Robert Crawford to star at Edinburgh Art Festival

Wednesday 3 August 2011

The writings of Professor Robert Crawford will appear in an exhibition launched at Edinburgh College of Art this week (4 August 2011).

The St Andrews poet’s work will be shown in Body Bags / Simonides – a hard-hitting exhibition of black and white photography by Norman McBeath.

Simonides was a poet who wrote epitaphs for western soldiers killed in conflicts 2500 years ago in the territories of modern Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Professor Crawford has written new versions of these ancient texts in the Scots tongue.  The revised texts appear alongside twenty five of McBeath’s timeless images that relate to death, losses, and remembrance.

The exhibition, which runs until 9 September, raises questions about dead or dying languages, as well as what language is fitting for remembering the dead.

Speaking in advance of the official launch on Thursday (4 August) evening, Professor Crawford commented, “’I’m delighted by the look of the installation which juxtaposes actual body bags on sand with these poems from the ancient world and with Norman McBeath’s luminously meticulous photographs. And it’s an honour to be sharing ECA’s main building with an exhibition by Anish Kapoor.”

The exhibition is to be the focus of a programme being made by BBC Radio 4, while all of the work features in an accompanying book, Simonides (Easel Press).

Body Bags / Simonides was commissioned by the University of St Andrews as part of its 600th anniversary, in partnership with the Edinburgh College of Art Cast Collection, and supported by the Scottish Government through the Royal Society of Edinburgh, as well as by Creative Scotland through the Edinburgh College of Art.

The exhibition is open from 10am – 5pm every day at Studios C3 and C4, Main Building, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh EH3 9DF.  For further information visit:


For further information contact: Norman McBeath on 0779 694 4719 or email [email protected]

Note to Picture Editors

Images from the exhibition are available from the Press Office – contacts below.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, email [email protected]
Ref: Simonides 030811

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