You Ain't from Around Here, Are Ya Boy?

Fear not young pup, Scotland's gallery scene is here to entertain you

Feature by Jay Shukla | 13 Oct 2006
So, you're a young, hip student and you're new in town. You want a stimulating day out – preferably something free that won't cut into your beer money. Fear not young pup, Scotland's gallery scene is here to entertain you.


You'll want something big and fancy to get you in the mood, so why not check out the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Dean Gallery, situated adjacent to each other in pretty little Dean village. Picasso, Hurst, Richter et al find their home in the National Gallery of Modern Art, while the Dean has a great collection of Dada and Surrealist work. Follow the water of Leith back into town and find your way to the Fruitmarket on Market street – a fantastic space which houses shows from all the best up-and-coming new blood on the international scene (see picture). They have a great café there too. Up the hill on Cockburn Street, the Collective is home to the New Work Scotland programme and always has something noteworthy taking place. The Embassy on East Crosscauseway is an artist-run space that has ties with the College of Art, and is another good place to keep in touch with the grassroots scene. Talbot Rice on Southbridge (part of the University of Edinburgh buildings) is a huge and unusual space which features invariably well-curated shows, and if you fancy a wee day out then Inverleith House at the Royal Botanical gardens is beautiful – and if you get bored you can always play with the squirrels instead.


Glasgow is a great city for art and music, with several international artists working within the city. The places to see big name art are the Glasgow Modern Art Gallery, which got a bit of a kicking from Adrian Searle the other week; The Tramway, which has several enormous spaces to show work; and The Kelvingrove to see some Impressionists or a Wooly Mammoth. Transmission is a great space, with an egalitarian, ever-changing membership which you can join for a fiver or a day of invigilation. The Modern Institue, which represents Toby Paterson, Simon Starling and many more, is also world renowned. Some of the smaller spaces around the Trongate are set to be subsumed within a huge art hypermarket on King's Street. Instead of a cluster of galleries along the street, Transmission, The Glasgow Print Studio and several others will soon be amalgamated in the artistic equivalent of the Enoch Centre. The city's always been passionate about the arts, and it'll be handy to wander around without getting soaked. There are also tons of artist studios, with the exciting ones offering the
company of pigeons and trendies in disused prisons and derelict
buildings. Look in the phone book for the less exciting ones.