Hallucinogenic sound and light display at the Botanics
This article is from 2009.
Even without special effects, the greenhouses at the Royal Botanic Gardens are among the most magical spaces in Edinburgh, and however badly the organisers of this show had mangled their work they’d have had a difficult job to spoil the surreal and fantastic jungles that are the base material for Power Plant.
In the event, they haven’t mangled their work at all, and the sounds and lights add to the viewing, smelling, touching experience rather than intruding. Unlike the structured, carefully plotted storylines of most of the shows these visitors have seen, the directive here is to wander at your own pace, take detours, stroke plants, and be mesmerised.
Power Plant is an exhibition as well as an ‘experience’ and the light sculptures and installations have names and artists attached, but the sheer fascination of shafts of light fanning out between the fronds of a leaf, or tiny lights clicking like insects through the branches of a tree, is enough to override any oppressive sense of authorship. Think of it as enhancement rather than complete tree-surgical reconstruction, and for optimum viewing experience take drugs or a lover.
Royal Botanic Gardens, 623 3030, until 30 Aug 2009 (not 24), 9.30pm, £10 (£8).