May 31, 2017
As you might expect from Hidden Door festival, The Old Leith Theatre is crammed with all kinds of visual art, and even if you’ve already been down it’s possible that you’ve missed something! Here’s a handy guide to some of the more hidden pieces.
Starting at the backstage dressing rooms, moving underneath the stage, back to the main auditorium and then up to the balcony, these works are beautifully and subtly intertwined with the fabric of the building.
If you are moving too quickly, you might just rush past works by artists such as Valerie Reid, who’s work has been inspired by the Japanese practice of Kintsugi, an ancient method of repair. The artist has repaired some of the cracks and fractures in the Leith Theatre, using gold to celebrate their own individuality, beautiful and broken.
Once you’ve headed up in that direction, keep on following the staircase down, where you will stumble upon possibly one of the oddest rooms in the entire theatre. Linger a while in this curious room, in which Dave House has created a site specific sound piece marking the 25 years that the building has lain empty, in a melancholy yet beautiful state of disrepair. with sounds recorded from within the theatre itself.
Next, take a journey to the main auditorium to find the work of Sculptor Jack Mcallum. His small scale, marginal alterations to the floor in the main space take the form of four wooden laser etched panels, which describe the historic use of the Leith Theatre, from the past up to the present.
Finally make sure you head down to the deepest depths of the basement, backstage to find ‘fossil’ a sculptural installation by Jill Martin Boualaxai. The work is created from hundreds of casts from the remains of a super computer from the 1980s, and glows eerily in the dark. Be sure to spend some time here as the sculpture has two lighting elements, a UV light show which charges the piece so when the lights go out the work emits its own ethereal glow.
Hidden Door Festival 2017 is at the old Leith Theatre on Ferry Road, behind the library. Abandoned for nearly 30 years, we’ve brought it back to life and we’re here until Sunday 4 June.