With so much on offer during the Edinburgh Festival, it's a shame that, once again, architecture is so thin on the ground.
There are two exceptions. At the RIAS Gallery, 15 Rutland Square, My Favourite Place is a pleasant if undemanding look at what makes buildings or places special. Ten former RIAS presidents and six chapter presidents have each selected a Scottish site that has particular significance for them. These span the country, from a mill in Orkney to a castle in Dumfries and Galloway and, although two people have chosen Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art, most visitors will make some discoveries. It's a little disappointing that the sites are only presented in photographs. Some drawings would have made the show both more personal and more analytical; what analysis there is comes in the participants' texts, which at times could be more searching ( www. rias. org. uk).
Surprisingly no-one has chosen what is generally seen as one of Scotland's best post-war buildings, trashed and empty though it is at present - Gillespie, Kidd & Coia's St Peter's Seminary, Cardross. Until Saturday 19 August at the Scottish Arts Club, 24 Rutland Square, Premature Dereliction is an exhibition of work inspired by the building's current state of ruin. Contributors include filmmaker Murray Grigor and artist Toby Paterson, whose take on Modernist architecture was warmly reviewed in AJ 22.05.03 ( www. cardross. org).
If architecture has a low profile this summer, the visual arts fare better, with, among much else, a fine group exhibition at the Ingleby Gallery ( www. inglebygallery. com) and new paintings by Andrew Mackenzie, poised between landscape and abstraction, at Amber Roome Contemporary Art ( www. amberroome. com). But one of the best shows during the festival is the most modest. For some years now the tiny gallery in the basement of Reiach and Hall's Darnaway Street office has been a surreptitious force for Modernism in Edinburgh's conservative New Town. The art it promotes is usually a model of clarity and restraint, which is certainly the case in its present exhibition of four closely related paintings by the Dutch artist Steven Aalders, one of which is pictured above ( www. sleeper1. com).