Rooms for Improvement – Scottish Furniture Makers Association
Royal Botanic Garden, John Hope Gateway, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh
Exhibition running from October 14 – November 6
Open Daily 10am – 4pm
Featuring bespoke furniture from 28 members of the Scottish Furniture Makers Association, ‘Rooms for Improvement,’ at the Real Life Science Studio space in the John Hope Gateway at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens is a wonderful lesson in exhibiting furniture in context. Laid out across four rooms: an entrance hall, a kitchenette, a front room and a bedroom, the exhibition presents furniture which would usually be presented individually as art in an interior design setting.
Speaking to the artists at the opening, who will also be available to meet Fridays through Sundays during the exhibition’s running, there was much enthusiasm for such a collaborative and creative venture. The SFMA, a collective of carpenters and woodworkers, has worked on bringing this exhibition for over a year and the effort pays off brilliantly. The pieces, using locally sourced Scottish wood, all work fantastically in situ and, despite differing styles and woods, come together to turn the space into something more.
The opening event was a great success, with space hard to come by and with every piece attracting many admirers to gather round them all evening. The studio itself, usually an open corner of the John Hope Gateway, was unrecognisable, transformed like a stage set using specially designed walls and a doorway borrowed from a recent castle restoration.
Our personal favourite pieces included coatracks made of wonderfully soft wood by Anna Nichols which are on display in the front room and bedrooms spaces and the gorgeous shelves and cabinets of Alan Dalgety which can also be seen in the front room and bedroom spaces. Also worthy of mention is the strikingly eye-catching cabinet by Gavin Robertson in the far corner of the front room space. However, if we were to list all of the works we enjoyed, we would end up naming every piece in the show!
The exhibition runs from the October 14 to November 6 in the John Hope Gateway on Arboretum Place. Many of the artists on display are largely commission workers and some usually only exhibit solo, so don’t miss the opportunity to see so many high quality works together in context in the one place!