SSA Annual 2013


National Galleries of Scotland
The Royal Scottish Academy Building
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

‘The three societies have distinct histories and continue to play an important role in the art life of the country. The SSA especially has a long tradition of bringing radical new art to a Scottish audience. Nevertheless, art is not all radical razzmatazz, or perhaps more cynically, it is not all PR and silly money…’
Extract from Duncan Macmillan’s **** review of SSA 2012 – ‘Big Societies, Tiny Space’. Published in the Scotsman 7th March 2013. Click here to read the full article.


George Wyllie_Cac-Tapw


Exhibition Open
Friday 1st March – Sunday 24th March
RSA Upper Galleries, The Mound, Edinburgh
Monday – Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 12pm to 5pm

President: Louise Ritchie
Vice-President: Gayle Nelson

The Council
Rick Ballard | Alan Bond | Calum Buchanan (co-opted) | David Faithfull (co-opted) | David Forster | Lorna Fraser | Fiona Hutchison | Nan Mulder (co-opted) | Leena Nammari (co-opted) | Gayle Nelson | Charmian Pollok | Sharon Quigley

Administrator and Exhibition Organiser
Julia Douglas

2013 Selection Committee
Elaine Allison | Liz Douglas | Anne Forte | Paul Furneaux | Norman McBeath | Charmian Pollok | Louise Ritchie

2013 Hanging and Arranging Committee
David Forster | Lorna Fraser | Chrissie Heughan | Alan Kilpatrick | Nan Mulder (Slovakia Exchange Work) | Leena Nammari | Stephen Ratomski | Louise Ritchie | Christopher Wood

Film/Installation and Invited Graduate Artists Co-ordinator
Gayle Nelson


Welcome to SSA 2013, the 116th Annual Open Exhibition of the Society of Scottish Artists.


Once again, I find myself marvelling at this curious band of SSA Council Members, volunteers, Selection, Hanging & Arranging Committees and our esteemed Administrator Julia who collectively squeeze hundreds of tasks into a devilishly short space of time. This year ESSA took the difficult decision to reduce the NGS rental by one week to help cut our enormous exhibition costs making it shorter even still. Conversely we received a record number of submissions of just under1,200 works over two days. Selection, Hanging & Arranging was intense and rigorous with over 280 works installed this year from drawing & painting, printmaking, digital media, installation and sculpture, to name just a few. This year was the most challenging yet and we are eternally grateful to those who give of their time for free and come along to heave artworks from room to room, unpack enough bubble wrap to protect a small nation and generally make it all possible.

This year we are delighted to have the assistance of our newest recruit Moray College UHI student Charis Edward-Wells. Charis is our first official SSA Annual Exhibition Intern and has been a wonderful assistant to Julia, Gayle and myself during the set up of this adventure. I hope that she can sow the seed for future SSA Internship opportunities as we continue to engage new exhibiting talent as well as raising awareness of what an organisation like SSA means to the world of Scottish art and the daily challenges we face in endeavouring to secure our sustainability and longevity.

In 2012 SSA were again invited to exhibit in Slovakia, this time for the 10 year Anniversary Exhibition, Bridges/MostyX. Artists from countries from all ten years of this wonderful exchange attended. SSA was represented this year by myself and Council Member Leena Nammari and we very much look forward to hosting our Slovak artists on our home turf from their arrival in Scotland on the 26th February until 5th March for Bridges Scotland 2013. SSA has been successful in receiving an International Partnerships and Networks Funding Award from Creative Scotland to support this venture. Bridges Scotland has also been supported by Edinburgh Printmakers, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, the Scottish Art Club and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.

The Engramme Exchange Prize is now in its third year and we are very pleased to be able to exhibit the work of this year`s winner, printmaker Denise Blackburn. Denise’s far flung FedEx package arrived from Quebec after a rather indirect journey here to SSA but well worth the wait! We are delighted to be able to showcase her beautiful printmaking as part of SSA 2013.

Winning a prize for any artist is an important public statement of recognition and support and can have a profound effect on their professional development. Therefore, my sincerest thanks go to those Prize Givers who generously support the SSA by recognising the wealth of talent that we represent.

Lastly 2012 felt the sad passing of one of Scotland`s great artists George Wyllie MBE. George was a Past President of SSA as well as an eventual Honorary President and had always been a huge supporter of our democratic identity and creative integrity. His playful presence, simplicity and humour will be sorely missed by his friends, colleagues and family. We take pleasure in exhibiting some of George`s pieces this year in tribute. Please enjoy.

Louise Ritchie President




Click on an image below to scroll through the slides of the exhibition or click here for the full list of selected works

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The SSA are delighted to introduce you to the winner of this year’s Engramme Printmaking Exchange Prize, Denise Blackburn.


‘Since 1990 my artistic production has concentrated on printmaking and mixed media on paper…read more


In 2013, SSA welcomed the arrival of our long awaited Slovak guests to present the Scottish contribution to what has been our wonderful International Exchange Programme Bridges Mosty.


Bridges Scotland marks the climax of what started out as an exciting SSA opportunity and has grown into friendships and collaborative partnerships between Scotland and Slovakia…read more


In 2012, SSA Members of Council visited the Degree Shows of Scotland’s five schools of art to select work for inclusion in the 2013 Annual Exhibition. Our invited graduate programme offers these emerging artists the valuable opportunity to show their work in the prestigious setting of the RSA galleries alongside many professional and established artists. The works exhibited this year are varied and powerful pieces exploring the artists’ areas of interest and diverse preoccupations through film, installation, photography, and painting.

Gayle Nelson Vice President and Invited Graduates Co-ordinator

Glasgow School of Art
David Sampethai

Edinburgh College of Art
Hans K. Clausen & Liam Walker

Gray’s School of Art
Thomas Anderson & Fiona Stephen

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art
Khalid Alsayed & Rosie McGregor

Moray College
Joan Reed

‘Thank you very much for the invite to take part in the group show. Its great to be supported as a graduate and it seems some interesting opportunities are coming my way thanks to having exhibited work with SSA.’

Khalid Alsayed

‘I can only say a big thank you to you and the SSA team. Extremely helpful, nothing seemed too much trouble especially when you all had so much to do.’

Joan Reed


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Ruth-Nicol-ww The Tony and Maureen Toft Prize – £1000
Ruth Nicol SSALeith In Winter Sandport From The Shore


Bronwen-Sleigh-wwThe Murray Beith Murray Prize for Innovative Printmaking – £750
Bronwen SleighMeadowbank


The Cairn Energy Prize – £500
Emma SempleThreshold


The Deloitte Prize – £500
Alan Kilpatrick SSABoundary (Fence)

The Connell & Connell WS Prize – £300
Lindsey LavenderForest Series-Untitled



The Henderson Artshop Prize – £300
Louise BlamireMole



The Ramsay Cornish Prize – £300
Karen AkesterCasca Whispers



The Southfield Prize – £300 worth of printed material
Rosie McGregorUntitled Plates 1-12



The Greyfriars Artshop Prize – £150 voucher
Ruth MaxwellCelestial Navigation



The Pauline Fay Lazarus Prize for work using the human form – £150
Stephanie PijperConverse Conformity



The Purcell Paper Prize – paper worth £100
Caroline DearPeat Stories-Fay, Kath, Norah


The British Embassy in Slovakia Solo Exhibition Prize
Catharine DavisonHound Point (From Calton Hill)



The Edinburgh Laser Cutting Studio Prize – free place on an introductory course or 3 hours free laser cutting
Liz Douglas SSAPool



The Edinburgh Printmakers Award – printmaking course plus three months free session fees
Paul CharltonSleeper



The Meffan Gallery and Museum Solo Exhibition Prize
Elaine AllisonWhich Way Now?



The Scottish Arts Club Prize – two years free membership and an Exhibition at the Club
Joyce Gunn Cairns SSAJackie Kay’s Vadnie



The SSA Website Award– £150 and a feature on the website
Robert Balfour WardWolf Suit



The SSA Website Award– £150 and a feature on the website
Cedric TaiGeography Of Male Names


Education and Events


Rites of Spring

Thursday 21 March, 5.30 – 7.30

Please join us for this special fund-raising celebration during our annual exhibition.

With a glass of wine, this is a fantastic opportunity to parade in the RSA galleries and enjoy works exhibited, not only by the SSA, but also by RSW and VAS.

Please click here to find out more.

ARTISTBOOKWORKSHOPNO1Artist Book Workshop 2013

Thursday 21st March from 10.30 am – 2.30pm
City of Glasgow College HND: Contemporary Art Practice
Supported by Curriculum Leader Scott Brady

The books created during the workshop will be installed as pieces within the exhibition itself and remain there, blending with the other exhibits, until the show closed.

Presenting Work Talkw

How to Present your work for Exhibition

Wednesday 6th March 2013, 4 – 5pm. Free event. All welcome.

Jenny Smith will give an interactive, walk around talk about how to frame and/or present your work for exhibition, discussing work in the exhibition as examples.

Jenny is a Professional Member of the SSA and an ex – Council member. The talk will draw on her past experience on both selection and hanging committees for SSA and her many years experience of running training and CPD courses for artists.

She currently runs The Artist Book Group and is setting up a new CPD group in March 2013. Please see her website for details.

No bookings required but please arrive in plenty of time for a prompt start at 4pm in the RSA Sculpture Court.

Performance by Sogol Mabadi

Endeavour no. 7: Un-braiding

Sogol Mabadi’s ongoing performance practice relies on the active participation of the audience member.


For the 2013 Annual Exhibition, she will cover her face with a braid of her own hair and make use of a setting, generous and changeable in nature, into which the audience member arrives to meet with the unrecognisable other. In this space, they will collaborate to negotiate a physical interaction. This tentative interaction will explore contact, proximity and sense of other.
Sogol Mabadi invites you to participate in what will be private and unspoken one-to-one performances of varying duration as determined by the audience member.

Performance Times: Thursday – Sunday, 2pm – 5pm




Download a digital copy of the SSA 2013 catalogue as a PDF (3.8MB) by clicking on the catalogue image left.




Main image top and above: George Wyllie – ‘Cac-tap’