Conversations with the Collection | From the Hearth

Open daily, 10am–5pm

Admission free


Part of Conversations with the Collection


‘Home’ means something different to everyone. It is a site of production and consumption, social relations, emotions, learning, and play. It can be a source of warmth and protection, but also of conflict and fear. This display explores artists’ creative engagement with the domestic sphere, the ‘hearth and home’, and the complex forces that shape it.

The artworks displayed here dispute the often binary and gendered stereotypes associated with the home and its inhabitants. Far from being a passive, peripheral or isolated space, home has always been at the heart of artistic production, creative conversations, and society itself.

Artists such as Anna Barriball and Mabel Royds use the very fabric of the everyday to create their work, blurring the lines between domestic labour and creativity. Mona Hatoum confronts us by transforming a familiar and comforting object into something unsettling and threatening. For many artists, including Giorgio Morandi and Francesca Woodman, their domestic and creative worlds are intertwined, either by choice or necessity. As a result, themes of introspection and confinement are evoked.

Through these dialogues, the domestic emerges as a place complicated by cultural, economic, socio-political, and psychological realities. Because of this, it holds immense potential for radical creativity, transformation, and experimentation.

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  • Wheelchair access


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Gallery facilities

Detailed information on accessibility at the National Galleries of Scotland

Parking for visitors is available at both Modern One and Modern Two. A donation is requested of £5 for up to 4 hours and £9 for 4-8 hours. Our payment meters have contactless capability. There is free accessible parking for blue badge holders.

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing places toilet
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Disabled parking
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Parking
  • Café
Getting here

Getting here

The Modern is located 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, set in a beautiful sculpture park.

Venue map
  • Open daily, 10am–5pm
  • Open daily, 10am–5pm
73 & 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR

Conversations with the Collection

Conversations with the Collection

This is display is part of Conversations with the Collection, a changing programme of displays that offers visitors a brand new way to experience the national collection. 

A celebration of Scottish and international modern and contemporary art, the thematic displays place creativity and conversation at their core by considering how dialogue and exchange shape and reshape artistic process.

Audio tours

Audio tours

A conversation piece

For this audio tour of the Conversations with the Collection display at Modern One we have invited guests to share their thoughts on a selection of artworks from the display. Not knowing in advance which artworks they would be discussing, these responses are honest, real and unscripted.

Welcome Audio Tour

For this tour, our curators introduce the themes of the display room by room and explain how they have drawn from the collection of modern and contemporary art to unearth evocative stories and create bold comparisons between the artists, ideas and ways of making. 

Audio Described Tour

Enjoy a selection of audio descriptions of artworks at from Conversations with the Collection. Taking over the top level of Modern One, this display is a celebration of Scottish and international modern and contemporary art.

Families | Art chat

Families | Art chat

Designed for families aged 6+ our art chat guide helps you explore the different artworks in this exhibition and encourages you to make your own. Available to pick up in gallery or download.

Friends go free

Friends go free

Become a Friend to enjoy unique access to the nation’s art collection with unlimited free entry to exhibitions, Friends-only exhibition previews and a 10% discount in our gallery shops & cafés.

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