Family Art Trail is another great example of how important Inverleith House is as an art venue
- Thom Dibdin
- 30 August 2017
Simple booklet helps bring Inverleith House exhibition into focus for younger eyes
If the recent proposal to close Inverleith House as an art gallery served to remind people just how wonderful a place to see art it is, the current exhibition Plant Scenery of the World doubles that resolve.
The gallery has produced a smart little resource for families, too, in the form of a small booklet for children to fill in as they go round the exhibition. It is best-suited to the kind of lively minded over-six-year-old who is happy to lie on the floor and draw. At its best, it really enhances the more abstract elements of the exhibition – and it's worth grabbing a copy even if you are kid-free.
Younger children will need more guidance and the booklet better serves as a handy tool for adults to help the child engage with the art. Not that any is needed in the super-tactile room with big glass eyes where you take your shoes off to walk on the fabric-lined floor.
Not all elements can be rendered child-friendly. Perhaps the most interesting room is hung with Victorian drawings prepared for a book which was never published. The pictures contain fantastic detail of exotic plants and animals, but are just too high for anyone under five foot, or in a wheelchair.
However, the booklet serves its purpose well. There are drawing and colouring activities in the basement of the building, too, but if engagement is what you want, not rainy day activities, then grab the booklet on the way in.
Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, until Sun 29 Oct, 10am-5pm, free.