MEDIA RELEASE 12 JANUARY 2018
OPEN - SSA & VAS Together 2018, is a new exhibition opening to the public on 29th January 2018 at Edinburgh's Royal Scottish Academy.
Two of Scotland's leading arts organisations, the Society of Scottish Artists and Visual Arts Scotland have joined forces for the first time to present an ambitious collaborative exhibition celebrating the best in contemporary and applied art.
Featuring established artists and makers based in Scotland and internationally and new artists, the exhibition is a unique survey of the diversity of contemporary and applied art being created today.
Set alongside a number of curated elements, the exhibition will present works by over 166 artists selected from an open call that attracted over 2000 artwork submissions from across the world.
The exhibition includes
The premiere of British Academy Scotland Award winning artist and filmmaker Sven Werner's newly commissioned multimedia work. Observer Cinema tells the story of a man who, to his own surprise, finds he has a peculiar gift: he is able to recognise and inhabit the blind angles of people’s attention so that he becomes to all eyes invisible. Presented in partnership with the Society of Scottish Artists, Werner created this multimedia piece for New Media Scotland at the Alt-w LAB.
CRAFT SCOTLAND CELEBRATES GLASS
Celebrating and challenging the common perceptions of contemporary glass, Visual Art Scotland partner with Craft Scotland in a dramatic presentation of multidisciplinary works from Scottish makers Alan Horsley, Carrie Fertig and Jeff Zimmer.
ONES TO WATCH
This year’s Graduate Award showcase presents ten recent graduates from Scotland’s five main art schools. Including brutalist sculptures by William Braithwaite, playful jewellery by Isla Christie, an installation by Liz Crichton, product design by Natasha Duda, Rebecca Heselton's floating village, flatpack toaster designed by Kasey Hou, painting by Annie Mulvey, innovative knitting by Jean Oberlander, printmaking and drawing by Calum Wallis.
LÀRACH, A HEBRIDES SHOWCASE
Làrach (meaning a mark, impression, site, print or footprint) features artists who live and work on Lewis and Harris. Each exploring how the unique landscape and a strong sense of place are deeply interconnected with the language, identity, culture and history of the islands. Works by former Buzzcocks' drummer John Maher, Anne Campbell, Fiona Rennie, Jon Macleod, Beka Globe, Alex Boyd, Steve Dilworth are presented alongside Jessica Danz's re-scored early Icelandic documentary film Ísland í lifandi myndum. Làrach is a collaboration between the Society of Scottish Artists and An Lanntair arts centre, Stornoway.
THE INCHES CARR MENTORING AWARD
Encouraging transformation and innovation in the practices of mid-career makers, the award offers £5000 for a maker, plus an additional £2000 for a mentor. On show, work by four shortlisted makers: Amanda Baron, Ffion Blench, Vicky Higginson and Jo Pudelko.
ANDRÉANNE GAGNON is a photographer and printmaker from Quebec. Her work focuses on the boundaries and intersections between printmaking, photography and drawing. The SSA Engramme exchange is an ongoing partnership between Society of Scottish Artists and Engramme, an organisation in Eastern Canada promoting contemporary printmaking.
Andrew Mackenzie, President of Visual Arts Scotland said,
"For the first time in our long histories we have joined forces, combining our expertise and experience, to create one cohesive and carefully conceived show, which we believe to be the very best in contemporary art and design.
“At the core of OPEN 2018 is the joint open selection. We were overwhelmed by the volume and quality of the submissions, and we’d like to thank everyone who submitted work. As well as this, however, we have preserved within the exhibition certain projects, partnerships and collaborations unique to each society.”
Sharon Quigley, President of the Society of Scottish Artists added,
"Both Societies have an ongoing desire to promote artists at any stage of their career. We are delighted to offer our Graduate Award to ten up and coming artists and to show new artists alongside those who are established as being outstanding in their fields such as Sven Wener, Carrie Fertig and Jessica Danz.
“Installation, video and performance art, design, glass, ceramics and jewellery are set alongside a strong core of painting, printmaking, sculpture. The result is a show is dynamic, forward thinking, courageous and beautifully presented."
Society of Scottish Artists and Visual Arts Scotland are artist-led organisations whose Annual Exhibitions, traditionally held at the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, attract many thousands of visitors.
OPEN is the Society of Scottish Artists' 120th Annual Exhibition and Visual Arts Scotland's 94th Annual Exhibition.
OPEN - SSA & VAS Together 2018, 29th January - 8th March 2018 at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
For further information, images and interviews contact
OPEN - SSA & VAS Together 2018
29 January - 8 March 2018
Open Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 12 noon - 5pm
Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Notes to Editors:
The Society of Scottish Artists is an artist-led membership organisation founded in 1851. It is a vibrant network of 800 artist members and is governed by an elected president and council. The SSA today continues in the spirit of its founders, to show the controversial and the unexpected and to promote new artists of promise through its Annual Exhibition in Edinburgh and satellite exhibitions, events and artists residencies across the world.
The Society of Scottish Artists has long aimed to represent adventurous work from Scotland and further afield with exhibitions including the work of the Post Impressionists, Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse and Van Gogh in 1913. In 1922 the Society presented work by Picasso, Daumier, Degas and Forain. In 1931, the Society showed, for the first time in the UK, twelve canvases by the then highly controversial Edvard Munch who went on to become a member of the Society.
Central to the 2015 Annual Exhibition was the work of SSA member Graham Fagen, in concurrence with his Scotland + Venice Biennale show and in 2016, Bettina Hutschenk, who represented Malta at the Venice Biennale 2017.
The SSA has an ongoing desire to reach out to new audiences by giving prominence to digital culture and new technology. An ongoing partnership with New Media Scotland supports the creation and development of new artwork, exploring interactive practice and challenging the idea of what new media creativity can be.
Visual Arts Scotland is a leading platform for national and international contemporary fine and applied artists with a membership of over 400 practising artists. Originally an organisation for women artists, the society since the 1980s has championed craft makers, designers and applied arts practitioners. Works by notable artists have included historically Joan Eardley, Barbara Hepworth, Elizabeth Frink and Lucie Rie, and more recently they have been proud to exhibit some of Scotland’s biggest rising stars including Rachel MacLean who represented Scotland in the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Their relationship with contemporary fine art practice is at the heart of Visual Arts Scotland's mission today. Their annual exhibition offers the opportunity for emerging and established practitioners to showcase new and unseen work. For more information visit http://www.visualartsscotland.org
For further information, images and interviews contact:
OPEN - SSA & VAS Together 2018
29 January - 8 March 2018
Monday - Saturday
10am - 5pm
Sunday 12 noon - 5pm
Royal Scottish Academy The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL