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.

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.

2005 Awardee: Anthony Schrag

I received an acceptance letter from the Dewar Arts Awards... and am not sure if I've stopped jumping for joy yet!!

Biography

Anthony’s down-to-earth approach enables him to engage and enthuse many people who would not normally describe themselves as fans of either ‘performance’ or ‘contemporary’ art. His work and the way he works is all about valuing the human spirit and enhancing the quality of life.

Anthony was born in Zimbabwe and moved around the world with his family during his early years, eventually settling in Canada. He came to Scotland to take up a place on the Master of Fine Art course at the Glasgow School of Art.

Anthony works with big emotional concepts in ways that are able to engage and interest the ordinary guy in the street, and indeed he has engaged people from all walks of life in his work.  He is the antithesis of the ‘ivory tower’ artist in desiring to reach as wide an audience as possible with his work.

Writing about live art practitioners, Anthony says that one of the difficulties an artist faces is “time to develop, time to experiment, and a space in which to try, to succeed and, importantly, to fail – for it is through our mistakes that we grow.”

The award helped Anthony to safely explore the edges of his current practice and to expand them.

How the Award Helped

Anthony received a Dewar Arts Award to enable him to take part in a number of prestigious international exhibitions. Because his work is performative and live, Anthony has to be present in order to exhibit. His Award enabled him to accept these invitations.

Since the Award

Subsequently Anthony was invited to do two separate residencies in Iceland, thanks in part to the recognition of the Dewar Award.

I received an acceptance letter from the Dewar Arts Awards... and am not sure if I've stopped jumping for joy yet!!

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.

2004 Awardee: Luke Fowler

Biography

Glasgow-based artist, Luke Fowler, graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in 2000 and has specialised in film documentaries on sociological, historical or cultural issues.

A leading Scottish curator described Luke as “one of the most exciting and ambitious artists working in Scotland.”

In 2005 he was short-listed for the important Beck’s Futures Award.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award funded the production of a film on the work of British composer Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra project.

Since the Award

Luke’s Award-funded film, “Pilgrimage From Scattered Points”, premiered in Glasgow in 2006 to critical acclaim and was later shown at Tate Britain as part of the Tate Triennial, a survey of new British Art.  It has been selected for showing at a number of major film festivals.  Luke writes: “The Scratch Orchestra project had, to my mind, a wealth of fascinating issues attached to its legacy; questions of the social function of art and music to society, the role of the artist in that society and the question of art for whom?”

Luke went on to Bamberg, Germany to take up a one year residency at Villa Concordia, thanks, in part, to recognition from the Dewar Arts Award. He is now an established member of the vibrant Glasgow art scene and has been shortlisted for the 2012 Turner Prize.

For a detailed list of Luke’s exhibitions and projects, click here.

The Guardian – Turner Prize 2012 Film Clip

Alasdair Roberts “Under No Enchantment” Directed by Luke Fowler

Glasgow Film Festival: Adrian Laing (son of R.D. Laing) talks about Luke’s film All Divided Selves