The fifth annual RSA New Contemporaries exhibition is taking place at the Royal Scottish Academy Galleries
in Edinburgh until 8 May 2013. Presenting work across a wide range of media, this carefully curated exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see the best of Scotlands emerging talent under one roof.
Art graduates have been chosen by exhibition convenor Francis Convery RSA, with assistance from members of the Royal Scottish Academy and representatives from the five main colleges of art. This year the six schools of architecture in Scotland have put forward candidates to work with architecture convenor Neil Gillespie RSA (Elect). The graduates are given the opportunity to launch their career at the prestigious RSA galleries by exhibiting a substantial body of new work; including painting, sculpture, film making, photography, printmaking, architecture and installation.
The artists we selected this year were all chosen because their degree shows were outstanding in their respective degree shows. From almost 400 graduating artists, we selected 55, who are joined by 5 graduating architects, nominated by their respective schools.
The selecting panel were choosing work that would represent the best of current practice and we responded mostly unanimously, where we could identify a combination of the visually compelling, the use of intelligent skills and materials, where there was a tangible contemporary relevance in the work (or its complete absence in some cases), where there was ambition, energy, courage, humour and subtext, all essential elements of the best contemporary art.
The selection was not about the most hip, the latest thing, the most shocking, it was not about fitting any specific theme or agenda , it was primarily what visually interested us, what skillfully held our attention, made us curious. In some cases the work seemed fully formed but others we thought showed greater potential given the extra time this show would provide. So we did take some risks when selecting those, alongside the more unanimously nominated presentations. However, in spite of our open agenda, a loose theme did emerge from the selection and a unity of diversity would appear to accurately reflect the zeitgeist. --Francis Convery RSA, Exhibition Convenor
Works are for sale and the exhibition offers a wonderful opportunity to invest in Scotlands up and coming talent. The RSA is part of the Own Art scheme, allowing buyers to spread the cost of an artwork over ten interest free monthly payments!
RSA New Contemporaries represents the RSAs commitment to supporting and presenting the best contemporary work in Scotland. The RSA team works closely with the artists and architects towards developing a lasting relationship in the lead up to the exhibition and beyond. With over £11,000 worth of monetary prizes in addition to residency, studio and purchase prizes, the development of this exhibition is an important initiative for emerging artists in Scotland, enabling a first exhibition opportunity for some 50+ emergent artists annually.
The RSA is to be commended for providing recent graduates with the opportunity to show their work in such a high-profile venue at the start of their careers. Jim Birrell, Head of Painting & Printmaking, Glasgow School of Art.