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The Edinburgh Festival of those days was a much more accessible village... The ground rules were well enough understood. Everything about it was containable. The Fringe was the seedbed for talent and ran happily in step with its established elders and betters. They both knew their place. But then something equally remarkable was about to take place in the New Town of the city I knew and loved...

1947. The beginning of the Edinburgh Festival and Richard Demarco – later to become gallery director, artist and teacher – is at the heart of it and has been every year since.

The same year, Roddy Martine is born. In 1963 when, at the age of sixteen, he interviewed Sir Yehudi Menuhin and David Frost for an Edinburgh Festival magazine he edited and the following year, met Marlene Dietrich.

Both Richard and Roddy have unique perspectives on the most remarkable international festival of the arts the world has ever known. They have witnessed its evolution over the years and are passionate believers in the power of creativity within everyone.

In this fascinating book, Richard – the 2013 UK recipient of the Citizen of Europe medal – explores the original world vision of Sir John Falconer and Rudolph Bing and, with Roddy, recalls the highs and lows of The Edinburgh International Festival, The Fringe, Art, Book, Jazz and Television Festivals, and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Now in its eighth decade, can the Edinburgh Festival survive? Where do we go from here?

Praise for Richard Demarco:


As well as being recognised internationally as an artist, Richard is equally recognised as the promoter of exhibitions and theatre events that have broken new ground in Britain and further beyond, to which the long list of his national and international awards and honours attests. His writing is as idiosyncratic and enthralling as his drawings, driven by true passion and belief, the personal account of an artist whose deeply rooted and abiding love for his native Scotland shines clearly in his words. RICHARD NOYCE

The Scottish artist Richard Demarco once said: "The Scots think of it as their capital; they're too possessive, Edinburgh belongs to the world." And following a recent visit to the Scottish capital, I can see what he means. MICHAEL MCCREADY, Belfast Telegraph 


It wouldn’t be the Festival without Demarco. JOHN McLELLAN

Demarco 2020


Sample pages, click on the images below to enlarge

Arthur Watson (Past President, RSA) has collaborated with a significant number of Richard Demarco’s friends and colleagues in the worlds of culture and education in order to create a large-format publication as a unique celebration of Richard’s 90th birthday on 9th July 2020.

"Demarco 2020" follows the Demarco Gallery style of the 1970 ‘Strategy: Get Arts’ catalogue. The foreword is by the Rt. Hon. Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government’s former Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, along with contributions from Marina Abramovic, Sir John Leighton and many others.

This A3 publication (64 pages in full colour) is available at an early-bird price of £25 with cheques made payable to:

The Demarco Archive Trust Limited
Address: Demarco Archive Trust Ltd. Stroma, Wellbank, Beauly, Inverness IV4 7EX


Richard Demarco: The Italian Connection 




Since the 1960s Richard Demarco has had a pivotal role in the production and promotion of the visual and performing arts in Scotland. The Italo-Scottish artist, cultural entrepreneur and educator has organised and fostered cultural exchanges and collaborations throughout Europe and has been a champion of European culture and the avant-garde in Scotland.


Although some research and publications have been devoted to Demarco's endeavours, little is known of the numerous cultural exchanges and collaborations between Italy and Scotland that he initiated and developed in the past fifty years. This gap in the historical canon of knowledge is extraordinary because in the Demarco's archives - a portion of which is at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA, (representing activities from 1963 to 1995) and a portion at the Demarco European Art Foundation, Edinburgh - are many traces of exchanges between Italy and Scotland promoted by Demarco as part of his larger European network and contribution to the Edinburgh Festival.


These documents include photographs, ephemera, notes, catalogues and artworks that feature events involving relevant Italian or Italian-based artists, producers, performers, directors, critics including: Palma Bucarelli, the Count Panza di Biumo, Giulio Paolini, Jannis Kounellis, Bruno Ceccobelli, Toti Scialoja, Carlo Quartucci and Carla Tatò, Mimmo Rotella, Mario Merz, Fabrizio Plessi, Achille Bonito Oliva, Maria Gloria Conti Bicocchi, Giuseppe Chiari, Guido Sartorelli. This publication is the main outcome of the eponymous research project, Richard Demarco The Italian Connection and uncovers and retraces many stories and reassesses how Demarco promoted Italian visual and performing arts in Scotland and Scottish art in the Italian cultural context.

Luath Press Books

Copies of "Demarco's Edinburgh" and Richard's seminal works;
"The Road to Meikle Seggie" and "A Unique Partnership" can be purchased
at the Luath Press website here:

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