Inverleith House at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland, is closing its doors after thirty years, Phil Miller of Herald Scotland reports. The decision was made two years after Creative Scotland denied the institution’s application to receive regular funding, which would support three years of programming. The Scottish Arts Council and Creative Scotland have granted the contemporary art gallery $1.8 million since 1994.
Simon Milne, the Regius Keeper at the gardens, said, “These are hard financial times for everyone, and we couldn’t afford to sustain it, and at the moment we have to focus on our core programs, which are botany and horticulture.” The Royal Botanic Garden stated that no staff members would lose their jobs in the transition.
The gallery has hosted solo shows for artists such as Douglas Gordon, Richard Wright, Callum Innes, Jim Lambie, Cathy Wilkes, Karla Black, and Mark Leckey. Its current exhibition, “I Still Believe in Miracles,” which includes works by Douglas Gordon, Jim Lambie, Richard Wright, and Ed Ruscha, will be the last show presented by the gallery and is on view until October 23.
After learning about the Royal Botanic Garden’s decision to shutter the space, a spokesperson for Creative Scotland said, “The importance of the gallery, alongside the work of Paul and his team, to contemporary visual art and artists in Scotland cannot be understated and its loss will be profoundly felt.”
In Creative Scotland’s annual Visual Arts Sector report, which was released yesterday, the institution acknowledged the difficulties facing arts organizations, stating that resources are “extremely stretched.” It reads: “For Scotland to be a recognized, international center of excellence for the visual arts, the sector will need to maintain and grow the resources required to sustain its work. At a time when the funding available to Creative Scotland and other public partners is reducing this will be a challenge that will require a focused and determined effort from all involved. Positive change has to be encouraged and new ways of working supported.”