The building is constructed of steel, oak and granite in an abstract modernism style designed by Spanish architect Enric Miralles.
The Scottish Parliament building houses a wide selection of commissioned and gifted artwork pieces.
Travelling the Distance, 2006 porcelain by Shauna McMullan
“This artwork features a collection of 100 handwritten sentences made of porcelain. The artist collected the sentences from 100 women on a journey around Scotland. Each woman was asked to write about another woman they felt had made a significant contribution to life, culture or democracy in Scotland. The artist also asked each woman to refer her on to another; this was the basis of her journey across Scotland.”
Portrait of Charles Edward Stuart by Calum Colvin.
Mirror Anamorphosis Calum Colvin
"In this installation, Colvin makes reference to a Jacobite drinks tray in the collection of the West Highland Museum in Fort William and the practice of hiding images through anamorphosis.
Anamorphic images have been used variously to hide satirical or erotic images, in trompe l’oeil murals and as the basis for children’s games.
The Jacobites allegiance to the Stuarts was treasonable so toasts to their absent king had to be carried out in secret. By using a distorted portrait of Charles Edward, only visible my using a cylindrical mirror, it would have been easy to quickly hide their support if interrupted."
" The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry – The remarkable story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s famous victory told in 104 metres of embroidery!
The Tapestry follows Charles Edward Stuart’s campaign to regain the British throne for the Stuart dynasty in 1745. He was the son of the exiled James Francis Stuart, and their supporters were known as Jacobites.
Completed in 2010, 104 panels, Designed by Andrew Crummy, over 200 volunteer stitchers, over 10 million stitches, over 25,000 hours."
Harlequin Elma Colvin
This embroidered textile by Elma Colvin, the artist’s mother, is based on the Harlequin work in his Jacobites by Name series.
“Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP’s) are able to pass laws on many of devolved matters that impact on our lives, such as health, education, housing, justice, rural affairs and the environement. Scotland’s powers were extended in 2012 and again in 2016 and now include significant financial and welfare powers. The UK Parliament passes laws on reserved issues affecting the whole United Kingdom, such as the constitution, defence, foreign policy, trade and data protection.”
"A silver and gold ceremonial Mace created for the 1999 opening of the Scottish Parliament. In 1997, after nearly 300 years, the people of Scotland voted for a Scottish Parliament and the 1998 Scotland Act set out its legislative powers. On 1 July, 1999, those powers were officially transferred from Westminster to Scotland, temporarily housed at the General Assembly Hall, before it moved to the Enric Miralles designed Scottish Parliament building at the foot of the Royal Mile.
Her Majesty The Queen presented the new Scottish Parliament with this silver Mace crafted by Scottish silversmith Michael Lloyd. Maces were originally weapons to protect the monarch, but they are now a symbol of power, usually encrusted in jewels and ornament.
This one is simpler and more modern in its design, the only adornment a band of Scottish gold to symbolize the marriage of the Parliament, the land, and the people. At the head of the Mace, the words “Wisdom, Justice, Compassion, Integrity” are etched within a thistle motif, surrounded by the opening words of the 1998 Scotland Act: “There shall be a Scottish Parliament.”"
Visit The Scottish Parliament website to see the variety of free tours offered.