Awardee success at the Scots Trad Music Awards

The Scots Trad Music Awards celebrate the scope and scale of Scotland’s traditional music talent, with Dewar Awardees featuring in the winners’ list.

The 20th annual MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards took place at the Caird Hall in Dundee on Sunday 4th December 2022. Organised by Hands Up for Trad, the awards celebrate the scope and scale of Scotland’s traditional music talent, and we were delighted to see Dewar Awardees featured in the winners’ list!

Composer of the Year – Heal and Harrow

The Composers of the Year award went to Rachel Newton and 2006 Dewar Awardee Lauren MacColl for Heal & Harrow, a project inspired by the Scottish witch trials in the 16th and 17th centuries. The project pays a humanising tribute to the women persecuted for witchcraft, exploring historical beliefs in the supernatural and modern day parallels in our society.

Read Lauren MacColl’s Awardee profile here

Folk Band of the Year – Breabach

Formed in 2005, Breabach are now securely ranked among Scotland’s most skilled and imaginative contemporary folk acts. The band features the talents of 2007 Dewar Awardee Calum MacCrimmon on Highland Bagpipe, whistle, bouzouki and vocals. 2022 saw the release of their latest album Fàs, which was heavily inspired by the natural environment of Scotland.

Read Calum MacCrimmon’s Awardee Profile here

Visit the Hands Up for Trad website to view a full list of winners

2021 Awardee: Gina Wright

"This Dewar Arts Award has allowed me to experience a wonderful first year at RCS Juniors. I have been able to gain expertise from acclaimed musicians from all over the world as well as make life-long friends."

Biography

Gina is a violist who was born in Scotland to a Scottish father and a German mother. From a young age she has enjoyed spending time with her family and friends in Germany and Scotland, and likes to share her passion for music by giving small informal concerts to her loved ones.

Gina became a pupil at the Music School of Douglas Academy in Milngavie in August 2020 and started her journey as a student of Dr. Lev Atlas (viola) and Claire Haslin (piano). Although new to the piano she quickly progressed to Grade 6 in her first year, and now enjoys teaching as well as exploring the exciting repertoire the instrument has to offer.

In 2021, Gina received a Dewar Arts Award, which enabled her to become a member of the Junior Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This opened up incredible opportunities to her, such as playing at the COP 26 Conference in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall alongside the Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of the RCS.

Since the Award

In March 2022, Gina took part in a masterclass with the Brodsky Quartet where she played the 1st Movement of Debussy’s string quartet in G minor with her school’s senior quartet. Upon receiving an exceptionally high mark after their first performance, the quartet went on to compete in the finals for the Allie Cullen Memorial Prize of the Glasgow Music Festival 2022.

Gina was also delighted to be selected as Principal Viola of the West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra in 2022, and enjoyed playing the viola solos in Vaughan Williams’ London symphony. Additionally, Gina has been privileged to receive two Awards from the Awards for Young Musicians Charity, namely the Hilary McKenzie Johnston Award and the Robert Lewin Scholarship, which was awarded in recognition of a strong commitment to musicianship and musical excellence.

"This Dewar Arts Award has allowed me to experience a wonderful first year at RCS Juniors. I have been able to gain expertise from acclaimed musicians from all over the world as well as make life-long friends."

2022 Awardee: Haneen Hadiy

"This award has been a privilege and opportunity to pursue a dream. The award has fully supported me in conducting a solo exhibition in Iraq to reveal my work to the people of my homeland. My years of practice in the making have been immensely involved in my Iraqi culture therefore, an opportunity to visually present my creations in the land of Iraq is a huge successful step forward in my career as a visual artist."

Biography

Haneen Hadiy was born in Glasgow, Scotland to Iraqi parents in 1999. She started her career as a visual artist at the age of eighteen. Haneen Hadiy has exhibited around Scotland, London, New York and Los Angeles, revealing the unseen attractions of her motherland. In 2018 she organised an exhibition in Glasgow, giving the opportunity for exposure to Iraqi artists living in Iraq. Haneen regularly travels back and forth from Iraq to Scotland to explore her identity within both cultures. When travelling to Iraq, Haneen continuously focuses on revealing the existing scenic attractions of her homeland. Her works are known for their distinctive intimacy and integrity. She continuously experiments through a variety of mediums to explore her family history, cultural heritage, and identity as a diasporic artist.

How the Award Helped

Haneen’s award will support the development and installation of a solo exhibition of her work in Iraq. The exhibition will feature a collection of personal works that address and diminish cultural stereotypes.

"This award has been a privilege and opportunity to pursue a dream. The award has fully supported me in conducting a solo exhibition in Iraq to reveal my work to the people of my homeland. My years of practice in the making have been immensely involved in my Iraqi culture therefore, an opportunity to visually present my creations in the land of Iraq is a huge successful step forward in my career as a visual artist."

Interview with Sarah Rogers, Rojhe Design

We spoke to jewellery designer and maker Sarah Rogers about how a Dewar Arts Award will support the development of her work.

The Trustees of the Dewar Arts Awards are delighted to announce that we have a new £90,000 fund to support ambitious, talented young people across Scotland who have a passion for traditional rural and craft skills.

Sarah Rogers, a jewellery designer and maker, is the first recipient of an award from this funding stream. We spoke to Sarah to find out more about how her Dewar Arts Award will support her work.

 

To find out more about Sarah’s work, visit her website at www.rojhedesign.com. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

To find out more about our new funding stream, read the news article here: New funds to support talented young people across Scotland

Blog from Jill Miller

Jill Miller, Chair of the Dewar Arts Awards, discusses our new funding stream.

Having recently stepped into the role as Chair of the Dewar Arts Awards, the responsibility for ensuring that we invest our funds with those who truly need us has never been more pressing.

After two years of a pandemic and the ever-increasing price of food and energy (in fact everything we need in our daily lives), we’re even more focused on connecting with talented young people who need funds to be able to pursue or develop their talent – across any art form.

And now, thanks to the support of the William Grant Foundation, we have additional resources to invest for the next three years. We want to use these funds to extend the work we do to support young people from across Scotland who have a passion and talent in the arts and in related craft areas.

So, if you know someone who is pursuing a specialist craft skill in leather work, glassmaking, jewellery, textiles, wood, stone, instrument making… please connect them with us via www.dewarawards.org

Our application process is simple – visit our Apply page for further guidance and to submit your application. If you require further please contact: admin@dewarawards.org

Read the news article: New funds to support talented young people across Scotland

New funds to support talented young people across Scotland

The £90,000 fund will enable the Trustees to broaden the scope of their work.

As the Dewar Arts Awards enter their 21st year, the Trustees are delighted to announce that we have a new £90,000 fund to support ambitious, talented young people across Scotland, thanks to support from the William Grant Foundation.

The new fund, to be invested over a 3-year period, will enable the Trustees to broaden the scope of their work. Trustees are keen to receive applications from young people who have a passion for developing their talent or skills across a broad range of interests including:

  • craft skills – supporting training to work with stone, textiles, wood, leather, metals, glass
  • traditional rural skills – you may need help with training / materials / equipment

or

  • you may need help to fund classes or courses that will help you to develop your talent across any art form

The Trustees are committed to inclusion and diversity and are keen to hear from young people of all backgrounds including those who may be care experienced or from under-represented communities.

Applying is easy – find out more and submit your application via our Apply page. However, if you feel you need help you can always contact us at admin@dewardawards.org for further information and support.

The fund is open now and we look forward to hearing from you!

Visit our application page to read further guidance and submit your application.

Jen Hadfield nominated for the Highland Book Prize 2021

The 2007 Dewar Arts Awardee is one of four writers on the shortlist

Dewar Awardee Jen Hadfield has been shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2021 for her poetry collection ‘The Stone Age’. Based in Shetland, Jen is a poet and visual artist who has been described as “one of the brightest and most talented poets of her generation working in Britain”.

In 2007, a Dewar Award supported Hadfield to travel to Mexico and research Mexican devotional folk art. This research trip inspired the creation of ‘Nigh-No-Place’, a solo exhibition of Shetland ex-votos in the style of sacred Mexican folk art – ‘tiny, portable, insistently familiar landscapes packed in an array of weathered tobacco tins, incorporating rubrics of very short fiction’.

The following year, Jen published her second collection of poetry, also called ‘Nigh-No-Place’, inspired by her travels in Shetland and Canada. The collection went on to win the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2008, making Hadfield the youngest female winner of the prize. In his role as chair of the prize, Andrew Motion said that ‘Nigh-No-Place’ showed ‘[Hadfield] is a remarkably original poet near the beginning of what is obviously going to be a distinguished career”. His words were proven correct, as Jen went on to win the Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize in 2012, and in 2014, she was selected as one of the Poetry Book Society’s “Next Generation Poets”.

Jen’s most recent poetry collection, ‘The Stone Age’, was released by Picador in March 2021, and has been described by her publisher as ‘an astonished beholding of the wild landscape of her Shetland home’. The collection has now been shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2021. Established in 2017, the Highland Book Prize celebrates work that recognises the rich culture, heritage and landscape of the Highlands. Kapka Kassabova, serving on the judging panel for the Highland Book Prize, said of ‘The Stone Age’: ‘In a pantheistic journey of Shetland, Hadfield converses with her environment. The human and more-than-human worlds are perceived to be a seamless whole, and every rock has a voice. This book is a literary, environmental, and spiritual adventure.’

Congratulations Jen – we wish you all the best in the final!

The winning title will be announced at an award ceremony on Thursday 26th May.

Visit the Highland Book Prize website to find out more

Read Jen’s Awardee Profile

If you feel a Dewar Arts Award could support you in your progression as a young artist, or know someone else who might benefit, find out more about how to apply on our Eligibility and Application pages

2022 Awardee: Kira Charleton

Kira Charleton

“Receiving an award from the Dewar Trust has honestly been life changing. It has allowed me to complete my final year of Master’s at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama whilst preparing for the next step in my journey. They have allowed a small town girl to keep working towards her big dreams of changing lives through music.”

Biography

Kira Charleton is a soprano singer from Ayrshire, who possesses a fresh sounding voice and the ability to sing both classical music and music theatre. Her talent and hard work earned her a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, from where she graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in 2021. During her undergraduate studies, Kira was the only female candidate selected to compete and represent the college in the highly regarded, Junior Kathleen Ferrier competition. Following this, she partook in many performances, with the main highlights being selected as a finalist for the E A Redman competition and playing the Mezzo-Soprano role in the Edward Barnes opera “The Hiding Tree”.

Kira regards herself as an enthusiast who thrives in a challenge and when collaborating as part of an ensemble or company. In 2019, she worked alongside choral master, Steven Harris and conductor, Carlo Rizzi as part of RWCMD’s 70th Anniversary Opera Gala celebration. Upon moving to Cardiff, Kira also became a member of the BBC National Chorus of Wales as a choral Scholar. This provided her with a wealth of performance opportunities, such as regularly appearing live on BBC Radio Three and in televised performances as part of the London Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.

Kira is fiercely dedicated to music and believes that her life will continue to be moulded around music. She is a determined individual who has faced the odds and is aware of the hard work required to be successful. Kira believes that to be a singer is to understand the art of storytelling and she has the commitment and abilities to achieve her goals.

Kira has generously received support to study from a Peter and Janet Swinburn Scholarship, a Girdlers’ Charitable Trust Award, and the Dewar Arts Award. In 2021, Kira won the Eileen Prize Price for lieder singing and the Mabel Linwood Prize.

In May 2022, Kira will play the role: Dutchess of Montalbano, in Lennox Berkeley’s comic opera, A Dinner Engagement. As well as this, she will be taking part in the chorus of RWCMD’s spring production of The Marriage of Figaro in the Sharman Theatre, Cardiff. Kira has also been awarded a bursary to perform in the Welsh National Youth Opera’s production of Cheryomushki, taking place in October 2022.

How the Award Helped

Kira’s Dewar Arts Award has enabled her to further her studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she is pursuing a MMus degree in Performance.

Kira Charleton

“Receiving an award from the Dewar Trust has honestly been life changing. It has allowed me to complete my final year of Master’s at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama whilst preparing for the next step in my journey. They have allowed a small town girl to keep working towards her big dreams of changing lives through music.”

Elaine Woo MacGregor shortlisted for Jackson’s Painting Prize 2022

The 2008 Awardee has made the final 42 from 8948 entries

Dewar Awardee Elaine Woo MacGregor has been shortlisted for the Jackson’s Painting Prize 2022 for her painting ‘Portrait of Nan Shepherd: Camping by the Wells of Dee’, making the final 42 from 8948 entries.

Born in Edinburgh and brought up by her traditional Chinese parents, Elaine moved to Glasgow at the age of 18 to study Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art. She received a Dewar Award in 2008, which supported a Partial Fellowship Artist Residency in the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson in Vermont. Elaine told us that the Award gave her ‘an exciting opportunity to work in a creative environment within the unique New England setting’ and opened up ‘new directions’ for her practice. In 2012, Elaine’s work was displayed as part of Roots to Shoots, an exhibition celebrating ten years of Dewar Arts Awards in the visual and applied arts. Elaine is now based in Linlithgow and works as an Art Tutor at the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Lifelong Learning.

The Jackson’s Painting Prize exists to champion exceptional artworks made by international artists at all points in their careers, with tailored prizes that aim to give successful applicants the exposure and resources to support them in their practice. Elaine’s painting ‘Portrait of Nan Shepherd: Camping by the Wells of Dee’, has made the final 42 from 8948 entries to the competition.

In an interview with the Edinburgh Evening News, Elaine said “The painting was inspired by passages in the book ‘The Living Mountain’ and the life of Nan Shepherd. I was interested in finding out about individual writers’ demeanour and habits, as well as sense of place, and how this shaped their identity and the themes in their work.”

“With the break due to the pandemic, I reflected on what it means to be a creative during these times, our relationships with natural and urban environments and our sense of ‘self’.”

Congratulations Elaine – we are proud to have been part of your journey and wish you all the best in the final! The winner of the Prize will be announced on Wednesday 13 April 2022.

Read Elaine’s Awardee Profile

Read Elaine’s Interview with the Edinburgh Evening News

2021 Awardee: Blise Orr

Blise Orr

"Without this award, it would have been impossible for me to fulfill this ambition [of attending the Williem De Koon Academy]. The Dewar Award will enable me to develop my practice over the next two years and work on larger scales with many more people positively affected by my designs and strategies for more sustainable and considered designed environments. "

Biography

Blise completed an undergraduate degree in Interior Design at the Glasgow School of Art in 2019, before taking up a place on the Interior Architecture Masters course at the Williem De Koon Academy in Rotterdam in 2021. Blise’s practice looks at urbanism and interior architecture through the design of more sustainable and considered cities, with a focus on the spatial experiences of every day and how design can positively impact us. Working between Glasgow and Rotterdam, Blise continues to develop her practice with a new focus on climate, migration and inequality in cities. Blise has also hosted panel discussions, creating connections and contrasts between cities of similar scales across the globe and working to design better more transparent cities for all.

How the Award Helped

Blise’s Dewar Award supports her Masters studies in Interior Architecture in Rotterdam, for which she secured one of only twelve places available. This enables her to develop her practice from Interior Design into Interior Architecture and work on larger scales and focus on producing designs and strategies for more sustainable and considered design environments.

Blise Orr

"Without this award, it would have been impossible for me to fulfill this ambition [of attending the Williem De Koon Academy]. The Dewar Award will enable me to develop my practice over the next two years and work on larger scales with many more people positively affected by my designs and strategies for more sustainable and considered designed environments. "