Observers' Walks

Ruth Ewan Astrid Johnston

Ruth Ewan & Astrid Johnston

For the first in the series of Observers’ Walks, Ruth Ewan and Astrid Johnston have created an audio guide, taking in the monuments and geology of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill. Centring around the Political Martyrs’ Monument, this tour reveals the stories behind this glaciated landscape and the rocks we have placed upon it, inviting us to re-engage with the rich diversity of history on Calton Hill.

Ruth Ewan and Astrid Johnston met at Edinburgh College of Art in 2000. Upon graduation, as co-recipients of a travel scholarship, they travelled to Iceland where they produced a collaborative work. In 2003 they were part of Win Together, Lose Together, Play Together, Stay Together - a self-organised exhibition in a former betting shop in Edinburgh’s Tollcross, which other members developed into the Embassy Gallery. In 2008 they collaborated on a special menu inspired by the four humours for Plato’s Table, a one day symposium organised by Collective. Ewan’s project We Could Have Been Anything we Wanted to Be, the installment of ten decimal clocks for the Folkestone Triennial in 2011, was informed by Johnston’s research into the system of time adopted briefly during the French Revolution.

This walk provides a practical and engaging guide to the monuments of Calton Hill. The walk is divided into 8 tracks, please use the map to help you find the start location for each location however the audio guide will also give directions.

A series of three limited edition prints have been created by Ruth Ewan - for sale in Collective's shop.

Narrated by Tam Dean Burn & Ruth Milne.

Astrid Johnston works as a designer and researcher in Edinburgh.

Ruth Ewan is an artist based in Glasgow. Her collaborative and sometimes participatory projects are grounded in the historical context in which they are produced, often inviting others to collaborate in a process. Recent exhibitions and projects include; Edinburgh Art Festival (2018 & 2020); Pitzhanger Gallery (2020); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2019); The High Line, New York (2019), CAPC, Bordeux (2019); Victoria and Albert Museum (2018); Glasgow Women’s Library (2018); 32nd São Paulo Biennial (2016); Camden Arts Centre, London (2015); Tate Britain (2009 & 2014); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Glasgow International (2012); Dundee Contemporary Arts, Art on the Underground (2011); Frieze Projects (2009) and Artangel (2007 & 2013).

Memorialmania is supported by Outset, Scotland.

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