In a Spin

Have made a fab new discovery. For anyone in Scotland who wants to enjoy contemporary art more: whether you are already quite knowledgeable and want to make time to contemplate some of the brilliant exhibitions that are held or whether you have not got a clue, but would like to understand more.

Spin Scotland is an informal monthly discussion group that takes place after hours, in galleries and studios across Edinburgh. It was set up by the National Galleries of Scotland. Events take place, accompanied by a glass of Prosecco, in a stimulating environment. Knowledgeable speakers are invited to talk about the work, the discussion and subject matter is challenging but the atmosphere is friendly and convivial.  No previous knowledge about contemporary art is necessary.

I attended the brilliant Artist Rooms, where photographs by Diane Arbus, Robert Maplethorpe and Francesca Woodman were on display at the National Portrait Gallery. I know a little about these artists but came away really informed and much more knowledgeable about the period of American history that they were depicting.

Sign up for a year of informal discussions with artists, curators and commentators over a glass of wine and gain out of hours access to galleries, studios and artist-run spaces across Edinburgh. They meet at 6pm on the last Thursday of the month (excluding August & December).

This month, they have a special behind-the-scenes visit to the new Collective gallery on the historic Calton Hill, on Thursday 30th May. The birthplace of astronomy and timekeeping in Edinburgh. The Collective opened the doors of its new home in November 2018 in a project which saw the restoration of the City Observatory and City Dome and a new purpose-built exhibition space.

The Collective see their new space as a ‘new kind of observatory where visitors are invited to look at, think about, and produce contemporary art.’ Their programme includes exhibitions, walks and events. They will be joined by Siobhan Carroll, Head of Programme, who will talk about the project, show the new spaces including the telescope which is not normally accessible by the public and will introduce the current exhibitions.

Workers! is a new film by Swedish artist and filmmaker Petra Bauer and SCOT-PEP, a sex-workers led organisation in Scotland. Filmed in the Scottish Trade Union Congress, the film documents and gives a voice to sex workers who demand to be seen as experts in their own labour and lives.

Also on show is a new work by Glasgow-based artist Kimberley O’Neill which explores the connection between energy, technology and the body. Enigma Bodytech follows a female protagonist’s road trip through the California desert and Silicon Valley.

The fee for one year is £55 (£45 concessions) or £85 (£65 concessions) for two adults at one address and you can join at any time during the year. The fee includes:

  • Monthly discussions in contemporary art exhibitions and studios around Edinburgh.
  • The chance to meet and chat with artists and curators.
  • Regular email bulletins about up-coming events and invites to private views.
  • Invitation of up to three guests per year for free.
  • Annual Spin-off weekend (an additional charge will be made). They offer a yearly weekend trip to an art biennial or city across the UK or abroad. Previous Spin-off trips have included visits to the biennials in Venice, Berlin and Liverpool plus in-focus art scene explorations of Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester.


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