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Time Out

Teachers and pupils who thought art was all about pictures on walls and statues on plinths are in for a surprise when they visit the exhibition opening at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh tomorrow.

Off the Wall, which is free and runs until the end of May, features only works which hang from the ceiling or are shown directly from the floor.

This type of contemporary art has been created with the aim of "entertaining, involving and provoking" people to see it in ways that, according to the artists, traditional work cannot be seen.

Among the most surprising pieces is a rolling group of more than 800 inflatable balls of different sizes, colours and patterns made by Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed, who comes from Glasgow. Visitors are encouraged to walk among the balls so they can enjoy the "physical experience" of looking at art.

Another Glasgow artist is Nathan Coley, whose miniature cardboard scale models of more than 250 actual churches and other places of worship in Edinburgh take up two rooms of the gallery and caused a sensation when they were first shown in the city earlier this year. Other works include a multi-coloured striped floor and 1,000 empty bowls.

"Off the Wall is an opportunity for our visitors to experience some of the exciting installations that we have been acquiring in recent years. I think they will be pleasantly surprised," says Richard Calvocoressi, director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

A free preview evening for teachers is being held at the gallery in Belford Road on December 13 from 5.15-7pm, when curator Alice Strang and schools education officer Marie-Louise Smoor will be on hand to explain how to get the most out of a visit.

For further information and to book a place 0131 624 6410;

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