Travelling Gallery at 40, Edwin Lucas and In Focus: Scottish Photography. Our second stop of the evening will Talbot Rice Gallery’s Festival show Lucy Skaer: The Green Man, which will include a performance. Moving across the road we’ll visit LIBERTY Art Fabrics & Fashion at Dovecot Gallery, which charts the innovative retailer and design studio Liberty London’s history as a source for key trends in cultural history. The evening will also include pop-up magic performances, as part of Sympathetic Magick, a new project devised by artist Ruth Ewan in collaboration with magician Ian Saville. Our finale for the evening will be The List Festival Party at Summerhall, a legendary celebration of the Festival City in the biggest month of the year.

Art Late with music from Jared Celosse
16 August, 5.30pm
The third Art Late will begin at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with a special viewing of their latest instalment of NOW. This exhibition features a major survey of works by Jenny Saville alongside work by Sara Barker, Christine Borland, Robin Rhode, Markus Schinwald and Catherine Street, and a group display drawn from the National Galleries of Scotland collection focusing on the body and fragmentation. As part of this event Art Late audiences will be able to enjoy a unique performance by Catherine Street. Travelling Gallery will also be parking up at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with their Festival exhibition Gordon Douglas: Black Box Take Stock, and will be presenting a special performance from the artist. The group will then travel to Jupiter Artland. This visit will be a unique opportunity to view Jupiter Artland’s new commissions by Joana Vasconcelos, Phyllida Barlow and Ollie Dook, alongside other permanent works in their collection. The evening will conclude with an outdoor acoustic performance from Jared Celosse.

For further details and tickets available from Edinburgh Art Festival