FRESH AIR AMID THE STUFFINESS

If you’re already feeling worn out by the unadventurous conservatism of supposedly cutting-edge Fringe offerings, we have an alternative.

Situated within the Freemasons’ Hall on George Street (Venue 7), the Lìte Bothy is a half-finished shed cum pop-up exhibition featuring work by 12 contemporary Scottish artists.

It’s curated by the people behind the DOK Artist Space on Ocean Drive, and they have been refreshingly bold about showcasing new and established talents. 

The work they’ve chosen ranges from the meticulous to the messy, from the peculiar to the downright impenetrable.

There is at times a sense of sheer battiness about the whole enterprise, but it works brilliantly. There’s an authentic rawness here, with the lines between creator and viewer excitingly short. Particularly piquant is the collision between the shed’s scatty fragility and all that Masonic pomposity surrounding it.

This reviewer’s favourites included the meaty interior of ‘#TM86scar’ by TERRIBLEm86 (top-right) and James Howden’s intriguing ‘Medals #1–3’. 

Neil Nodzak’s ‘They Get You When You Sleep’ partly explains why many of us don’t recognise ourselves in the mirror each morning. 

‘Waste’ by Alex Allan playfully combines formica, a washing basket, plastic balls and polyurethane foam to slightly sinister effect.

The delicate ramblings within Mark Doyle’s ‘Eucalyptus’ were hard to make out under the yellowy lighting, harder to photograph, impossible to understand. But beautiful nonetheless. 

The Lìth (Leith) Bothy won’t please everyone. It will probably irritate many. But it costs nothing and you come out feeling more alive than when you went in. Which to my mind is a bargain.—AM

The Lìth Bothy continues at 96 George Street, from 2–6pm, until 24 August. Entry free.

96 George Street
55° 57' 8.226" N, 3° 12' 9" W