Exhibition Ended

Ruined | Reinventing Scottish History

From Sat 26 Jun 2021 - Sun 9 Jan 2022

This exhibition has now ended!


RUINED was created over the last four years by young Scots re-inventing Scottish history - imaginatively mashing-up works from the National Galleries of Scotland collection. In the exhibition, visitors will witness shocking events and ghosts from Scotland’s past, as they enter a time machine in which multiple video projections flicker across a set of ruins. It's anarchy! False heroes and heroines, wicked tyrants and bloodied martyrs, the angry mob, hard borders, sad religions and unwatchable violence - all alive and kicking in the ruins of this Scottish fantasy.

The young people on the Image Liberation Force project, who were attending employability training courses, have rediscovered themselves - cracked and creaky - in the ruins of the Scottish past. They have invested their imaginations in historic paintings depicting epic events and powerful personalities ... and brought them to life. Their story is told by their very own ‘bard’, Edinburgh music producer and rapper Mercurius MC, who spares none in his visceral address to reshaping Scotland’s story.

Play Flashback, a new game inspired by the Ruined exhibition

Image Liberation Force is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of Celebrating Scotland’s Art: the Scottish National Gallery Project.

This exhibition may not be suitable for all visitors, including children, because the works shown include swearing and explore difficult subjects such as violence and suicide. It also includes flashing images.

Event highlights

Exhibition trailer

Mercurius MC and Big Tam were filmed at the monument to the great eighteenth century pastoral poet, Allan Ramsay, near Penicuick. Mercurius takes on the mantle of another Scotland's greatest poets, Robert Burns, and matches him for his heart, his soul and his contemporary Scots tongue.



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