2016 Awardee: Joanne Dawson

"By staying in Glasgow and making this my indefinite base for working, I believe I'm able to flourish in a supportive environment full of opportunity."


Born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Joanne moved to Glasgow in 2012 to study Painting and Printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art.  Whilst there she was an active and engaged member of the student community, demonstrating a mature and driven attitude to her studies.  With a group of her peers, she arranged a series of collaborative exhibitions with the Edinburgh College of Art, and after graduation continued in roles with GSA Exhibitions and The Students’ Association.

Joanne organised an exhibition of Glasgow graduates at Blipblipblip in Leeds, was selected for The Telfer Gallery and EMBASSY Gallery’s annual graduate shows, and held her first solo show at VoidoidARCHIVE.

In 2017, Joanne had her first group international show in Madrid, and exhibited as part of the Glasgow International Arts Festival in 2016.

Joanne is a collaborator in Babaloose; a bi-monthly event in Glasgow. Babaloose uses open platform events, discussions & workshops to promote the politics of performing, and the power of an audience as a creative community.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award allowed Joanne to facilitate the production and development of research for her first solo show in Glasgow, and her first contributing publication “Stop! Slow down, take a minute” (available throughout the exhibition and at Good Press, Glasgow).  The project involved cross-collaboration with artists in Scotland and Madrid.

Since the Award

Having completed her first solo exhibition, Joanne updated us on her progress.

“Prior to the Dewar Award and 2017 in particular, I found it hard to determine what was a good opportunity that would enhance my career, or what was exploitative and without any recognition of time or free-labour. The experience of this exhibition has left me able to recognise what will be beneficial and progressive for my future artistic career.

I found receiving the Dewar Award, and working with the curatorial body ‘Very Friendly’ (now Love Unlimited), a very supportive moment of my career to date, and hope for this to happen again in the near future. The exhibition was highly regarded, and has enabled a string of opportunities since. I have been asked to take part in other exhibitions, as well as a number of solo-shows – another one in Glasgow and my first in Newcastle. As well as this, I am currently progressing with a mentorship programme and collaboration with the design duo ‘Tenement’ who make bespoke furniture for clients and organisations, based in Glasgow.

My development as an artist during this time has lead to more professional responsibility…This element allows me to see the business side of creative professions and taking the roles of many; manager, advertiser, producer, application writer. I see creative development as much about output, as much as commenting on the changes to arts that are currently underway, and how this will affect future generations of artists.

The Dewar Award has genuinely helped me develop so much in the last year and I hope that this progression continues.”

"By staying in Glasgow and making this my indefinite base for working, I believe I'm able to flourish in a supportive environment full of opportunity."