Activities for all at the National Galleries of Scotland

The Scottish textile artist, Clare Hunter, in her book Threads of Life says of graphic art that it is ‘part of a conversation, a dialogue, a correspondence… It connects the maker to the viewer across time, cultures, generations and geographies’.

Those conversations and connections across the geography of our four National Galleries of Scotland venues take place for all ages every day of the week.

Each space has a unique feel that voices, through image and object, a sense of our history, of ourselves, our beliefs and our hopes. These are spaces that welcome us in from babies to old-age, the curious, the creators and those of us who feel voiceless. These are uncensored spaces that offer visual biographies, testimonies and stories in which we find ourselves.

A young art fan attends Bring Your Own Baby/Bump, our monthly informal gallery chats for grown-ups with their wee-est ones.
Exploring our collection during a dementia-friendly Gallery tour.

The Galleries offer, across each space, free Bring Your Own Baby/Bump (BYOB) sessions for new and expectant parents, family activities and events, dementia friendly tours and concerts, free talks, drop-in sketching, art in the open, specially designed tours for those with hearing loss and visual impairments, multi-sensory storytelling and workshops for school pupils and teachers.

A Drawing Room session at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

These are places that offer no doors, windows or walls as you can wander and wonder around the green grounds of the Galleries of Modern Art.

These are spaces that promote a sense of wellbeing and social connection, and once discovered are a constant source of inspiration. In the heart of a busy city there is room to breathe and to belong.

Take a look at our guide to what's on at the Galleries.

The audience enjoys a dementia-friendly concert at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Family activities and events take place regularly in our Galleries.

Wellbeing - Image Liberation Force

Image Liberation Force is a creative project exploring Scottish art and history. The film below features Clare, who is attending a Works + employability course in Galashiels, and was part of the project earlier this year.

Clare laughs a lot, and speaks about the wellbeing she gets from our work, which encourages young people to find adventurous ways into our paintings. The feedback we get from the young people shows how working together in a collaborative team with other young people, helps them overcome their isolation … as long as they get to do, and say, exactly what they want.

For this particular project, Ghost we hired an amateur ‘ghost’ to surprise the participants in a ruined castle, one by one. We filmed their reactions to this ‘spectre’ as they questioned him/her about their reasons for haunting people today.

These encounters have been made into a scary movie which will be shown as part of the exhibition of the overall project in Autumn 2020, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.