123rd Annual Exhibition Installation, Proposals and Performance


Artists anywhere in the world are invited to apply to be part of the 123rd SSA Annual Exhibition, one of the largest shows of contemporary art in Scotland.

In this open call we are accepting work in the form of installations, site-specific work, performance, animation and proposals for an unrealised work. All work must comply with Covid safety guidelines, and allow for social distancing. Please note that we are unfortunately unable to exhibit any works using sound because of Covid regulations.

We encourage ambitious new artwork created specifically for the space, or existing artwork that is re-purposed for this exhibition. Artists should submit in this category if your work is site-specific, has special installation/equipment requirements, is a performance or an unrealised idea that you will only create if selected for the exhibition.

The SSA Annual Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, showcases the best of contemporary art to audiences in excess of 30,000 people. The exhibition is produced and supported entirely by artists with no public funding and will take place from 1 November – 23 November 2021.

Installation, video, site-specific and performance art will be shown alongside a strong core of works in traditional media, resulting in a challenging and invigorating show. The SSA plays a unique and vital role in supporting and bringing together artists working across a wide range of very diverse disciplines.

*Under the current government guidelines, we are very much anticipating that the exhibition will go ahead in the gallery, but we do reserve the right to make any amendments if the guidelines change between now and the exhibition dates, including but not limited to holding the exhibition online*


This call is for INSTALLATION, PROPOSALS, UNREALISED WORK AND PERFORMANCE SUBMISSIONS. There are two separate calls for this exhibition, and the general submissions call will open on 1 June 2021.

Open for Entry: Monday 26 April 2021
Entry Deadline:
Sunday 18 July 2021, midnight
Pre-selection notification: Friday 20 August 2021

Artwork delivery: Saturday 23 October 2021 (please check emails for further details)
Private View: Sunday 31 October 2021
Exhibition open to public: 1 November – 23 November 2021
Collection of unsold work: Thursday 25 November 2021


The maximum number of entries includes submissions to both open calls (the installation / proposals / performance open call and the general submissions open call).

Non members entry fee 
Maximum artwork entries: 3
First or single entry price: £15.00
Up to 2 artworks: £30.00
Up to 3 artworks: £45.00

Artist, Student and Graduate Members entry fee
Maximum Artwork Entries: 3
Free Entry

Professional Members entry fee
Maximum Artwork Entries: 4
Free Entry


  • All entries must be submitted through Zealous HERE by the stated deadlines. Only works that have been pre-selected via the online submission process will be accepted on the hand-in day. There are no restrictions on size, discipline or media.
  • All work must comply with Covid safety guidelines, and allow for social distancing. Please note that we are unfortunately unable to exhibit any works using sound because of Covid regulations.
  • Professional Members of the SSA may submit up to four works in total across all categories.
  • Artist, Student and Graduate Members and non-members of the SSA may submit up to three works in total across all categories.
  • Non-members will be charged £15 per submission and can submit up to three works.
  • There is no entry charge for SSA members. Anyone wishing to join the Society or renew their membership can do so online at s-s-a.org/
  • Up to eight images can be submitted. These might include sketches of the proposed work or images of past works and links to video or documentation.
  • Please ensure all artwork details are correct – titles, prices etc. submitted at this stage will be used for labels, the exhibition catalogue, and online.
  • A link to online video or other related supporting materials can be included in the submission. If the selection committee requires a password to view the work online, please ensure this is submitted along with the link.
  • Image files should be JPG or PNG and no more than 3MB large. If you are having problems uploading your images please use image-editing software to resize your image to approximately 1600 pixels wide and then save as a new file.
  • Save your image files with your name and the title of your artwork as the file name, eg JoeBloggs_Untitled1.jpg.  Do not include invalid characters such as ‘ ” & % * ( ) < > / \ ~ # + =


  • Where two or more artists are collaborating on a single work, the submission will count as one of the permitted entries from each of the artists. Artists submitting collaborative work can use the rest of their permitted entries to submit solo works.


  • Work that has been shown or will be shown in the RSA Annual Exhibition, RSA New Contemporaries, or that has previously been shown in any SSA, VAS or RSW Annual Exhibitions should not be submitted.
  • All work must comply with Covid regulations around social distancing. We are unfortunately unable to exhibit works using sound because of Covid regulations.
  • No reproductions or copies of any kind will be accepted.
  • Artists do not need to be Scottish or have a Scottish connection to exhibit. Please note, however, that all pre-selected works need to be delivered to and collected from the gallery by the artist or a nominated representative or courier.


  • Pre-selection results will be available by the dates stated above.
  • Selection of certain works may be made with conditions and suggestions by the curatorial committee, and may require a site visit and/or further discussion. If this is the case, we will contact you directly.
  • We regret that we cannot offer feedback on the results of the selection.


  • Pre-selection results will be available on Zealous by the dates stated above.
  • Works that pass the online pre-selection process must be delivered to the gallery by the date stated above.
  • All works that are pre-selected online are still subject to final selection by the panel on delivery to the gallery.
  • Work selected for the exhibition will be subject to an administration fee of £5 per work for SSA members and £15 per work for non-members, to be paid on delivery.
  • Works that are not included in the final selection should be uplifted from the gallery. The Society has no storage space, so works not hung must be collected by this date. Any work not uplifted becomes the property of the SSA and may be disposed of or recycled.


  • A printable label will be sent prior to the delivery dates, please stick this on a piece of card or stiff paper and attach it with string to the back of your work, so that it can hang freely over the front of the work.
  • Please also attach a permanent label to your work with name, title, price and a contact phone number. The gallery is not manned by the Society’s staff outwith the advertised times and early access cannot be arranged.
  • All packaging materials must be removed from the gallery.
  • There is no car park at the gallery. Where possible please arrive on foot or by public transport. Vehicular access will only be allowed for the delivery of large-scale or heavy works.
  • It is the artists’ responsibility to source a courier and make arrangements directly with them. Our recommended carriers are:
  • Van GoGo2 (Stuart Horsburgh) – vangogo2@gmail.com (Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Borders)
  • John Lawrence – johnlawrence48@icloud.com (Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Fife)
  • Ali MacAuley: 0131 4433525, 07740 941715 (Edinburgh, Glasgow)
  • Aardvark Art Services – aardvarkartservices.com (UK)
  • McAdie and Reeve – www.mcadie-and-reeve.co.uk (Orkney)
  • Irish Art Services – www.irishartservices.com (Ireland)
  • Art Cargo – https://artcargo.co.uk (UK)
  • Picture Post – picture-post.webnode.com (UK)
  • Central Link Couriers – www.central-linkcouriers.co.uk (UK, Europe)
  • Artists sending work from outside the UK are responsible for any customs and duty charges, declarations and other related documentation for the artwork both entering and leaving the UK, and for ensuring that work is received at the gallery by the specified time. The SSA is unable to pay import duty or related fees on any submitted work.
  • You may be required to install your own work depending on the scale. You will be contacted in advance if this is the case.


  • Artist, Student, Graduate Members and non-members will be charged a commission of 40% on the sale price of all work sold in the exhibition.
  • Professional Members of the SSA will be charged a reduced commission rate of 35% on the sale price of all work sold in the exhibition.
  • Any private sale must be intimated to the SSA sales desks and will be subject to the same level of commission. A sale made through the Society shall have precedence.
  • Selected work should not be for sale on any other platforms during the exhibition period. Print editions are an exception.


  • Whilst every possible care will be taken of works submitted, the Society cannot be responsible for any loss or damage incurred during the exhibition or in transit to and from it. The Society does not insure the exhibits; artists are advised to insure their own work.


  • Please ensure a high standard of presentation of works. No metal frames will be accepted. Any framing should be professionally finished and contemporary.
  • Works with wet paint will not be accepted; the artist is liable for the cost of any damage caused to other works by such items.
  • All works being handed in must be free of all hooks and cords and clearly marked ‘this way up’ where appropriate. The artist is liable for the cost of any damage caused to other works by protruding hooks and fixings. Mirror plates for hanging are provided by the Society.


  • Artists must provide their own floor-standing plinths or display equipment at the time of delivery.
  • All display equipment must arrive in good condition and ready for use as no painting is permitted within the gallery.
  • Any specialist display and hanging mechanisms must be clearly outlined in the submission proposal and any extra costs incurred should be covered by the artist.
  • Selected artists must supply their own electronic equipment if needed at the point of delivery.
  • All electronic equipment must be in good working order and PAT-tested prior to handing in.
  • All equipment must be labelled with the artist’s name and contact number.


  • Works cannot be removed until the end of the exhibition.
  • The gallery is not manned by the Society’s staff outwith the advised return date and times, and access to collect works cannot be arranged.
  • Artists are responsible for arranging the collection of their own work if delivered by carrier.
  • The SSA reserves the right to sell any works not collected after the end of the exhibition. Any work that is not collected after the exhibition will become the property of the SSA and will be disposed of as the SSA has no storage.
  • In the event of government Covid restrictions changing, all artists will be kept informed of any changes to the collection of work.


It will be assumed that photographic reproduction of all works submitted and use of images for promotion or marketing purposes by the Society is allowed by the artist unless otherwise indicated.

Image: IIana Pichon, Sequences of Territories 2015-2019 (installation detail) SSA|VAS OPEN 2019. Photograph @chriswattphoto