2017 Awardee: Alistair Grant

"The support from the Dewar Award has enabled me to commit my time and energy to the course in a way that is truly freeing, I feel extremely lucky."

Biography

Alistair Grant was born in Manchester and moved to Glasgow to study a BA in Sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art.  On graduating, he went on to study a Master of Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art.

Alistair is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores contemporary connections to the natural world. From sculptural and installation approaches through to performance and video games, Grant’s practice is concerned with how we negotiate and attribute value, whether aesthetic or ecological to these designated areas from within the built environment.

Alistair has undertaken residencies including The Wild Project (Czech Republic) and Odyssean (Orkney), which have resulted in exhibitions across the country. He has also made work for the Odyssean: Topographies exhibition at Hestercombe in Somerset.

In Spring 2014 Alistair Founded ‘The Number Shop’ Studios and Gallery, which he continues to manage as Director. To date TNS has hosted over 50 exhibitions and worked with over 150 emerging contemporary artists, highlights of our programme include Edinburgh College of Art Graduate Awards, Edinburgh Art Festival, Return Flight MEL-EDI (Melbourne – Edinburgh international artist-writer exchange), Edinburgh International Science Festival and Glasgow International 2018.

In August 2017, Alistair co-founded Edinburgh Contemporary Art Directory, a quarterly print listings publication (and online) that compiles activities, exhibitions and events from the Edinburgh scene, from independent artists, artist-run spaces and mid-large scale institutions.

Alistair’s ambition is to contribute to the Scottish contemporary art scene in a holistic way, supporting the work and activities of others alongside and intertwined with his own practice.

How the Award Helped

Alistair’s Dewar Award supported him in his studies, allowing him to fully pursue his aims to develop technical skills in workshops (physical sculpture processes in casting, digital 3D softwares and animation) whilst having the time to critically evolve his practice. The Award also allowed him to undertake his exhibition at Hestercombe.

"The support from the Dewar Award has enabled me to commit my time and energy to the course in a way that is truly freeing, I feel extremely lucky."

2016 Awardee: Katie Schwab

"The Dewar Arts Award has contributed enormously to my time undertaking the MFA Graduate Fellowship at Glasgow Sculpture Studios."

Biography

Katie Schwab moved from London to Glasgow in 2013, to study an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art.  There she developed her impressive style of practice – making sophisticated use of materials and sculptural processes in a critically engaging way.

Katie was awarded the MFA Graduate Fellowship at Glasgow Sculpture Studios, based on her work presented at the MFA Degree Show. This prestigious annual award is presented to an artist who demonstrates artistic excellence and a commitment to maintaining a studio-based contemporary sculptural practice.

Exhibitions and projects include: Together in a Room, Collective, Edinburgh; Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Backlit, Nottingham and ICA, London; My love is like a red red rose. Art in Scotland from 18th to 21st Century, Musée du Château des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard; Fresh, British Ceramics Biennial, The Original Spode Factory Site, Stoke-on-Trent; The Grind, Voidoidarchive, Glasgow and Project Visible, Tate Modern. 2015 graduate residency at Hospitalfield, Arbroath.

How the Award Helped

Katie’s Award supported her work on the MFA Graduate Fellowship.  This enabled her to experiment across the GSS workshops, to work with new materials and to explore new forms of production and collaboration in the run-up to an exhibition.

"The Dewar Arts Award has contributed enormously to my time undertaking the MFA Graduate Fellowship at Glasgow Sculpture Studios."

2015 Awardee: Robbie Hamilton

The Dewar Award allowed me to create the elaborate idea I had for the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition

Biography

An innovative contemporary artist, Robbie has lived in Scotland all his life, He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, specialising in painting and sculpture, and gained a BA Honours in Fine Art and Media.

Robbie’s work explores contemporary art within traditional gallery settings, using urban-inspired sculptures in an interactive way.  His ambitious proposal for the RSA New Contemporaries Exhibition 2015 attracted much attention and was and offered a key position within the upper galleries.

https://cargocollective.com/robbiehamilton

Robbie has also exhibited at the And Collective gallery in Bridge of Allan, and has further developed his skills through working for a sculpture and design fabrication firm in Glasgow. He plans to volunteer with SkatePal in Palestine, a project that engages the community of the West Bank in positive activity through skateboarding and design.

How the Award Helped

Robbie’s Dewar Arts Award enabled him to realise his ambitions plans for the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition.

The Dewar Award allowed me to create the elaborate idea I had for the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition

2013 Awardee: Rebecca Wilcox

Participating in this residency will give me a much needed period to focus and develop my practice.

Biography

After moving to Scotland to complete a BA(hons) in Sculpture and Environmental Art, Rebecca stayed on to complete an MRes (Master of Research in Creative Studies).  She has since continued to develop her practice as an artist and has been an active contributer to the arts in Glasgow.

Rebecca has organised and curated a number of exhibitions, including presentations at the Glasgow International Festival and the CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts.  She served for two years on the committee of Transmission Gallery and has worked for Art in Hospital, an organisation providing art programmes in a variety of healthcare settings.

Considered by the CCA to be “one of the most outstanding young artists working in Scotland today”, Rebecca’s work is described as intelligent and thoughtful with a consistent generosity towards her audience.

How the Award Helped

Rebecca received an award to support her in a prestigious six-week residency opportunity at the Banff Centre, Canada.

The residency is considered one of the best programmes internationally.  It was conceived by Will Holder, and has input from other esteemed artists, critics, curators and musicians including David Reinfurt (of Dexter Sinister) and Richard Birkett (of Artist\’s Space New York).

Through intensive workshops, discussion and studio time, the residency will allow Rebecca to investigate documentation, publishing, and improvisation as ways of approaching the creation of new works, as well as revisiting existing works.  This will provide an immense boost to Rebecca’s practice and enable her to interact with other artists and thinkers of the highest calibre.

Participating in this residency will give me a much needed period to focus and develop my practice.

2012 Awardee: Chris Dyson

I cannot begin to imagine the impact this opportunity will have on my practice and the formation of my research

Biography

Originally from Pudsey in West Yorkshire, Chris moved to Scotland in 2001. He studied at The Glasgow School of Art where he explored his passion for sculpture and film. He has been described as a skilled maker with a uniquely creative eye.

Since graduating from GSA in 2005, Chris has been actively involved in many artist-run spaces and research groups in the city. He has also contributed to numerous exhibitions at home and abroad, including shows at the DCA and CCA. He has made a strong contribution to the dialogue surrounding contemporary Scottish art.

In 2010, Chris was awarded a Professional Development Grant from Creative Scotland. In 2011, he was selected for the Scottish Screen Archive.

How the Award Helped

Chris has been granted a prized scholarship to study an MFA at CalArts, California. His Dewar Award will provide financial support to enable him to benefit from this fantastic opportunity.

I cannot begin to imagine the impact this opportunity will have on my practice and the formation of my research

2011 Awardee: Sandy Smith

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the trustees .... I can continue this fantastic opportunity for creative growth and professional advancement that I worked so hard to open up.

Biography

Dunbar-born Sandy Smith graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2005 with a first class degree in sculpture. While still an undergraduate he shone as an exceptionally gifted artist, dedicated, highly motivated and innovative. Sandy is considered to be one of the most exciting, intelligent and committed contemporary artists to emerge through the Glasgow art scene in the last ten years.

After graduation, he spent the next five years participating in over 40 exhibitions across Europe and the USA exploring ideals of melancholic romance, human/artistic striving and exuberant optimism. He has developed a respected profile as one of the important and influential artists of his generation. In 2007 he won a Dewar Arts Award to help fund a solo exhibition in Glasgow.

Sandy is currently a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University where he is pursuing an MFA in Visual Art. Since moving to New York he has worked with the language of attainment to test the veracity of the positive claims of contemporary art and personal development. For further information about Sandy’s work, see www.sandysmith.co.uk.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will enable him to complete his two-year MFA degree.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the trustees .... I can continue this fantastic opportunity for creative growth and professional advancement that I worked so hard to open up.

2008 Awardee: Niall Macdonald

I’m honoured and delighted. [This award] will enable me to totally dedicate myself to the production of new work …. I look forward to starting the project.

Biography

Niall was born and raised in the remote Outer Hebrides. He now lives in Glasgow and works alongside some of Scotland’s most successful contemporary visual artists at the new Glasgow Sculpture Studios.

His first degree was in Literature and Film studies at Glasgow University. In 2008, Niall graduated from the acclaimed MFA at Glasgow School of Art, where he was awarded the prestigious Leverhulme Scholarship.

Niall’s degree show work was selected to be part of ‘ROAR:’, a high-profile review exhibition of promising young Scottish artists which was held at London’s South Bank Centre. Since graduating, Niall has exhibited work in Manchester, Berlin and again in London. He is considered to be one of the most talented and intellectually able artists working in Scotland today and is seen as an emerging artist with an outstanding career ahead of him.

Niall begins working on an ambitious project to produce a series of new artwork culminating in a significant solo exhibition in late 2009 to be held in Glasgow’s young and increasingly renowned gallery, Washington Garcia.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help buy time and materials to help Niall produce this significant body of new work.

Since the Award

Niall writes that receiving the award enabled him to “open up new ways of working, to explore ideas and over the 10 months of the project gave me an opportunity to push my work forward with confidence and support.” Since the end of his Dewar-funded project, Niall has continued to develop and show his work.

Niall’s work was showcased as part of our 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Roots to Shoots. Find out more here.

I’m honoured and delighted. [This award] will enable me to totally dedicate myself to the production of new work …. I look forward to starting the project.

2007 Awardee: Emma Pratt

I am soooo pleased to hear that I have received the Dewar Arts Award. Thank you so much!

Biography

Kirkcaldy-born Emma Pratt graduated with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College, Dundee. While at college, Emma received the RSA Sculpture Prize, the Carnegie Travelling Scholarship and, for her degree show, the Farquhar Reid Art Trust Prize. She was seen as a student who combined original talent with ambition to succeed and stood out as one of the best graduates in recent years.

Emma’s works are considered original, ambitious, surprising, provocative and witty with a very unusual approach to materials, form and imagery. Since graduating, Emma has demonstrated that she has not reached the limits of her abilities. She has exhibited work in Scotland, Italy and France.

Shortly after graduation, Emma won a travelling scholarship which allowed her to spend significant time in Florence, and later went on to an artist’s residency in France. Her work is featured in collections at the University of Dundee, the Royal Scottish Academy and in private collections in Ireland and Italy.

In 2007 Emma was an invigilator at the Scottish show “Scotland and Venice” at the prestigious Venice Biennale. She is currently illustrating a book by an Irish writer and working towards an exhibition in Prato, Italy.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help Emma complete a Master of Fine Art (Sculpture) at Edinburgh College of Art.

Since the Award

Emma writes that after graduating she spent three years exhibiting work and doing various art-related projects. “Having two years to concentrate solely on my practice in a supportive environment was exactly what my career needed. Receiving a Dewar Arts Award has enabled me to do this.”

During the MFA course, Emma showed her work in Florence, Berlin and London. She was awarded the Helen Rose Bequest for one of the best MFA 2009 degree shows at ECA. For more information on Emma’s current exhibitions and artworks see www.emmapratt.co.uk.

Emma’s work was showcased as part of our Tenth Anniversary Celebrations. Find out more here.

I am soooo pleased to hear that I have received the Dewar Arts Award. Thank you so much!

2006 Awardee: Laura Aldridge

I am extremely grateful for this incredibly generous offer. This award will make an enormous difference to my practice as an artist.

Biography

Laura Aldridge, from London, is a graduate of Wimbledon School of Art where she studied painting. She moved to Scotland to pursue a Master of Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art and has now made Glasgow her base where she believes that, as an artist, her work can flourish in a supportive environment.

On the strength of her final degree show at Tramway, Laura was awarded the Glasgow Sculpture Studios Graduate Scholarship, an annual award given to one graduating student. This provides valuable studio space to enable Laura to prepare for her first solo exhibition in Glasgow in 2007.

Laura has already exhibited in Glasgow, London, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and Denmark. Throughout her studies, Laura has developed a unique and distinctive ‘voice’ through her work. It has immediacy and vibrancy, but its apparent simplicity and air of innocent fun are deceptive. Dig a little deeper and one can see in Laura’s sculptures, allegories of social structures and hierarchies.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will provide funding for research time and materials towards Laura’s first solo exhibition in the UK.

Since the Award

Laura writes “I believe that your support has afforded the space and time to make the most of this research and development period. It has meant that I have been able to realise a strong and confident body of work for my solo exhibition at Glasgow Sculpture Studios.”

I am extremely grateful for this incredibly generous offer. This award will make an enormous difference to my practice as an artist.

2004 Awardee: Robert Niven

I am hugely grateful to have been given the chance to go to Banff. It was an unforgettable experience and has had a very encouraging effect upon my development as a young artist.

Biography

Fife artist, Robert Niven, graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2003.

To develop his art and to take it to new places, Robert applied to go on a self-directed creative residency in Canada.  His time at the Banff Centre was a very important experience for Robert giving him an opportunity to develop his art practice and to meet and get to know an amazing variety of international artists.  He says that the experience gave him time, space and support to experiment, to collaborate and to enjoy making art.

He made friends with artists worldwide which led to an invitation to the Istanbul Biennale, a residency in Argentina and a visit to artists in Mexico City.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award supported Robert on a two-month self-directed creative residency in the Banff Arts Centre, Canada.

Since the Award

Robert’s art practice has developed dramatically since Banff, moving from photography into sculpture. Robert completed an MFA at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in 2007 supported by a Commonwealth Scholarship.

Robert now lives and works in Glasgow.  He has been developing a group of sculptural collages that entwine everyday absurdities with historical happenings.  He makes materials coalesce into a form of sculptural dyslexia, with mimesis, misrecognition and metamorphosis merging to create mongrel forms.

In 2008 he curated the Dewar Arts Awards Fifth Anniversary Showcase Exhibition. For more information about Robert’s work see www.robbyniven.com.

I am hugely grateful to have been given the chance to go to Banff. It was an unforgettable experience and has had a very encouraging effect upon my development as a young artist.