2023 Awardee: Erin McQuarrie

The Dewar Arts Award has provided vital funding to set up my studio in the Scottish Highlands and purchase essential weaving tools. I would like to sincerely thank the committee for all their encouragement and support.

Biography

Erin McQuarrie is a textile artist and researcher from Glasgow based in the Scottish Highlands. She believes ancient methods of making provide an innovative means of interpreting and responding to contemporary life. Through textiles McQuarrie reacts to the everyday – the language of warp and weft is her vocabulary, providing an antithesis to our fast-paced consumerist society, an outlet to explore health and wellbeing, and a platform for historical recovery.

Erin completed her BFA in Textiles at The Glasgow School of Art (2018) and her MFA in Textiles at Parsons School of Design, NYC, on a Fulbright scholarship (2021). Her work has been exhibited in Scotland and internationally, including Jane Lombard Gallery, L’Space Gallery, Mana Contemporary, The Royal Scottish Academy, and New York Textile Month.

How the Award Helped

Support from the Dewar Arts Award enabled Erin to finance an enclosed studio space and acquire essential tools for her practice. By purchasing a Saori floor loom, Erin is able to produce more ambitious textile work at a larger scale than with handmade tools at home. The studio also provides the space needed for lengthy dyeing and weaving processes.

Since the Award

In 2024, Erin presents her first solo show ‘The Time Between The Lights’ at The Briggait in Glasgow.

The Dewar Arts Award has provided vital funding to set up my studio in the Scottish Highlands and purchase essential weaving tools. I would like to sincerely thank the committee for all their encouragement and support.

2010 Awardee: James Gardner

This is an extremely exciting time for me, none of what is about to happen to me … would have been possible without your support.

Biography

Glasgow-born James has wanted to study fashion at Central St Martin’s for as long as he can remember. He studied textiles and surface design at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, from where he graduated with a first-class degree.

While an undergraduate, James was a finalist in the UK Knitting Association Student Competition and received an Arts Vacation Scholarship from The Cross Trust to undertake research in Sri Lanka. In his final year he won the Society of Dyers and Colorists design competition.

After graduation, James went on to work as UK colourist with Berluti, London, where he impressed with his maturity and grasp of colour. He worked on developing new colours for their product collection shoes and accessories. He has also worked for Mumo, a fair-trade fabric company as a textile and product stylist and consultant.

James has had his work shown on the catwalk at the Clotheshow Live and Dressed to Kilt event in New York, hosted by Sir Sean Connery. He was offered a place on the masters degree course at Central St Martins which will allow him to show his first major fashion collection as part of London Fashion Week.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will contribute towards the substantial fees and living expenses to study at Central St Martins.

This is an extremely exciting time for me, none of what is about to happen to me … would have been possible without your support.

2007 Awardee: Alana Florence

I’d like to thank the trustees for presenting me with the award. This is a wonderful opportunity for my design ideas to flourish in the extravagant city of London.

Biography

Aberdeen-based Alana is considered to be a talented artist who is able to take ordinary objects or figures and transform them on paper or fabric into something extraordinary. She describes herself as “a quirky colourful individual who flourished in the quiet country.”
A graduate of Gray’s School of Art where she studied textile and surface design, Alana’s tutors considered her to be an exciting student to teach. She has innovative and fresh ideas and possesses a highly individual and imaginative use of colour. Her final show at university stood out amongst a group of high-quality students.

Alana was delighted to be accepted onto the MA course in Textile Futures at Central St Martin’s in London and describes her aims on the course to ‘create something extraordinary and challenging.’ She aims to bring ‘fabric to life with outbursts of colour, pattern and quirky illustrations.’ After graduation she sold a collection of her works to an Aberdeen boutique and exhibited in the Wallace Gallery in London.

Alana is one of a growing number of Scottish textile designers supported by a Dewar Arts Award to develop their terrific creativity. Central St Martin’s is the place to study fashion and is extremely difficult to gain entry.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will provide financial assistance for Alana to pursue an MA in Textile Futures at Central St Martin’s in London.

Since the Award

Alana writes that an integral part of her course was to understand how science and design can be combined, which led to her designing a moving toothbrush which speaks the words ‘up’ and ‘down’. After successfully graduating with an MA in Textile Futures Alana plans to develop her ideas of pop-up wallpaper and kinetic textiles for fashion and interiors.

I’d like to thank the trustees for presenting me with the award. This is a wonderful opportunity for my design ideas to flourish in the extravagant city of London.

2007 Awardee: Hayley Scanlan

I would just like to say how thankful and grateful I am for you to pick me and how much it will benefit the rest of my time here in LA

Biography

Whilst she was just three-quarters of the way through her degree in textile design at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee-born Hayley Scanlan was offered the chance in a professional life-time of a nine-month unpaid internship with top fashion designer Jeremy Scott based in his studio in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
The offer was the chance to work with Jeremy Scott on a print design for inclusion in his Spring/Summer 2008 collection, ultimately to be shown at the LA, Paris and New York Fashion Weeks. This is the kind of work which Hayley had dreamed of doing since she was a young girl.

Hayley’s major strengths are a creative energy and ability to understand and react to fashion trends, attributes which won her the internship. Her talent, particularly in fashion related areas, and the high standard of her finished work are abilities which will undoubtedly enable her to succeed in textile design in fashion.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Hayley to complete her internship in LA. Her striking print designs were part of Jeremy Scott’s collection at the Paris and LA Fashion weeks in late 2007.

Since the Award

During her time at the Jeremy Scott studio, Hayley worked on ready-to-wear collections for Paris Fashion Week. This experience gave her an “intense insight into the reality of the hard work and dedication involved in the fashion industry”. After the internship, Hayley returned to Dundee to finish her degree. On the opening night of her degree show she caught the eye of the head of the British Fashion Council and of model Erin O’Connor who commissioned a copy of one of Hayley’s garments in her collection. Hayley is now working hard to establish her own fashion and textile label.

I would just like to say how thankful and grateful I am for you to pick me and how much it will benefit the rest of my time here in LA

2007 Awardee: Keith Gray

This award will allow me to completely concentrate on my work without the financial stress and worry that I would have had without it … I am very grateful.

Biography

Aberdeen-born Keith put himself through a first degree at Central St Martin’s London to study fashion print, as he could not pursue this at a college in Scotland. While studying at Central St Martin’s he worked on a number of design collections which were subsequently shown in London, Milan and Paris Fashion weeks.

In 2007, his graduate collection of menswear, using all his own prints, was chosen by Central St Martin’s to be shown at the York Hall Press Show. Only a handful of students are fortunate enough to be selected. His tutor says of his final show that it ‘displayed a mature, restrained subtlety and attention to detail that distinguished him from his peers .. and his work reveals a wit and intelligence that never becomes too obvious or overstated.” Keith was awarded a first-class for his practical work.

Keith went on to win a place on the prestigious MA course in Printed Textiles at the Royal College of Art to develop his textile design creativity.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award contributed towards Keith’s tuition fees and living expenses.

Since the Award

After his first year at RCA, Keith writes, “This year … has been hugely beneficial for me as a designer and as a person. My work, ideas and technical skills have all developed and matured giving me the confidence and a clear vision of what I wish to do in the future as a designer. Without the generous help of the Dewar Arts Award this year would not have been so successful for me..” Keith’s support has been extended for a second and final year.

Keith successfully graduated with MA Textiles from the Royal College of Art. As well as submitting a full and comprehensive portfolio for his textiles examinations, he was invited to show a full collection at the RCA catwalk show, something which is extremely rare. The current economic climate (late 2009) is not a good time to start out in fashion. Keith has started up his own fashion label specialising in mens’ shirting whilst also seeking an internship with a major designer.

He writes, “Without [your] belief and financial support …., I would not have been able to take full advantage of the RCA’s teaching and resources and this in turn has given me the freedom to work late at night and during weekends always giving my full attention and commitment to my studies. The enormous commitment from the Dewar award has given me a unique opportunity to create a solid platform for my future.”

This award will allow me to completely concentrate on my work without the financial stress and worry that I would have had without it … I am very grateful.

2007 Awardee: Marie O’Connor

I am writing to say a huge thank you…. I am thrilled! It will be an enormous help to me in my studies.

Biography

From Nitshill in Glasgow, Marie O’Connor graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1999. After a few years working in the industry, Marie has made the decision to go back into full-time study and won a place on the highly competitive masters course in Mixed Media Textiles at the Royal College of Art in London.

Marie finds the prospect of studying at RCA very exciting, an environment which she says will inspire creativity, collaboration and critical debate between students from a wide range of backgrounds and training. Marie’s current folio is both interesting and exciting and full of experimentation, showing that she will take full advantage of the opportunities that studying at RCA present.

Marie’s work could take her in many directions, into fashion, design or visual arts. She is a name to remember.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help support Marie through her studies at RCA.

Since the Award

Marie writes that her two years at the Royal College of Art were “fun, stressful, inspirational, hectic, and ultimately really rewarding”. During her time there, she won first prize in a project for an international trend predictions company for her conceptual approach and textile samples. Collaborating with students of womenswear and accessories, she was runner-up in a design competition to produce a capsule collection for a well-known high-street fashion brand. The trio hope to continue their successful collaboration into their professional careers.

I am writing to say a huge thank you…. I am thrilled! It will be an enormous help to me in my studies.

2007 Awardee: Selina Law

I have already started research work, and am excited at the possibilities this award will give me. Thanks again.

Biography

Originally from Northern Ireland, Selina moved to Scotland to study textile design. She gained a first-class honours degree specialising in woven textiles and continues to live and work in Dundee, where she is currently designer in residence at Duncan of Jordanstone College.

In 2005 Selina won the Society of Dyers and Colourists’ Colour in Textile award and in the following year was selected as one of six weave designers by the Texprint group as a ‘star designer of the future’. Other awards which Selina has won include the Veronica Bell Award for Colour in Textiles, which included in the prize the opportunity for her designs to be incorporated into textiles used for menswear, and the F&A Bradshaw Award for a research trip to Japan.

Selina has showcased her work at First View, Chelsea, Indigo and in Premier Vision in Paris. Her clients include Calvin Klein. Her textiles are considered to be ‘exquisite, beautifully designed and perfectly executed’.

Selina is currently working to create a new fashion accessory collection.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help to fund the creation of Selina’s accessory collection.

Since the Award

Selina writes that the knitted collection she produced is ‘a capsule collection based on the theme of perspective….the pieces I have produced are almost what one would call knitted jewellery, in both function and theme’. Selina went on to teach textiles to students of all abilities, some with special educational needs. Alongside her teaching she continues to design and develop new collections and research into sustainable fashion and textiles.

I have already started research work, and am excited at the possibilities this award will give me. Thanks again.

2006 Awardee: Lee Borwick

I am overjoyed at the news of my award from the Dewar Art Awards, so generous and kind.

Biography

Originally from Galashiels, Lee Borthwick graduated with a first-class honours from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. She received the John Grays Legacy while an undergraduate and was also nominated by Gray’s for the BP Prize.

While an undergraduate Lee took part in an exchange scheme and spent some time in Finland, which had a significant influence on her creative work. She was intrigued by the empty landscapes, wild nature, icy colours and abandoned wooden houses and developed a range of fabrics exploring the surface of wood and markings created by nature.

Lee, like many people of her generation, is concerned about the environment and interested in using eco-friendly, sustainable textiles.

After graduating, Lee won a place on the highly competitive Masters course in Constructed Textiles at the Royal College of Art in London. Lee’s outstanding talent and intellect approach to textile design will no doubt take her far both nationally and internationally.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award provides crucial financial support to Lee while studying at the RCA, London.

Lee’s funding has been continued for a further year into 2007. She writes, “I always aimed to keep my personal voice amongst so many testing projects. Through this … I was nominated to be one of the exhibitors as part of the ‘Out of the Blue’ exhibition this summer. I was selected as one of 23 students out of 90 who applied.”

Since the Award

Lee graduated with an MA in Constructed Textiles after a year which she describes as being ‘the most exciting, challenging and inspiring year of my life so far.’ Sustainability and the environment are key issues in Lee’s practice.  A collaborative project with a fellow student in Printed Textiles was shortlisted by Valpak, the leading provider of recycling solutions for the UK.

During her final year, Lee was awarded the John Dunsmore Scholarship, giving her the opportunity to visit Nepal to work with a community of weavers. She plans to help them develop products such as bags and clothing for the local market. Her final degree collection of work was shown in the Modern and Contemporary Art and Design Auction, arranged by auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull.

I am overjoyed at the news of my award from the Dewar Art Awards, so generous and kind.

2006 Awardee: Malcolm Cruickshank

It has been really lovely that ‘unknown’ people in the field of the arts have recognised my worth and been prepared to put their faith in my abilities

Biography

Malcolm Cruickshank is a graduate of Cumbria Institute of the Arts and his ambition is to develop a successful career in the applied arts.

Born and brought up in Edinburgh, Malcolm is an innovative designer and maker. He excels at combining the unusual and unconventional to create well designed objects that function.

These objects have ranged from ‘wearable art’ to lighting and seating and incorporate embroidery, weave, felt, rubber and ‘found materials’. He is particularly ingenious at seeing the potential in recycled materials.
Since a young boy, Malcolm has been fascinated by the whole process of craft making and impressed craft workers whom he spent time observing with his passion and raw creativity.

One of the solo exhibitions which Malcolm was offered in 2006, titled ‘Haute Kilture’ to present a range of alternative kilts and accessories, was supported by an Award.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards contributed towards the costs of Malcolm’s 2006 Jedburgh exhibition ‘Haute Kilture’.

Before the exhibition opened, Malcolm was offered a six-month appointment by Midlothian as a schools’ Artist in Residence. He writes, “I have no doubt that [this award] must have been at least a contributing factor to their final decision.”

Since the Award

After the exhibition, Malcolm was approached by a London gallery who wished to mount his exhibition during London Fashion Week in March 2007. In March 2008 he received the Morton Fraser Award from Visual Arts Scotland.

It has been really lovely that ‘unknown’ people in the field of the arts have recognised my worth and been prepared to put their faith in my abilities

2006 Awardee: Richard Foley

I would like to thank you for this support.

Biography

Richard Foley, 21, is still an undergraduate at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee studying gallery textiles.

Richard, from Broughty Ferry, is working to mount an exhibition for and in the wider Dundee community. The underlying purpose is to promote contemporary art in Dundee and to encourage the ubiquitious ‘man in the street’ to engage with contemporary art. The exhibition will be mounted in one of Dundee unused properties in 2007. Richard will create large textile prints, based on drawings by the community, which will become individual art pieces to be displayed around the space.

Richard is considered to be one of the most individual, creative and committed students. His thought processes are highly creative and unusual and it is no doubt that he will become a creative force in the future.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will fund the preparation and mounting of the exhibition.

Since the Award

Richard writes that the project helped him in a number of ways, not least by giving him ideas about his future career choices. The experience Richard gained by curating the community project inspired him to apply for a work placement at the V&A Fashion, Textile and Furniture Deparment. He went on to volunteer in Iceland’s Living Art Museum, an artist-led organisation.

I would like to thank you for this support.