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Visual Arts

Doors Open Days 2013 - Geum Urbanum

Saturday 28 September 2013 10:00-16:00

Sunday 29 September 2013 10:00-16:00

To celebrate the Doors Open Day 2013 ’Natural Edinburgh’, the Institut is delighted to present the exhibition ‘Geum Urbanum’, a photographic series by Geoffroy Mathieu showing how city and nature interact in Edinburgh.

’Geum Urbanum’ is a book of photographs by Geoffroy Mathieu showing the collision between nature and urban space in Tangier, Marseille and Edinburgh.

Invited by the Institut français in Edinbugh in 2011 to complete his project, Geoffroy Mathieu criss-crossed the city from the centre to its periphery, looking at how nature and city mix.

The photos taken during his visit and presented in this exhibition show the unique relationship between the natural world and human occupation in Edinburgh: the untouched forests and rivers crossing the city, the man-controlled meticulously trimmed lawns, gardens and golf courses, the kitchen gardens and waste lands punctuating the urban landscapes...

Looking at these photos, one can’t help but think that here more than anywhere else, man is harmoniously managing nature, in a very Anglo-Saxon kind of way.

The Geum Urbanum that gives its name to the book and exhibition, also known as wood avens, colewort or St Benedict’s herb, is a perennial plant that grows in shady places - on uncultivated land or in verges. In cities it can be found in the shade of flower beds and hedges.

Geoffroy Mathieu will be at the Institut during these Doors Open Day and available to talk about his work and answer questions.

The exhibition will remain open until 26 October 2013. The book ’Geum Urbanum’ will be on display in the exhibition and available for sale.


Take fully advantage of your visit and explore the Institute’s Georgian building itself, with the magnificent views of the Dean Valley and the Firth of Forth, the garden at the back, and the beautiful dome. Glean some information about the history of the building and its famous inhabitants along the way.

The Bistrot will be open for the occasion from 10am.
Unfortunately the venue is not accessible to wheelchair users.

Download the full programme of the Edinburgh Doors Open Day 2013.

Institut Français Écosse 2022