Artist Residencies

Many artists taking part in GENERATION have completed a residency at some point in their career. We look at what residencies are available to artists in Scotland and how they can help to develop artistic practice.

Life as an Artist

Artist residencies provide the opportunity for an artist to live and work in a new environment, supported by an arts or cultural organisation. Studio or working spaces are provided, and many sites also offer accommodation and funding. The duration of the residency can vary from two weeks up to a full year. They can be full or part time. Artists are sometimes expected to produce an exhibition at the end of the residency, but some venues give artists freedom to just make work. During their residency artists often create art influenced by the place in which they are staying.

The Connoisseurs
© The Artist. Courtesy of The Artist
The Connoisseurs (2009) by Alex Frost. Created on a residency at Glenfiddich Distillery.

There are many venues across Scotland offering artist residencies including studios, galleries, colleges and universities. Some centres specialise in one particular discipline such as Scottish Sculpture Workshop or Glasgow Print Studio whilst others allow artists to explore any art form, such as Cove Park in Argyll and Bute or Hospitalfield House in Arbroath. The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh supports and funds artist led residencies, where artists can select an organisation with which they would like to make work. Artists often exhibit with the Royal Scottish Academy after the project’s completion. Galleries that provide residency opportunities include small scale, artist run spaces such as Embassy Gallery in Edinburgh, or more established institutions like the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow.

© Cove Park.
Cove Park, on the Rosneath peninsula, offers year round artist residencies

Educational institutions such as Edinburgh College of Art or Glasgow School of Art offer residencies which often involve teaching whilst undertaking work. The opportunity to take part in a residency programme is much sought after and can mark an important stage in an artist’s career.

Many of the artists involved in GENERATION have used residencies both locally and internationally to successfully further their careers. These include Ilana Halperin, who has a fascination with geological phenomena. Taking part in numerous residencies has allowed her to travel extensively to remote international locations. She was artist in residence in 2004 at Skaftfell Cultural Centre, Seydisfjorder in Iceland and following its success was even resident artist aboard a ship with Oceanwide Expeditions/Tiffin Projects in Greenland.

© The Artist. Image courtesy of the Artist
Huntly Slow Down (2009) by Jacqueline Donachie. Created whilst on a residency at Deveron Arts in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

Nathan Coley makes drawings, photographs, sculptures and videos to explore our relationship with public art and architecture. A series of conceptual work made during a residency at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute led to his nomination for the Turner Prize in 2007.

Corin Sworn works with video and photography. She recently won the Max Mara Art Prize for women run by Whitechapel Gallery in London. The prize money will fund a six month residency in Italy and lead to solo exhibitions at both Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 2015.

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