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
Amanda Airey has worked in the creative sector for over 20 years in a number of roles from bid writing, economic development and strategy. A fine art graduate, she continues her art practice focusing mainly on landscape and the natural world. She currently works at the Edinburgh Art Festival.
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
Amanda makes work on glass that reflect her research into, and documentation of, the elemental nature of Scottish landscape and seascape; the fluid, fluxing edges of land evolving as the elements combine to delineate new patterns and colours. Recent work uses traditional glass painting techniques on mouth blown glass to create paintings and objects.
Amanda graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with BA(Hons) Architectural Glass. Post graduation Amanda trained in conservation of medieval stained glass and worked as a painter and conservator of stained glass in Scotland for over 25 years.View Artist Profile
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
Sarah is an interdisciplinary artist and programmer concerned with creating immersive, participatory
environmental provocations. Originally from Essex, Calmus graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in
Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices (2014), after which she moved to Edinburgh where she
has since participated, organised and been selected for over 40 joint exhibitions, residencies, events
and interventions. An active freelancer and volunteer in the Edinburgh art scene, Sarah often tutors
for City of Edinburgh Council & Look and Draw and has recently developed and lead workshops for
Youth Arts Network Cymru and The Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art. Sarah is also a Core
Team Member of the Hidden Door Festival, helping to develop the festivals content, and has recently
become a Co-opted Council member of Society of Scottish Artists.
During my career I have specialised in the design and production of free standing furniture for private
I strive to create designs which are elegant yet unassuming. As the furniture I produce will last for
generations, I believe that the designs should be understated as to age gracefully.
The value I add to my pieces lays within the careful selection of timber and its arrangement specific to
each item, this is paired with subtle detailing through time-honoured cabinet making techniques.
My practice is rooted in the tradition of still life, in which I explore form and shape in relation to space, both deep and shallow. I am intrigued with the notion of Painting as ‘surface’ and investigate the two dimensionality of the medium, both pictorially and physically; through process and presentation. Working in a range of art forms including painting, sculpture and installation, I question the relationship between the real, the replica, and the represented, ultimately drawing connections between ‘stillness’ and ‘movement’ to ascertain their roles in Contemporary Painting.
View Artist Profile
Harry Jones-Martin is an artist and designer studying at The Glasgow School of Art. His work relates to the future, and how society expresses its ideas of what it is, through investigations with materiality in sculpture, painting and interior design. Harry has collaborated on and hosted local and international exhibitions, being awarded residencies and scholarships in Venice, Turin and Glasgow, while working with Visual Arts Scotland and other charitable organisations across the UK.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
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
Having spent fourteen years in education, Rowan enjoys problem solving, working as part of a team & organisation. Before becoming the Administrator for Visual Arts Scotland, she was a member of VAS & then a council member assisitng with social media, satelite shows, curation & press.
As a painter, mark making, language, colour & print characterise the imagined spaces & environments she creates.View 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
I make bold, colourful oil paintings on fabric that are inspired by a rich heritage of oil painting. My practice combines centuries-old traditions, such as making my own oil paint and pastels, with a contemporary approach. I paint on coloured and patterned fabric - instead of canvas - for the dynamic and tactile foundation it lays. I am also fascinated by the domestic function of textiles and how this lends itself to my work.View Artist Profile