Royal Scottish Academy
22 December 2019 – 30 January 2020
Entry £3 | Concession £2 | Catalogue £2

This year both societies are proud to uphold their commitment to championing the work of their respective memberships and that of outstanding invited recent graduates from across the art schools and colleges of Scotland. Alongside this work we have developed and maintained within the exhibition certain projects and partnerships unique to each society.

For SSA | VAS OPEN 2019, Visual Arts Scotland has invited Cordis Trust to curate a selection of artworks that explore wider applications of the woven form. They have created a significant presentation of six national and international artists called Over Under : Under Over, which aims to ‘explore the fundamentals of weaving through scale and material’, creating new dialogues around current perceptions of weaving.

VAS has also worked once again with the Inches Carr Mentoring Award to present three shortlisted artists and makers for this prestigious prize: furniture designer and maker Simon James Whatley, textile artist Janet Hughes and jewellery maker Stefanie Cheong. The award is £5000 for a maker, plus an additional £2000 for a well- chosen mentor. They are exhibiting their work alongside last year’s winners — Highland duo Yellow Broom — who have been working with ceramicist Myer Halliday to expand their practice, introducing cast ceramic elements to their body of architectural lighting.

VAS is also delighted to host a new award for furniture and design from the Scottish Furniture Makers Association, with a focus on sustainable and ethically produced furniture. Makers showing include London-based furniture designer, maker and environmentalist Sebastian Cox and Edinburgh-based designer and maker Isabelle Moore.

The SSA is delighted to present a new collaboration with artist-led organisation Cutlog artists moving image, to showcase the work of 67 national and international artists working in the medium of moving image, with a programme of daily screenings and monitor loops. In tandem they present new site specific work by Quebec-based artist Ilana Pinchon, as part of their ongoing SSA Engramme Exchange Programme; a new edition of lithographs by Julie Bellavance, the outcome of her SSA Eichstätt Lithography Residency; and new work by 2018’s SSA Invited Artist Award winner, Orkney-based Louise Barrington. This year they are also honoured to include an artwork by the late SSA Artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, in celebration of a new SSA prize awarded by the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust for a work of merit by a recent graduate.

Full list of exhibition awards here

Image: Laura Jane Scott, Perspective Study 005, mixed media, 2019

Design: Andy McGregor


Artwork Delivery: (please note *on foot only* there is no car access or parking at RSA) Sunday 15 December 2019 10am – 4pm
Large artwork/install delivery by arrangement only - email for further inforamtion
Return of non-selected works: Wednesday 18 December
Private View: Saturday 21 December, 2pm – 5pm
Exhibition Open To Public: Sunday 22 December 2019 – Thursday 30 January 2020
Collection of unsold work: Saturday 1 February 2020, 10am – 2pm
Our recommended couriers are:

Ali MacAuley: 0131 4433525, 07740 941715  

Van Go Go 2: Stuart Horsburgh, 07867 501778, 

John Lawrence:Email: (preferred means of contact)
Mobile: 07866 037 217
Collection points: Aberdeen, Nairn, Inverness, Dundee, Perth & Glasgow



Exhibition Archive


Date: 03/08/2019

"As in any collaboration, the trees have their own ideas"
- Roger Deakin on David Nash in Wildwood.

Visual Arts Scotland are delighted to announce an exciting celebration of wood, in collaboration with Marchmont House, The Scottish Gallery and Craft Scotland.

Marchmont House will host a rich and exciting celebration of wood, in collaboration with Visual Arts Scotland, The Scottish Gallery and Craft Scotland. At the core of the experience is an exhibition showcasing contemporary makers using wood within their creative practice from across The Scottish Borders, Scotland and beyond, with a series of talks concentrating on their personal conversations with the wood as they sculpt, carve and shape their unique pieces of work. There will also be selected films showing on David Nash, Lawrence Neal and Sebastian Cox, which highlight special journeys associated with making in wood, as part of our goal to spur conversations around wood.

The timing of this event will kick-start a splash of creativity in the Scottish Borders on the back of Pauline Burbidge & Charlie Poulsen’s 26 years of open studios at Allanbank Mill Steading open 2-5th August. The idea arose from a conversation between artist and President of Visual Arts Scotland, Andrew Mackenzie and Hugo Burge of Marchmont House, after the successful ALIGHT exhibition at the RSA in early 2019.

There will be 18 makers & artists involved in the show, with at least 8 present & speaking. Two of the artists, Naomi Mcintosh & Beth Legg were part of the ALIGHT Craft Scotland showcase exploring relationships between wood and other materials. Craft Scotland are also bringing Angus Ross. Other artists and makers were selected either from ALIGHT, through The Scottish Gallery’s recent WOOD exhibition, or through the collection of Marchmont House.

Artists showing are: David Nash, Sebastian Cox, Charlie Poulsen & Pauline Burbidge, Lawrence Neal, Luci Sim, Andrew Mackenzie, Thomas Hawson, Isabelle Moore, Angus Richardson, Roland Fraser, Beth Legg, Naomi Mcintosh, Angus Ross, Eleanor Lakelin, Jim Partridge & Liz Walmsley, Edward Teasdale & Adrian McCurdy.

There are ten reduced tickets for VAS members on the Eventbrite site, for Saturday the 3rd August. First come, first serve!

These will be priced at a special members rate of £62.50 (full price £75.00 – a saving of £12.50), using the code ‘VASWOOD. This price is for the whole days, including tours of the collection and exhibition, talks, films and lunch – see the eventbrite link for more details.

Other tickets are also available.

Full details & Eventbrite tickets HERE

Niklas Gustafson


Date: 26/01/2019

26 Jan - 22 Feb 2019

We are delighted to present our 2019 Annual Exhibition, ALIGHT, in the majestic upper galleries of the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. The open submission will as always sit front an centre, alongside a host of cutrated and invited elements.

  • The general open submission gives artists at all stages in their careers an opportunity to exhibit their work in Scotland's flagship arts venue. Artists selected for the exhibition are also eligible for a whole host of amazing awards and prizes.
  • The jewellery open submission celebrates ambitions, innovation and sustainability in jewellery practise. with a new focus on sustainable and ethical jewellery practise we are delighted to invite Ute Decker, a pioneer in this field, to exhibit alongside jewellers and silversmiths from the open submission.
  • The VAS : Inches Carr Mentoring Award is open to early to mid career makers, looking to advance their practise in conjunction with a mentor. The four shortlisted artists for 2019 will showcase their award proposals alongside the work in progress of last years winner, Ffion Blench.
  • Our third material specific collaboration with Craft Scotland will focus on artists working in wood, ranging in scale from the architectural to the precious.

Gillian Mather

Tatha Gallery

Date: 25/08/2018

We are delighted to be teaming up with the Tatha Gallery to present a showcase of works by members of Visual Arts Scotland from 25 August - 22 September 2018. Helen Glassford and Lindsay Bennet, co-founders of the gallery, have worked with a panel of VAS representatives to select a varied selection of works that demonstrates the diversity of creativity that VAS represents.

The Tatha Gallery is one of Scotland's leading contemporary art galleries. Located in a beautifully restored Georgian building known as The Newport, their unique and welcoming gallery has a strong focus on Scottish contemporary art showing time honoured, established artists and emerging talent. The painting, printmaking and sculpture on display, along with their stunning location makes a recipe for interest, excitement and excellence.



Date: 26/05/2018

26 May - 13 July 2018
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL

Visual Arts Scotland in association with Summerhall are delighted to present the work of eighteen of the hottest emerging talents on the Scottish Art scene. 

Since its inauguration in 2015 our Graduate Showcase has celebrated the finest emerging artist graduating from art schools in Scotland, exhibiting their work in the prestigious RSA galleries in Edinburgh. SATELLITE will track the progress of aspiring artists, some of whom we have previously featured in the Graduate Showcase, and some of whom we are delighted to be showing for the first time.

Associate Membership of VAS caters to younger and early career artists, and is our societies future. VAS strives to be part of the complex debate between contemporary fine and applied art praxis and this fine selection of upcoming artists perfectly embody the diversity of our organisation.

Tim Foxon


Date: 29/01/2018

VAS & SSA Together

29 Jan - 8 March 2018

In a departure from the previous shared format the VAS and SSA exhibitions will be presented as a single exhibition, Open, jointly selected and curated by representatives of both societies. At the heart of the Open 2018, as always, will be the Open Submission, where we will join forces to show the furthest extremes of contemporary art practice, from craft to digital and everything in between. 

The Open Submission will be complemented by a number of curated projects staged individually by the societies.  We will bring you further details of our own programme, and that of the SSA, as they become available . . . 

FLY 2016

Date: 13/12/2016

3 - 27 December 2016

The Royal Scottish Academy Building, The Mound, Edinburgh

Visual Arts Scotland are thrilled to announce our 2016/17 annual exhibition, FLY, which launched on Saturday 3 December in the stunning upper galleries of the The Royal Scottish Academy Building on the Mound in Edinburgh. This year we have formed new exciting partnership with Craft Scotland, strengthened existing relationships with the art colleges, and as always we will extend an open invitation to all practicing artists - emerging and established, applied and fine artists, working in large scale or small, to demonstrate the level of talent out there via our open submission. See full details on each of these below

Converge 2016 Banner

Converge 2016

Date: 29/01/2016


VAS:T 2015

Date: 07/02/2015

Visual Arts Scotland presents VAS:T 2015, taking full advantage of having the entire upper gallery at the RSA to address their refocused mission to consider the relationship between applied art and contemporary arts.

Open Exhibition

Annual Open Exhibition 2013

Date: 01/03/2013

Visual Arts Scotland 2013 was held in the more intimate downstairs space of The Royal Scottish Academy. Our aim remained to promote the quality and diversity of contemporary fine and applied arts in Scotland, giving them an equal platform. A more minimal and coherent hang allowed our exhibits space to breathe in the small downstairs galleries. We achieved a strong, well paced exhibition that does not overwhelm the viewer but still demonstrates our commitment to diversity.