Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 12:33 UK

Cracking start for Art Festival

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Sculptors launch art festival

The Edinburgh Art Festival has been launched with works on display at more than 50 galleries and public spaces.

It is one of a number of festivals taking place in the Scottish capital, including the Fringe, which begins on Friday, and the International Festival.

The art festival features exhibitions by pop artist Peter Blake and American artist John McCracken.

It launched with public stone-carving projects by international sculptors and an attempt to make a giant omelette.

The "How Not to Cookbook - lessons learned the hard way" event saw a 4ft wide pan deployed in Princes Street Gardens to demonstrate you need to "break it to make it".

Milestone, at the city's art college, involves 10 sculptors carving new works in one or two tonne blocks of stone.

Brit art

The public will be able to watch as the sculptors create their work in the college quadrangle.

The programme also includes the "father of British pop art" Peter Blake, who has an exhibition inspired by his 2007 visit to the Venice Biennale.

Blake, who is best known for the cover of The Beatles Sgt Pepper album, uses his trademark collage to depict an imagined, fairy-tale vision of the city.

The National Galleries of Scotland's major summer exhibition is The Discovery of Spain.

stone carving
The public will be able to watch as the sculptures take shape

It features masterpieces by Spanish painters such as El Greco, Goya and Picasso.

It also explores the work of notable British artists, such as Sir David Wilkie and Arthur Melville, who were captivated and inspired by Spain.

Leading contemporary artists Tacita Dean, Nathan Coley and Greg Creek have been commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival to explore the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment and its relationship to the 21st century, the key theme of the Edinburgh International Festival, which begins on 14 August.

The Creative World of Alan Davie celebrates the breadth of work from one of Scotland's most respected and influential artists.

Davie, 89, has selected examples of his work in sculpture, painting, tapestry and rug-making, jewellery design, printmaking, drawing, photography, poetry and experimental jazz.

Veteran American artist John McCracken, who is probably best known for his 'planks' leaning against a wall, has his first museum exhibition in the UK, with sculptures dating back to 1966.

Work by the late German-born American artist Eva Hesse and Belgian surrealist Paul Nougé also feature in the festival, which runs until 5 September.

At the Doggerfisher Gallery, there is a chance to see the Turner Prize nominee Lucy Skaer who, in collaboration with Rosalind Nashashibi, has made a 16mm film based on Paul Nash's painting Flight of the Magnolia.

The Ingleby Gallery marks its move to Calton Road by showing the work of two Turner Prize nominees - Callum Innes and Tacita Dean.



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