In 2018 Scottish Sculpture Workshop launched a new annual Graduate Award programme, devised in collaboration with previous artist residents and graduate award winners. The award is supported through partnerships with five Scottish Universities: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (University of Dundee), Edinburgh College of Art (The University of Edinburgh), Glasgow School of Art, Grays School of Art (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen), and Moray School of Art (Moray College University of the Highlands and Islands).

This award builds on and furthers SSW’s existing support offered through emerging/ graduate residencies and our previous university partnership awards (including the Fred Bushe Award) and aims to enhance provision for Scotland’s graduates by providing a more holistic support structure for artists in the transitional year following graduation.

The focus of this programme is to support artists skills development in particular strengthening making and technical skills in addition to fostering local and national peer relationships and exploring new career pathways post study.

SSW attended five fantastic degree shows at five art schools across Scotland. After many tough decisions and considering a wide range of brilliant work, we are delighted to announce the five artists we have selected for our first annual Graduate Award Programme.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (University of Dundee) – BA (Hons): Art & Philosophy – Saoirse Anis

My plans after graduation are, generally, to continue making art for as long as it lights a fire in my belly. I want to bear my soul and share my soul as much as I can. I hope to become involved, in some capacity, with the arts scene in Glasgow so that I can continue to be surrounded by creativity!

The SSW residency will be particularly important for my practice insofar as it will give me the opportunity to create in an environment that is completely different from what I have known. Since my practice is generally site-specific and dependent upon found materials, being in a new environment provides the potential for my work to head in new and exciting directions.

Edinburgh College of Art (The University of Edinburgh) – MA (Hons): Fine Art – Robert Cooper

After graduating from ECA, I am picking up where I left off last summer helping to assist artist Polly Morgan in the run up to her next show. As Polly’s studio is based in London, I will be moving down south and I hope to start exploring the creative community that is down there – as well as continuing to work as a waiter of course!

I am extremely excited to partake in this programme as throughout my degree at Edinburgh I found myself tending to avoid working in the workshops. Perhaps I was intimidated or just shy. Therefore, I am really grateful for this second chance to learn some skills in a place where I cannot hide from the workshops! For the last couple of years I have also been making predominantly digital work – hopefully being thrown into this extremely rural environment will make for some new perspectives on making – or a social media cleanse at least!

Glasgow School of Art – BA (Hons): Fine Art: Sculpture and Environmental Art – Rachael Docherty

My practise is largely research based, focusing on historical content and navigates collective memory, tradition and national identity. For the last year I have been exploring these themes through the translation of one language into another and the resulting work was an amalgamation of both sculptural and performative elements. I seek to engage with the things lost during the act of translation and the often absurd gaps in understanding which are the result of this miscommunication. I want to continue with this line of enquiry in the future and the SSW residency will hopefully give me the free time, space and support to develop more ambitious and larger scale work of this kind. I am also very excited to make use of the facilities there, particularly the foundry and ceramics workshops as I have not had access to these before and am excited about learning these new skills which I can then apply to my current practice. 

Grays School of Art (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen) – BA (Hons): Fine Art: Contemporary Art Practice – Phoebe Banks

Whilst at Grays I have developed a very playful approach to art making, a mindset I am determined to carry into my future work. I also feel very keen to remain based in Aberdeen as it holds a lot of potential for exciting creative development, which I’d love to be a part of.

I am so excited to be going to SSW for the graduate residency as it provides the opportunity to continue playing with ideas whilst exploring new materials and practices. The best way for me to work is to start with making and then follow whatever feels most interesting (regardless of whether it seems an irrelevant tangent), and I think being around the artists and technicians at SSW will be a great inspiration for this process.

Moray School of Art (Moray College University of the Highlands and Islands) – BA (Hons): Fine Art: Textiles – Jane Oram

As I walk  the moray coast I have been constantly drawn to and fascinated by found objects and the story they reveal. Now as a graduating art student from Moray School of Art, I want to explore new locations and look for new ways advance capture and display my found treasures hidden narratives. I will continue to work outside exploring new locations whilst introducing new materials and techniques. I am hoping to create a body of work which reflect my finds in unusual ways, and to find opportunities to present them.

Moray School of Art is quite a small and remote school and distance impacts on experiences available. The SSW Graduate award is an amazing opportunity to meet other artists from other areas of Scotland and learn about their practices, whilst at the same time developing my work and ideas with the help of experienced technicians. I am really looking forward to the experience and the support of mentors to help me gain in confidence as I move my art practice forward.

This award offers selected graduate artists:

One month group residency at SSW from 5th November – 3rd December 2018 including group work in the form of introductory artist-led talks and exercises and residency studio sharings, timetabled bespoke support from technicians and professional development sessions with Programme Manager and SSW Director.

Three mentoring/ advice meetings with SSW staff members throughout the year following on from the residency (until June 2019) to support both technical ideas or professional development as well as an additional mentoring session with an ally organisation to support further networks and practice.

Year round profile raising through SSW’s website

Direct funding towards travel and production during the residency of £400.

Selection Process

This residency is awarded through university partnerships. Students were selected from each of the five university partners degree shows by members of the SSW team and a past SSW graduate resident. Guest graduate panel members for the 2018 selection include Alice Wadkin (previous SSW/DJCAD residency award winner), Madeleine Hope-Fraser (SSW Emerging Artist 2017) and Jack McCallum (SSW Emerging Artist 2017) .





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