2013 Awardee: Morwenna Darwell

I feel humbled by the support I have received from the Dewar Arts Awards. The grant has allowed me to take full advantage of my time at The Royal College of Art. Your support went way beyond my expectation, something I feel deeply grateful for.

Biography

Morwenna had an unusual childhood, growing up on a vibrant community farm in Dumfries & Galloway, where her family lived with and supported adults with learning difficulties.  Morwenna describes this as a busy and rich environment where she was able to roam freely around the farm and its many creative workshops.

Attracted by the glamour of fashion, Morwenna aspired to become a fashion designer from the age of 10.  She completed a foundation course at the Leith School of Art and then gained a First Class Honors in Fashion from the Edinburgh College of Art.

Morwenna has demonstrated an outstanding ability and talent through her studies and placements, and has won numerous awards for her work.  Her ambition is to become part of a design team at a design house, and ultimately to set up her own label.  She has been described as a ‘name to watch’ for the future of fashion.

How the Award Helped

Morwenna received a Dewar Arts Award to support her in undertaking a two year ‘Masters in Fashion Womenswear’ course at the Royal Collage of Art.

Since the Award

June 2013 – David Band Textile Award (2nd Prize)

I feel humbled by the support I have received from the Dewar Arts Awards. The grant has allowed me to take full advantage of my time at The Royal College of Art. Your support went way beyond my expectation, something I feel deeply grateful for.

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

2012 Awardee: Lyndsey Gilmour

Without the generous support from Dewar Arts Awards I would have been unable to take my place on the MFA Painting course at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art. I am eternally grateful for their generosity and continued support.

Biography

An especially skilled and talented painter, Lyndsey creates work on canvas and “crumbling sash windows”.

Orginally from Kirkintilloch, Glasgow, Lyndsey’s family moved several times before settling in Overtown, North Lanarkshire. In 2006, Lyndsey was offered a place to study at the prestigious Gray’s School of Art. Gaining insight in a wide range of areas including printmaking, sculpture, textiles and photography, Lyndsey chose to specialise in painting.

Whilst still a student, Lyndsey’s talent was recognised by the selectors of the RSA New Contemporaries Exhibition. Her fine handling of paint stood out and earned her a much sought after place in the 2011 Edinburgh show.  Lyndsey continued her independent practice in Glasgow-based artist studios and has now exhibited work in galleries across Britain, receiving special commendations.

In 2012, Lyndsey was accepted onto a world-class post-graduate course at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Alumni include Anthony Gormley, Stanley Spencer and Tactita Dean.  This offered an exceptional opportunity to develop her skills and profile as an artist.

Lyndsey aspires to exhibit her artwork internationally and to create exciting shows that inspire younger generations.  She is also keen to develop her teaching practice, encouraging other young artists to “find their artistic voice within the contemporary art field”.

How the Award Helped

Lyndsey’s Dewar Award enabled her to accept her place on the MFA course at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Since the Award

June 2010: Review in The Scotsman

Without the generous support from Dewar Arts Awards I would have been unable to take my place on the MFA Painting course at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art. I am eternally grateful for their generosity and continued support.

2012 Awardee: Greg Grant

The Dewar Award's contribution will provide vital financial assistance to complete the MFA course and allow me to realise the potential development and opportunity it offers. Without this valuable contribution I would have been unable to fully capitalise upon the knowledge and expertise I will gain here in Sweden.

Biography

Greg grew up in Glasgow, and in spite of considerable financial restrictions was determined to develop his passion for art and his skills as an artist.  Through hard work and dedication, Greg gained a first class honours degree in Art History & Theory from St Andrew’s University as well as a BA with distinction from the Glasgow School of Art.

Post-graduation, Greg went on to win The Arches in Glasgow’s first annual Black Box award. He also began to exhibit his work in solo and group shows nationally and internationally.  In 2008 he was included in the Edinburgh City Art Centre’s Travelling Gallery exhibition Re/Trato, alongside artists such as Kenny Hunter and Sean Gladwell.

Still retaining close contact with Glasgow, Greg began to undertake periods of research in other countries such as Cuba, France, Spain and the Netherlands where he completed a residency at Kaus Australis, an independently run art organisation in Rotterdam.

Whilst developing his practice, Greg found a growing commitment towards advancing social engagement through his art.  As a result of this focus as well as his “exceptional capacities as an artist that can benefit still from an educational context”, Greg was offered a place on the highly competitive MFA course at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

How the Award Helped

Greg’s award provided subsistence while he studied for the MFA in Sweden, which included a highly rewarding six month period working in Italy for American artist Mark Dion on an ERASMUS placement.  This course has a strong focus on social engagement, allowing him to further develop his talents and interests whilst studying at the highest level.

Since the Award

During his time as a postgraduate student, Greg has won recognition for his hard work by winning several grants and awards, including the Otto and Charlotte Mannheimer stipedium.  He was also selected by a jury of prominent Swedish artists and academics for inclusion in the Akademiska Hus exhibition of publically engaged art, ‘Art of Change’ in September 2013.  Titled ‘Forspel’ (Prelude) the piece worked with local Roma street musicians to explore the politics of public space (see below).

September 2008

The Scotsman: Idolon review (at Arches Live! Festival)

The Scotsman: Over Arching Principle feature

The Sunday Herald: From The Far Side feature

The List: Only the Brave interview (for The Human Image project)

Prelude – Postgraduate work selected for inclusion in the Art of Change exhibition

Where a Singular Will Provokes Collective Action – realised at Kaus Australis, Rotterdam

The Dewar Award's contribution will provide vital financial assistance to complete the MFA course and allow me to realise the potential development and opportunity it offers. Without this valuable contribution I would have been unable to fully capitalise upon the knowledge and expertise I will gain here in Sweden.

2012 Awardee: Steven Ferguson

I have the chance of a lifetime to study on the National Film and Television School's MA Cinematography. From my teenage years I have dreamed of studying at the course and through a lot of hard work I have reached the point where I have been offered a place!

Biography

Growing up in Cumbernauld, Steven was encouraged from an early age to follow his dreams.  He was instilled with a great sense of ambition and a belief that with hard work and passion you can achieve anything, whatever your background.  Steven’s passion turned out to be film, and he set out to carve himself a career in cinematography.

Supported by a student bursary, Steven completed a BA(Hons) in Digital Film and Television at what was then the RSAMD (now the RCS).  His graduation film, Ghost Story (see below), was screened at the Glasgow Film Festival and received much attention, being nominated for a Royal Television Society Scotland Award and winning ‘Best Fiction’ at the Creative Loop Awards. Steven graduated with a first class degree and has returned to the RCS frequently to support other students as a mentor.  He has also worked freelance as a lighting camera operator.

Steven shows immense capacity for cinematography, making work that is both visually beautiful and thematically sophisticated.  He is an imaginative storyteller who communicates with unique vision, and has been hailed as “a real Scottish talent with unlimited potential”.

As well as honing his craft in film, Steven intends to continue sharing skills and knowledge with up and coming talent.  He says: “I have seen first hand how being taught and passed on knowledge by others with passion for their craft can have a transformative effect – it is through the inspiration and encouragement from my tutors/lecturers that has led to many of my successes so far and put me on the right path.”

How the Award Helped

Steven had always dreamed of studying at the National Film and Television School, and in 2011 he was offered a coveted place on the MA in Cinematography. This presented a fantastic opportunity for Steven to develop his technique in areas such as lighting, composition and writing, and would take him to the next stage of his burgeoning career. The Dewar Arts Awards supported him in taking up the two year course in London.

Since the Award

Steven went from strength to strength at the NFTS. His graduation film earned him a BAFTA Scotland 2015 New Talent Award nomination for Camera/Photography. Entitled Sick, the film tells the story of a lonely, isolated mother (see trailer below).

May 2014 – Article in Variety: Film North nominated for a Student Oscar

April 2015 – BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award Winner 2015: Steven wins Camera/Photography Award and Best New Talent Award for film Sick

Steven’s graduate film Ghost Story from RCS on Vimeo.

Double win at BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards 2015

I have the chance of a lifetime to study on the National Film and Television School's MA Cinematography. From my teenage years I have dreamed of studying at the course and through a lot of hard work I have reached the point where I have been offered a place!

2012 Awardee: Jessica Ashman

It excites me to be part of an industry which makes the impossible possible, and reaches out to the hearts and minds of audiences from all walks of life

Biography

Jessica moved to Edinburgh from the Midlands in 2008, after gaining a coveted place on the Animator Apprenticeship Scheme run by what was then Scottish Screen. She proved herself to be a commited and passionate young animator, with the necessary patience and core skills required to make a career in the artform.

After her apprenticeship, Jessica lived and worked in Glasgow.  She made a name for herself as a freelance director and animator in the film and TV industries.

Jessica’s passion for directing comes from the ability to share stories, experiences and emotions through work on screen.  Her short film Fixing Luka is a stop motion animaton that explores her personal experience of growing up with a younger brother who has autism.  The film went on to win a New Talent BAFTA for Original Score and a Scottish BAFTA for Best Animation in 2011.

Also in 2011, Jessica was commissioned as a writer/director on B3 Media’s Talentlab Programme;  a creative development programme produced in partnership with Skillset and BBC Films.  She received mentor support from top industry professionals and on completion was accepted onto the prestigious MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art.

How the Award Helped

Studying for a masters degree provided a crucial tipping point for Jessica, taking her to the next level of her career.  She received a Dewar Award to enable her to benefit from this opportunity to the full.

Trailer: Fixing Luka

Trailer: Tenderfoot (MA final year film from RCA) 

It excites me to be part of an industry which makes the impossible possible, and reaches out to the hearts and minds of audiences from all walks of life

2012 Awardee: Gillian Park

Completing my Masters degree at the National Film and Television School is my number one priority

Biography

Gillian Park is a young screenwriter of exceptional talent and great promise.  She is a natural storyteller with a flair for comedy and a powerful, original voice.  Her work reflects her Scottish background with a warmth, vigour and authenticity, but she is equally able to push outside the confines of her own experience to explore different genres and areas of writing.

Born in Irvine, Gillian left school at 17 to do a HNC in TV Production at Glasgow Metropolitan College.  Whilst there she discovered a passion for writing, and after finishing her course she was accepted on a course of study at the RSAMD (now the RCS).  The short film she wrote and directed there was screened internationally at a number of festivals and went on to win several awards.  She graduated from her degree with first class honours.

After graduating, Gillian began working with a variety of production companies, but her dream was to study screenwriting at the National Film and Television School.  In 2012 she applied with a script set in Scotland and was successful, gaining an outstanding opportunity to hone her craft.  The fees and living costs in London proved challenging, however, and Gillian was awarded a Dewar Arts Award to support her in completing her MA and making the most of the opportunity she had strived for.

Agent: http://www.casarotto.co.uk/client/gillian-park–18650

How the Award Helped

Gillian received a Dewar Arts Award to enable her to complete her masters degree at the National Film and Television School, London.

Since the Award

March 2015 – Nominated for a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award: Writer, Flotsam

Trailer: The Last Resort written by Gillian Park (c) NFTS 2014

Completing my Masters degree at the National Film and Television School is my number one priority

2012 Awardee: Heather Ross

There has been a great deal of progression within my work. From my critical and contextual awareness of the concepts and underlying theories, to a greater engagement with materials; I have established a practice that is continually evolving.

Biography

In 2005, Heather Ross graduated from Gray’s School of Art as an outstanding painter with a first class honour degree.  Her talent was recognised by the school and she was offered the opportunity to lecture there part time.

Heather is curious and ambitious, and has won numerous distinctions, awards and scholarships to exhibit and travel. She is driven to pursue her passion, and in 2012 gained a place on a prestigious masters course at Chelsea College of Art.

How the Award Helped

Heather’s Dewar Award supported her in accepting her place to study at the Chelsea College of Art.

There has been a great deal of progression within my work. From my critical and contextual awareness of the concepts and underlying theories, to a greater engagement with materials; I have established a practice that is continually evolving.

2011 Awardee: Kirsty Hendry

I would be delighted to accept your offer of an award. My sincere thanks to trustees for their generous support.

Biography

From Scone in Perthshire, Kirsty graduated from art college in Aberdeen with a first-class degree in printmaking. As a second-year student she was nominated for The Cross Trust Study Vacation Award which enabled her to attend a papermaking course in Takashima, Japan. In her third year she was selected to take part in the Peacock Visual Arts Internship Programme where she worked with and assisted the master printers. At that time she stood out as more focussed and talented than her peers.

Her final degree was visually brilliant and critically engaging and Kirsty is considered to have the potential to become a leader in the field of print-making in the future. After graduation, she won a coveted place at the RCA to study for a Master of Printmaking. She went to the RCA with the clear objective to push her work in a new a challenging direction. This has been realised as she saw her work going in new, exciting and previously unexplored territories.

Kirsty feels that printmaking is an art form which is becoming increasingly marginalised and her ambition is to return to Scotland and invest her printmaking skills into the Scottish art scene. Changes in her family circumstances threatened to put a halt to Kirsty’s exciting career.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Kirsty to complete her MA in Printmaking.

I would be delighted to accept your offer of an award. My sincere thanks to trustees for their generous support.

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.