Just Festival

Edinburgh’s social justice and human rights festival

Author Archives: Miranda Heggie

Ewan John

Ewan John SSA is an artist and educator living and working under the shadow of Cairnpapple Hill, Torphichen. He graduated from Edinburgh College Art in 1996 and has been been a lecturer in Art & Design for over 10 years. learn more

Catherine King

Catherine King King is a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone Dundee in drawing and painting. She has exhibited widely and has had work exhibited in RSA SSA, VAS, PAI, RGI. Her most recent solo exhibitions in Glasgow art club 2022, and 2019 in Stirling Smith Art Gallery. learn more

Live Music Now Scotland

Live Music Now was founded by legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin in 1977, along with his close friend and philanthropist, Sir Ian Stoutzker. During the Second World War, Yehudi Menuhin played for the Allied Forces, often in the most challenging of circumstances, and directly experienced how music could benefit those who were sick, lonely, traumatised and reconcile differences between people and nations. learn more

Clare Yarrington

Although as a visual artist I am used to working independently, like everyone else I still found the enforced isolation of lockdown challenging. As exhibitions were cancelled or postponed, I retreated into the studio. learn more

Lesley Anne Derks

Lesley Anne Derks graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1999 with a BA (hons) Fine Art Drawing and Painting. Her early work was inspired by the lights of the Grangemouth petrochemical complex and this influence led to her painting predominantly cityscapes at night. More recently she has begun to explore lights in a different way, focusing on interiors, in particular chandeliers and the different lights they can convey. She has exhibited extensively throughout the UK and abroad with her work appearing in leading magazines and newspapers such as The Strand Magazine, Artists and Illustrators, Fine Art Collector and the Scotsman. She regularly works to commission and has produced work for Scottish Power and the Royal Navy.

On the effects lockdown had on her work, she says:

‘Art was my solace throughout the pandemic as my mum sadly took ill at the beginning of the first lockdown and never fully recovered dying the beginning of 2021. A week after her death I found out I had caught Covid. The tragedy of losing my mum and the after-effects of Covid, made me seriously reflect on life and the fragility of it. Art is an integral part of my life, but my experience throughout the pandemic made me realise I had all these idea/plans that I had put on the back burner over the years. When the first lockdown was imminent, I entered an annual art competition I had always meant to enter and never got round to, and I got to the final. I also lecture and the way I taught changed substantially throughout the pandemic; adapting to teaching practical activities online was a huge learning curve and took a lot of time. It was a bit of a juggling act trying to adapt to these new experiences, but I realised I still had to address all those ideas I had for my art and bring these to fruition. I had always wished to paint an image of an interior I took in Budapest, so I started that, not for any show but just for me. I had sheets of aluminium I always intended to experiment on so began exploring that. I also had been looking at a course on resin for years, so I finally booked and attended it last year. I’m excited to see where all these ideas will take my art!’

Shona Young

After having studied Public Art in early 2000 Shona Young went on to gain a degree with distinction in Sight Specific Design in 2006 at Forth Valley College. Since then she has exhibited in many galleries in central Scotland and been part of group exhibitions Here she found the the opportunity to work in a range of mediums and subjects. She found this opened up and stretched her imagination, and finds herself now working mostly in mixed media. Her subjects can vary but she is instinctively drawn to using strong colours, texture and often symbols which tell a story. She enjoys exploring portraiture, particularly older pieces, and loves to create magical feelings with the clothing and expression.
On living and working as an artist during lockdown, Shona states: ‘Initially the world seemed to come to a standstill with no end in sight, which was frightening for everyone. It was difficult to be inspired and creative during lockdown. Eventually I gave myself permission to step back, reset my thoughts and inspirations.’