Summer Programme 2022

“We are all part of the world, all is animate. The non-human world bears witness to all our actions.” Karen Spy

This year’s Summer Programme includes an exhibition of photography, quilts and performance-sculpture by Karen Spy, a willow basket making workshop by Donald Spy, a Plants are our Teachers drawing workshop by Sarah Gittins (with Annie Lord) and a walk along the St Margaret’s Way pilgrimage route led by Tamsin Grainger.

The exhibition and workshops are situated in the Chapter House and in the grounds of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. The walk starts at the Cathedral and wends its way to South Queensferry.

We look forward to welcoming you to A+E’s first in-house exhibition and our second Summer Programme.


Common Thread

6th – 28th Aug 2022 – an exhibition by Karen Spy. Includes a participatory ritual performance on the 27th Aug. (Opening times listed below.)

Karen Spy brings the aftermath of many years of ritual performance together for this subtle, yet powerful exhibition. Leaning into liminal space and the visceral embodied experience of an animistic world, these works – which include video and photographic documentation, handmade blankets, a hollow Elm log, and other artefacts – represent years of paying close attention and responding with integrity.

Ochre and blood – the womb of all things / A fallen tree becomes Arbor Vitae – liminal space / Quilting and journeying with Harris Tweed – restoring balance / A year-long gathering for the Theriaca pot – a gift / Pilgrimage on the Waterless Road – uncovering the well / Restoring Unicorn – becoming Unicorn / Conversations with the potatoes – shamanic gardening

Artist statement:

“Drawing attention to integrity and healing through attentive labour and ritual process. Inhabiting liminality, ‘Mindful Actions’ incorporate animistic communication; drawing on myth and symbolism, these actions are often ‘Emergency Interventions’ – Social Sculpture, with the intention of restoring balance.

My work is mainly performative, process and lens based. Installations incorporate the aftermath of ritual performance.”

Where: situated in the Chapter House at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh, with the performance sculpture, Arbor Vitae, situated on the Cathedral’s North Lawn.

The exhibition is open to the public on the following days and times: 6th (10am-4pm), 7th (12-4pm), 8th (10am-4pm), 9th (1-4pm), 11th (10am-4pm), 16th (10am-1pm), 21st (12-4pm), 23rd-27th (10am-4pm), and 28th (12-4pm). Access via Palmerston Place (through the main doors and body of the Cathedral) or Manor Place (direct, backdoor access).

On Saturday 27th Aug, Karen will be accompanying ‘travellers’ in a ritual to explore the regenerative possibilities of the Cathedral – it’s community, buildings and grounds. There are 6 places available for this one-on-one ritual. The script for the ritual can be found here:


If you’d like to participate in this ritual please contact Jonathan here.


Willow Basket Making

Simple Round Basket (Beginners) – led by Donald Spy

Wed 10th Aug 2022, 10am-4pm

An introduction to some basic basketry techniques. We will make a round base, learn how to build up the sides with weaving and finish the basket with a simple border. You will have a unique and practical basket to take home.

Course fee £100, all materials included. Limited subsidised places available on application. To book a place or find out more please contact Jonathan here.

Plants are our Teachers 

Drawing workshop – led by Sarah Gittins with Annie Lord

Wed 17th – Fri 19th Aug 2022, 10am-4pm daily

This three day course will observe the particular qualities and characteristics of plants and use these to inform and explore different approaches to drawing. For example: what can we learn from a delicate poppy or seedhead about the art of line drawing? What can a tree teach us about simplifying complex shapes and mapping connections? What can the foliage and flowers of a dandelion teach us about working with the drama of light and shade? Inspiration will also be drawn from contemporary and historic artists who work with plant forms, such as Albrecht Durer, Ellsworth Kelly, Jim Dine, Suzi Davidoff and Brigid Collins.

Note: while the overall workshop is led by Sarah Gittins, Annie Lord will lead an afternoon session on charcoal making from plant materials as part of this course. 

Course fee £185, all materials included. Limited subsidised places available on application. To book a place or find out more please contact Sarah at sarahjgittins[at]


Walking part of the St Margaret’s Way Pilgrimage Route from Edinburgh to South Queensferry – led by Tamsin Grainger

20th Aug 2022, 10am – 5pm

What: This is an open invitation to slow down, re-route and enjoy the company of fellow travellers who share a common concern about the climate and ecological crisis.

Children are welcome but please note the distance – approx 17-20km. Walking – or pram pushing – the first few miles of the route is an option if the total distance is prohibitive.

Why: Regeneration & community building are at the heart of the climate justice movement – walking together provides an opportunity to reflect on who are, where we are, and our direction of travel as individuals and as a community.

Where: Meeting outside St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral on Palmerston Place and walking from Edinburgh to South Queensferry – returning by bus or train.

More information about St Margaret’s Way can be found here:…/st-margarets-way/. But please note, we have our own walking guide, Tamsin Grainger, so detours from this map are to be expected!

For further details and Tamsin’s introduction to the walk see here.

No need to book but if you want to confirm your attendance please send Jonathan an email here. If you’re running late on the day or need to confirm our whereabouts please call Jonathan on 07954123543.

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