Visual Arts Scotland is a leading platform for national and international contemporary fine and applied artists. Originally an organisation for women artists, the society since the 1980s has championed craft makers, designers and applied arts practitioners. Their relationship with contemporary fine art practice is at the heart of Visual Arts Scotland's mission today.
Our annual exhibition offers the opportunity for emerging and established practitioners to showcase new and unseen work and engage with a wider public: to generate debate, to test out and exhibit challenging and ambitious ideas - within the context of Scottish and international culture.
We boast a vibrant, active and participatory membership of over 400 practising artists, for whom we provide a platform - primarily for the showing and developing new work. Members and non-members alike are welcome to submit work for selection at our prestigious annual exhibitions, to show alongside invited artists and emerging talent, at the imposing Academy building on the Mound in Edinburgh.
Our membership categories cater for artists at all stages in their careers, whether new graduates, emerging artists or established practitioners. All are welcome to contribute to the continuing development of Visual Arts Scotland.
The President and Council are elected by the membership to represent the wide array of disciplines that VAS promotes.
From 2001 to 2011 Sir Mark Jones was Director of the V&A, where he led a ten-year programme of renewal of the museum’s buildings and displays, and established a strong programme of design-focused exhibitions, seen all around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University, and was awarded a knighthood in 2010 for services to the arts.
Andrew MacKenzie is a painter whose work mines a territory between pure abstraction and representation. His work responds to the landscape and overtly acknowledges the constructs through which it is seen. Now based in the Borders, and trained at Edinburgh College of Art, he is represented by the Sarah Myerscough Gallery in London, and has presented several successful solo exhibitions there.View Artist Profile
Paul has degrees from the University of Aberdeen, and Edinburgh College of Art, where he also obtained his MFA. He continued as a lecturer there, teaching painting and drawing, until 2011. His practice can utilise a range of formal strategies – painting, objects, floorworks, walldrawings. He lives and works in Edinburgh.
Becca has been the administrator of Visual Arts Scotland since 2007. Her own art practise has seen her exhibit extensively in this country and abroad. Originally trained as a ceramicist Becca work spans many disciplines and her portfolio includes both functional and non-functional ceramics, lighting, homewares and most recently silver jewellery.View Artist Profile
Julie is an expressionist, narrative painter. Her paintings often have a dream like quality and seek the recreation of experiences in the viewer through radiant colour, line and composition. She uses gold and silver leaf to enhance applied oils or acrylic to achieve a rich texture.View Artist Profile
For 25 years I have worked as a conservator of stained glass. Close examination and repair of decorative fragments of painted stained glass has made me focus on utilising individual pieces of glass to create new works.
My ideas are formed by the details in landscape in order to build a narrative of place. I am passionate about continuing to apply traditional techniques to mouth blown glass to create work that reimagines historical processes & establishes a new audience for stained glass.
Felicity Bristow has a Masters in Contemporary Art Practice from Edinburgh College of Art and is also an Architect, qualifying at ECA in 2001. Felicity's work is generated from site-specific research inspired by the built and natural environment in the Scottish Borders, exploring through her experimental practice the pervading spirit of place or ‘genius loci’. Felicity is engaged with making, writing, researching and exploring through installation the physical structure of books and collaborates with Chemists to reveal alternative 'truths' of a site. Felicity lives and works in the Scottish Borders.View Artist Profile
‘Through my paintings I examine environments seeking simple overlooked observations with a calmness which draws viewers in. I explore the juxtaposition of manmade & natural, the rhythms of light & shade on the seemingly ordinary.’ Lindsey lives and works in Edinburgh.View Artist Profile
Susie Leiper is a calligrapher and painter who works on anything from vast walls and canvases to tiny artist books. Chinese art and the mountain are her principal inspirations. Susie lives and works in Edinburgh.View Artist Profile
Deirdre is interested in cities. She uses a range of fieldwork approaches and forms of drawing to explore how we see, sense and experience the urban environment. She holds degrees in Geography, Politics and Painting from the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.
Photo Credit: John DaveyView Artist Profile
Lucilla is a primarily a painter and also makes 3D constructions using found objects. Her work explores the residues of past lives and culture and is influenced by the patterns of weather, geology and archaeology in the landscape. Lucilla lives and works in Edinburgh.View Artist Profile
Eleanor Symms works in different areas of practice, from printmaking and artist’s books to textiles, installation and jewellery. She is interested in the physical world of materials and objects, as well as in the world of ideas. Her current work in jewellery design responds to 'found' and non-precious materials, combining these with precious metals and gem stones and challenging notions of preciousness and disposability.
Eleanor graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with Distinction in 2012. She has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally.
Photo Credit: Martin Allan SmithView Artist Profile
Primarily concerned with landscape, a preoccupation with mark making, language, colour & print characterises Rowan's work. Appropriating imagery and employing mixed media, she creates imagined spaces & environments.View Artist Profile