Scottish Art Events: November 2021

Our November art highlights include COP26 responses from Glasgow's artists and galleries, as well as some exciting new exhibitions in Edinburgh

Preview by Adam Benmakhlouf | 02 Nov 2021
  • Khvay Samnang

Opening the month, Transmission Gallery is the venue for an exhibition (running until 7 Nov) curated by Glasgow artist Cat Dunn in direct response to COP26, climate change and racism. For the show, Dunn has assembled a range of contributions from China, Cuba, Portugal and the USA to make the connections between the climate crisis and racial bias, patriarchy and colonialism.

Also linking into the themes of COP26, Tramway will show a work by multimedia storyteller Khvay Samnang titled Calling for Rain (19 Nov-6 Mar), specifically created for children and young people. The work in Tramway is inspired by a Cambodian epic poem and philosophical allegory, Reamker, using fantastical story to speak about the challenges of the climate crisis faced by Indigenous communities in contemporary times. 

CCA also deals directly with issues surrounding COP26, in its exhibition The Word for World is Forest (until 11 Dec). This show brings together two organisations that work directly with Indigenous people and localities affected by the climate crisis to make filmic and photographic responses, and German photographer Sophie Reuter whose photo-series focuses on an eco-activist struggle to save the remaining part of the Hambacher forest located between Cologne and Aachen, decimated in the hunt for fossil fuel.

In Edinburgh, Fruitmarket opens a show of work by artist and anti-racist campaigner Howardena Pindell. Drawing from her lived experience of racism in the USA, Pindell uses an idiosyncratic method of spray painting through hole-punched stencils to make intricately layered works about “war, Apartheid, police violence, the AIDS crisis, slavery and the environment.” The exhibition brings together works on paper and two videos, and runs from 13 November to 2 May.

In Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, the Beacon Tower is now inhabited by the work of sound artist and musician Raheel Khan, titled آثار (Traces). Through collaboration with the Multi-Cultural Family Base, Khan has made a composition of new music and recordings with the new residents of Edinburgh as they re-create in sound their impressions and experiences of the city. The new work can be visited until 15 January 2022.

Also continuing in Glasgow, 16 Nicholson Street’s exhibition Thriving in Disturbed Ground brings together five artists whose practices in different ways challenge dominant forms of labour and knowledge-making, looking instead to pre-industrial making, the paranormal, and cosmology. Until 21 November.