People's Choice:
Carol Johnston


Penicuik Turner:
Aine Divine


It seems 'portraits' have won the day!

But also a very generous Raffle outcome - thanks to generous artists!
Enjoy the wee video here with animating music by Jo and Olly tempting us to dance and Mose Hutchison, People's Choice and Raffle prizes presenter keeping everybody animated.
David Annand, our 2013 Turner Prize Judge, had prepared an in depth short list, offering insights on a dozen or more art pieces, will send his notes still so we can match his comments to the right works. Here is his choice choosing, followed by a glimpse of his own sculptural portraits (click to go to his website).

All in All: the winner is..
hopefully you people all, whose lives and places got enriched by viewing art, visiting trails and studios in Penicuik, attending some of the marvelous events, meeting some of the local and visiting artists, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, being inspired (and not totally expired if you were one of the organisers!).
Big thank you to everyone, our dedicate volunteers and cheerful participants, for being part of Penfest 2013.
Enjoy and share this blog, and if you want to see all the images go to these photo-albums: click on image below an then click again on one of the five albums):


AND NOW please LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF IT ALL BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK an taking a minute to complete that questionaire there

Today is last day and the weeks have run past and unless you were connecting with us on facebook or twitter you will have missed the updates. Our reporters are catching up with the IT side of the images when the weather is dull again, and will feed back to you over or after the weekend now (touch wood and go in the woods and enjoy the sun light) but meanwhile here is a quick medley of the motley events and sights we had.

Arts Trail (a glimpse of it)


Relaxed atmosphere, and maybe 100 people all in all tonight at the hub, as we settle down to kick off a splendid night with.... argh, where did I put that paper with the girls' names on! Help me someone...!?       " tell me now.... my ancient soul .. I know you well ... you are beautiful... "
and, aye green grow the rushes , oh....
but red and black grow Fiona and band, oh...
The evening was advertised as Fiona Hunter and Mike Vass, but we see very little if anything solo of Mike or his tantalizingly hung up various fiddles. Ah well, it is a night where the girls shine!

A night of truly Scottish tongue and tune towering tremendously through one of the best young  (ah still young!) singers in that genre, inspiring young and old alike.
One can only recommend visiting her website - also in the hope to order her new album which was launched tonight in spirit but not yet quite in body as promised.
We have got more amateur footage of Fiona and the band from tonight, but for now this their good night song has to do for showing a tiny glimpse of the richness of that voice and team wonder.
Thank you PeniFolk for getting them along here!
Oh, and do check out the starky sparkly sound clips of Mike here too
Most wonderful event of this Arts festival! Perfection of setting, high quality string music reverberating through the mysterious arches, and poetry about the marvels of Nature and our soul's and wit's reverberations to Her... 
thank you all involved! 

The artists and their family and friends, the congregation, the poster makers and the Chapel.

To 'hear' the poets, please visit their website:

Tessa Ransford:

The big day came - and the rain came ...
but also the fire and the music..
and not enough time to make enough photos especially from what Charlotte and Rachel brought in from their crafts to share... where have all the children gone..? Thank you for coming an sharing - we are looking forward to connect up ;-) !
Rory, William and mum Jane had fun for sure, an baby Donald was star of the scene.
For more of the story - go through the slide show below, reading the captions ;-)

And here: enjoy watching the Mural artists' celebration, Erin today, and timetravel in the future to last day when Sue made it along, too. Still got to celebrate Erin yet !

Another part of the afternoon today was to share the Craft bombing journey from May and getting inspired thinking started for next May. Here is one slide show we forgot to show, and we include it here to build the connection, enjoy (but watch out, as it is a freebee slide share after the 15 slides it is other stuff):

Looking back, and Lets plan ahead:

If you want to see more check this, which includes a map of the places, and find us in the UK and Ireland Voluntary Arts video here:

And lets connect up?


Tannahill at arts centre on Monday eve:

Poems and songs from Scottish folks' voices was the theme of the last two days for sure.
Dr Fred Freeman's talk on Robert Tannahill with musical illustrations was well attended and deemed to be a success. Sorry, no pics, as no-one with camera attended event. All the same - you can catch Fred's voice here at the Garden Sessions show, and some of the renderings he commissioned can be heard here, on a site devoted to the Scottish Language. 

Tannahill songs kept featuring in  two other sessions which the Penicuik Folk Cub had organised for Penfest.
On Tuesday eve we saw two events drawing in people: the Folk Club sing a long at the Road House, and the Penicuik Writers at Arts Centre.

Participants of three different writing groups (Penicuik, Dalkeith and Pentlands) came together to share their published and unpublished works. Witty and wondrous, vulnerable, celebratory and macabre, people and place. Scottish and global - all was there in poetry and prose. Special thanks to Karen Duncan for bringing them all together, a broad spectrum of writers company, reading out their words-smith craft under the backdrop of painted poetry, the Penicuik Turner Prize exhibition. 
This Saturday started with a big disappointment which resulted in me unnecessarily missing out on a few events, such as the Howgate history exhibition and the Pentland Writers eve in Carlops.
What was the disappointment? The fact that we had been asked to put in a presence at the Midfest opening in Dalkeith, to be part of the festivities there. We wanted to show our support and, inspite of being very stretched that Saturday, we were looking forward too join the party in the stable block of the Dalkeith Estate. The program looked exciting.
However: when arriving there we found out that our stall, along with 7 or so others, had been re-located in the chill wind of the front gate drive, 10 minutes away from the action. No customers for our info sharing and craft items, no hot drinks, nor any toilet facilities, nor any other welcome from the organisers, let alone an apology for the apparent 'double booking' of stall holders. Well, I was looking forward with interest to what our 'colleagues' of the other side of Midlothian were doing - but must admit I lost all interest now due to being at the receiving end of the discourteous conduct.

I was very happy to get back to warm drinks in Penicuik townhall and the warm welcome of old friends who had made it once again to do some merry crafting with the devoted volunteers from the now Crafts4All team emerging out of the Making Space team. I was also glad to get me share of fresh vegetables again from the Lost Garden .. check this lovely BBC video here . And enjoy the pics of the wee team work here....
ah well, Making Space Penicuik is history now. Long live "Crafts for Al!l"
And Howgate History!

Inspirations for Crafts can be found here at Christine's Studio:

From the evening event we have only the poster and a link to a previous gig of Madge Wildfire -  see poster page and facebook :

Certainly the most intriguing and satisfyingly beautiful event at West Street this Penfest: Michelle Burke invites you
Come into my Parlour!
Quirky and dripping with sherry (wished I had one here right now! need to learn that from the Oirish!) and humour, and a voice full of tones and hues so sweet and varied, rich and soft - accompanied by James Ross with style and smile - no wonder we all were purring like the spinning wheels of the gypsies when very reluctantly, we left her parlour.
But not without having captured her voice and the golden glow all round. Here one more video clip, and keep an eye on our you tube channel, subscribe to it - so when the rest of the Parlour videos appears, you will get notified!
Reading and writing Poetry or prose, and listening to music combined to a cosy event in the view of the art works entered for the Turner Prize. The musical treats included:

Peter Stewart, piano, blues and classical, present with his usual precision and vigor, this young man got us (as usual!), breathless, clapping and joining in. Truly invigorating!

15 yr old Sophie Burt fairly shook us with her deep lyric songs (self penned!) touching profoundly on the mysteries of life and death, and intimate relationship with those.
Interestingly enough, the veil seemed thin that night, with friends and their poetry being remembered, and the paintings chosen as stimulus for writing echoed mystery such as this one:
As the mist of memory fades in the morning light
the reflection of the lonely man
bends to his other half
and the whisper arises, from the rim of the distant shore,
"con mortuis in lingua mortua"" 

 poem, written to this painting, by two people, line after line, alternating

It was very inspiring to witness how poetic or prose text beating humour or longing or other notions of relating to self and already visually expressed images, was birthed and voiced. Here a few more examples of interaction of creative 'Inspired by Art' participants with the art of their choice to the prompts of : "Come and let me tell you..." and "Relate to a tiny detail..."
How did I get here you ask, well I was here before the footpath. 

Long, long ago, I was here with the standing stone behind, we were surrounded by a wood of ancient trees, which year by year were felled to keep humans warm. 

They laid bare this area, it was scrub, then it became a designers dream to make walls, paths, grassy areas so that you human’s can frolic and play.

Do you ask how I felt when you removed my moss, I am bare to the world, naked, to please you only.

Sunflower petal

I am part of the all, a tiny part

We are all overlapping

Jostling for the sun

Are we meant to be this close

Nature says, yes it’s so

The cosy kitchen one with the beam

The beam diffuses the light
Sending it down towards the plants against the wall
All else is cast into shadow
Giving me a cosy feeling

Come with me and let me tell you………
how I escaped !

I am Horance, I was out the day Ms Potter
Stopped by, I was chasing the pesky
 Chicks, or so Miss Jemima Puddleduck
told me so.
They exclaim, "Horance watch out  for
Ms Potter's return!!, I do, I did.
Proud stance upon the chicken coupe
My beady eyes see furthest of all
The farm beasts,
yet I missed the calling from
our fair author? So I did not feature.
I am a proud beast of the farm
I am too busy for fame.
No-one will rise from their
snuggled warmth without me.
I am bold - check out my tail-feathers!!
I was not forgotten!! Ahha for I was only
 born this year…from the brush of my
 fair artist.

There was lots more - but so far these masterworks did not make it to the press here. Back to completing the list of musicians:
And, played regally, the saxophone, by Stephanie Clark.
60's tunes sung beautifully with well trained voice: Royston Timewell.
And now is high time for a proper listen to the music:
and then - just in case you are interested: here is a creative writing experience open for you at West Street
This year we have 69 entries for the popular Penicuik Turner Prize competition. It will be judged by the sculptor David Annand on Saturday the 28th September. This year we also have a 'People's choice' voting ballot box in the exhibition room, and the winner for that will be announced on same day by Mose Hutchison, the Penicuik Citizen of the year.

We hope you will have ample opportunity to view the art works live
  •  during the day when the show should be open from 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday, unless there has been a gap with the exhibition sitters. There might be classes going on in the room, but you can view the works all the same
  • during Penfest events held in room 1 - check program and venue here

You can also see photos of all the entries on this album, (at least I hope there are all of them to be seen over there? Please give a shout if you find one missing!) and you see a few examples in the slide show below.

Please bear in mind that this slide show and the above linked album is an amateur photographic sharing of very detailed art works. Plus the reflection in the glass of framed art also doesn't help give you the best impressions! ;-) 
If you want to really appreciate the art and especially if you wish to buy a piece for your own collection or as that special gift for someone special: please come and see for yourself :-)
And remember the best coffee in town and other nice things to eat and drink are available in the Gallery Cafe with Cafe Garden, Monday to Saturday, 10am - 4pm.

Looking forward to see who will be the runner-ups and who snaps that unique piece for their collection!