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• Fes­ti­val Scot­tish In­ter­na­tional Sto­ry­telling Fes­ti­val

Oct 19 to Oct 31, Ed­in­burgh and across Scot­land

Run­ning from Thurs­day Oc­to­ber 18 – with an open­ing event in the Great Hall of Stir­ling Cas­tle – to Oc­to­ber 31, the Scot­tish In­ter­na­tional Sto­ry­telling Fes­ti­val aims to en­cour­age peo­ple to re­dis­cover the magic of sto­ry­telling, and to nur­ture the rel­e­vance of the tra­di­tion in com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try.

With 66 events in Ed­in­burgh and a lo­cal cam­paign sup­port­ing 100 events from Orkney to Dum­fries and Gal­loway, Bute to Fife, the fes­ti­val will fea­ture the tal­ents of 96 sto­ry­tellers from Scot­land along with 18 global guests from Ire­land, France, Wales, Ice­land, In­dia, Bel­gium, Jor­dan and Sierra Leone.

With the sup­port of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Fes­ti­val Expo Fund, this year’s fes­ti­val ap­pre­ci­ates the shared Celtic her­itage be­tween Scot­land and Ire­land as Brexit threat­ens the sta­bil­ity of the hard-won peace process.

High­lights in­clude Heather Yule’s trib­ute to the late, great sto­ry­teller Stan­ley Robert­son and Ni­cola Wright and Lea Tay­lor’s his­tory of the Scot­tish suf­fragette move­ment (both Oct 21, Scot­tish Sto­ry­telling Cen­tre) and sto­ry­teller Amanda Ed­mis­ton’s event on Flo­rence Mar­ian McNeill, a folk­lorist, suf­fragette and cam­paigner for Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence (Oct 26, Na­tional Li­brary of Scot­land).

Among the fes­ti­val’s Ir­ish vis­i­tors are The Ar­magh Rhymers, Ed­die Leni­han, singer-song­writer, ac­tress and sto­ry­teller He­lena Byrne and Dara Val­lely, the SISF’s fea­tured artist.

“We’re lay­ing stronger, deeper foun­da­tions for the Sto­ry­telling Fes­ti­val this year, and look­ing to fu­ture growth,” says Don­ald Smith, SISF di­rec­tor. “We’re also stand­ing along­side Ire­land in a time of threat to ev­ery­thing that peo­ple there have achieved since the Trou­bles.”

• Talk

Cur­rently on show at Dundee Con­tem­po­rary Arts un­til Novem­ber 25 is Black Flag, the first solo ex­hi­bi­tion in Scot­land by San­ti­ago Sierra, a Span­ish artist in­flu­enced by the con­cep­tual art move­ments of the 1960s and 1970s.

The ex­hi­bi­tion de­tails and doc­u­ments how Sierra planted the black flag – the sym­bol of the an­ar­chist move­ment– at the two most ex­treme points on the planet, the North and South Poles.

On Oc­to­ber 18, the DCA will host a talk ti­tled The White Flag Of Antarc­tica, to co­in­cide with the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Pre­sented by Dr Claire War­rior, se­nior ex­hi­bi­tions cu­ra­tor at Royal Mu­se­ums Green­wich, the talk will ex­plore the act of plant­ing flags at cer­tain mo­ments in his­tory, and par­tic­u­larly how we use these em­blems in re­la­tion to po­lar ex­plo­ration.

• Event Ghost Hunt­ing Dun­don­ald Cas­tle

Oct 20, Oct 25 and Oct 31

Home to Scots King Robert II, grand­son of Robert the Bruce, Dun­don­ald Cas­tle in Ayr­shire is rich in folk­lore and mys­tery. As we ap­proach Hal­loween, it hosts a se­ries of spooky go­ings-on, with a “ghost hunt and para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion” on Oc­to­ber 20, while the cas­tle’s guides tell strange sto­ries from the site’s 2000-year past on Oc­to­ber 25. On Oc­to­ber 31, there’s a party for chil­dren based around the world of au­thor Roald Dahl.

• Mu­sic Mr McFall’s Cham­ber

Oct 19, City Halls, Glas­gow Oct 20, Queen’s Hall, Ed­in­burgh

Ever fresh and ever rel­e­vant, Mr McFall’s Cham­ber kick off At Home In A For­eign Land this week, their new sea­son of live mu­sic pro­grammes in­spired by the theme of mi­gra­tion.

While next month com­poser/pi­anist Si­mon Smith and vi­o­lin­ist Ben­jamin Mar­quise Gil­more will join them for con­certs fo­cus­ing on cham­ber mu­sic from Poland, this week the en­sem­ble per­forms mu­sic from Mex­ico, a pro­gramme in­spired by the coun­try’s rich his­tory of emi­gra­tion and im­mi­gra­tion, es­pe­cially from Spain dur­ing the Franco era.

A pro­gramme for strings, piano, per­cus­sion and voice, Mu­sic from Mex­ico fea­tures pop­u­lar songs by the likes of Agustin Lara and Maria Gr­ever sung by Scot­tish tenor Jamie MacDougall.

Along­side vi­o­lin­ists Cyril Garac and leader Robert McFall, the line-up at Glas­gow’s City Halls (Oct19) and Ed­in­burgh’s Queen’s Hall (Oct 20) also in­cludes ex­cep­tional cel­list Su-a Lee, Peru­vian pi­anist Clau­dio Con­stan­tini, as well as French vi­o­lin­ist, Cyril Garac.

As well as the vo­cal works, the pro­gramme will in­clude in­stru­men­tal works by Ar­turo Mar­quez, Javier Al­varez, Pe­dro Belis­ario Perez and Demetrio Or­tiz.

• Art Edwin G Lu­cas: An In­di­vid­ual Eye

Un­til Feb 10, City Art Cen­tre, Ed­in­burgh

Fea­tur­ing more than 60 art­works drawn from pub­lic and pri­vate col­lec­tions is Edwin G Lu­cas: An In­di­vid­ual Eye, the first ever ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion to fo­cus on an artist ig­nored by and un­known to the art es­tab­lish­ment un­til ear­lier this decade.

Born in Leith in 1911, Lu­cas was largely self-taught but dur­ing the 1940s he pro­duced bold, Sur­re­al­ist works un­like any­thing else seen among the Scot­tish art of that time.

This ex­hi­bi­tion traces his de­vel­op­ment as an artist from early wa­ter­colours painted as a youth through his Sur­re­al­ist pe­riod and on to his un­com­pro­mis­ing fi­nal works, pro­duced in the 1980s. Those were painted af­ter Lu­cas had to put his art­work on hold for many years to raise his young sons,

It was one of the artist’s sons, Alan, who con­tacted a cu­ra­tor at the Scot­tish Na­tional Gallery Of Mod­ern Art at the be­gin­ning of this decade to tell them about his fa­ther’s work, the bulk of which was be­ing stored in a lock-up. Most of the work had not been seen in 60 years.

“Lu­cas was, in fact, one of the most orig­i­nal painters of his era – a unique tal­ent that de­serves to be recog­nised,” says He­len Scott, cu­ra­tor of fine art at the City Art Cen­tre.

Royal res­i­dence: Dun­don­ald Cas­tle

Scot­tish tenor Jamie MacDougall, left, per­forms with Mr McFall’s Cham­ber in Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh

The work of Scot­tish mod­ernist painter Edwin G Lu­cas was over­looked dur­ing his life­time

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