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2015/2016 Awards

Yellow Broom (David Robson/Clare Waddle), £1000

Yellow Broom lightYellow Broom lighting

To create a collection of handmade wooden lighting. Using locally sourced wood we aim to create wall, floor, table and ceiling works focusing on good craftsmanship.

‘The grant enabled Yellow Broom to create a system for steam bending wood. As a result we have developed a body of sustainable lighting. The impact of this award has been invaluable, as a result of this ward we have constructed 2 steaming units and equipped our workshop with the appropriate clamps/jigs to enable us to move forward in our practice.’

Geoff Lucas, £400

7 - The Language of SculptureMaterials, equipment and production costs for realising a body of new works, over a two-month period: exploring insights gained through my recently completed PhD study.

‘Having received funds to support the woodcarving aspect of my original proposal I have aimed to achieve what I can of my initial intentions (realising a body of works for exhibition), through this area alone. Specifically, I have used the award to make one, quite large piece from a locally sourced piece of timber, and have likewise modified my approach to enable the production of a few further pieces, in wood, employing other locally sourced materials or materials from my own supplies.

 Bearing in mind the different approach required here I have also determined to initially present these pieces alongside works made with Eilidh Lucas, as part of a last project at the HICA space, a space we will be leaving in the near future. This presentation, separate from our regular exhibition programme, will be a ‘test-run’ in seeing these pieces within an exhibition context: a reduced scale to what I had originally envisaged, but still hopefully matching my intentions sufficiently, as works in-themselves. If this more experimental presentation is successful, I still hope to be able to develop these ideas and works further, for other spaces, as proposed in my application.’

Janice Fleming, £400

Beyond Yonder (1024x743) Janice Fleming

To further develop my skills and practice through exploration of the interface between photography, printmaking and alternative photographic techniques as applied to contemporary art.

‘This grant has provided the opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills base in these areas of alternative photographic processes and printmaking related to photography. The workshops, tuition and learning process has also sparked ideas for further creative activity and exploration.  It has been particularly valuable at this stage in my development as a recent graduate in providing a focus and motivation for continuing practice.  In addition, the opportunity to work and learn alongside other artists and photographers within the professional working spaces of Highland Print Studio and Streetlevel, Glasgow has been fruitful in sharing ideas and inspiration.

 I am currently in discussion with some local artists re setting up a group who are interested in learning and developing their practice and exhibiting together, in relationship to alternative photographic and analogue photographic processes.  This will give me access to a darkroom, and equipment to build on the learning from the wet plate process as well as the opportunity to share skills and ideas and involvement in workshops.  This award from VACMA has helped me develop skills which will enable me to contribute to this group, to extend my practice and to generate new ideas for future work.  As a member of Nairn Wasps I aim to exhibit during the Nairn Book & Arts Festival in Wasps own exhibition and Open Studios event.’

Graeme Roger, £800

3-Northlands Glassmaxxx_grizedale

To create a moving image artwork that is part documentary, part performance. The project will include time to collaborate with Edinburgh based photographer Peter Dibdin.

‘Project funding allowed for filming with Jeep Solid at home, in a recording studio and at various times and locations in and around Inverness.  I was able to collaborate with photographer Pete Dibdin and we visited locations around Moray to collect images and develop ideas. In order to get a bit of distance and professional advice on the video edit I worked with Becky Milling on the final edit and with Zoe Irving for the audio mastering. The project allowed the long term aim of ‘collecting and curating’ a snapshot of Jeep’s work into a cohesive whole that was both collaborative and autobiographical.’ 

Jana Emburey, £600Gathering No 6

To learn printing techniques at the Highland Print Studio – to develop my artwork further and start building up a new body of work related to my recent Sweet Oblivion series.

The two week course at the Highland Print Studio was very useful and I feel it helped me greatly with the development of my Oblivion series. I learned the techniques of etching on steel and copper plates using both soft and hard ground, using line etching, aquatint and spit bite.

 I also learned the technique of photogravure. For this I combined paintings and drawings which I feel took my work into another direction. I produced six photogravures as a result of this course. I plan to continue working on my prints in Caithness and when possible in the Highland Print Studio.’

Joanne Kaar, £500

1 Joanne B Kaar 2015 opt6 Joanne B Kaar 2015 opt

To attend a 5 day Botanical Illustration course at Kew Gardens under the tuition of Lucy T. Smith (twice gold winner for illustration from the Royal Horticultural Society).

‘The botanical illustration course at Kew Gardens gave me the grounding I need to be able to develop my botanical drawings with a scientific slant, I’d started drawing plants while on a two week residency in the Western Isles, outdoors, ‘drawing between the midges and the rain’.  An inspirational environment, the Kew archives contain 200,000 works of botanical art from centuries ago as well as by contemporary artists. We learnt the importance of a botanical illustrator in the digital age with tutor Lucy T Smith.

 Many of my projects take time to develop, before contemplating exhibition.  This is no exception, as I would need time to practice new techniques. The week at Kew Gardens proved to be very inspiring.  Next week I go to Shetland to be artist in residence at Sumburgh Lighthouse. I intend to put into practice some of the techniques I learnt.’

Catherine MacGruer, £800

Catherine MacGruer Maria and Dot Blankets on Models

To help towards the development costs of programming and sampling new knit techniques for a new collection of knitted textiles.






Pamela Tait, £1000


To learn three printmaking techniques which compliment my existing artistic practice. These would be learned on a one-to-one basis at Highland Print Studio.

Through etching, there is the potential to substantially develop my work in a way that is not possible through any other medium. Just working and manipulating the plate to create an image gives me so much satisfaction. But the main reason why I am so completely engaged by this specific printmaking technique is that I believe it significantly enhances and compliments the imagery I am drawing, which is creating a greater confidence in the translation of my ideas.

 I have learned so much working through and completing this project, much more than I expected. And although there is still lot for me to learn about etching, I am so encouraged by what I have accomplished so far that I look forward to embracing and further incorporating this printmaking technique into my practice.’

Joanna Wright, £500

market sellers, KitgumTravel to Palestine to gather images from which to make new work incorporating Ottoman design and contemporary images of communities in flux.

I travelled instead to the West Bank with the intention of drawing people in their daily contexts, as well as looking for patterns/traditional design. However given the difficulty of finding the right contexts in which to draw people unobtrusively, and the sensitivity of taking photographs, I instead focused on drawing buildings. In terms of patterns, I filled a sketchbook with some designs from historical stone- and tilework, chiefly from Jerusalem, as well as turning to more contemporary design such as the metal grill-work found everywhere on modern buildings.

 I had planned to use the visit to work towards incorporating figure work with pattern.  I have been doing this since my return, trying bolder combinations than previously, and in some cases using patterns and images gathered from Palestine but not yet in a focused way. I will enjoy exploring this further, both by looking at others’ work as well as testing ideas with my own.’

Catriona Meighan, £1100

Because It's Worth It_July Installation_Expedit, Benno and Boksel

A week long collaborative project space residency involving Highland based and invited artists. Including integrated events (talks, crits, workshops, open studios) this is a rounded project with potential for future development.

‘This week long residency brought together a group of 6 artists (mostly new to each other) to collaborate covering the following themes: rural/urban identities, networking and how artists collaborate in these situations/environments, psycho-geography/surroundings, stories/poems/history, community and engagement and more. Having specific events (open presentations, shared meals, round table discussion, closing event) helped add structure to the week without being too restricted and the activity which included researching and reading of relevant texts was also beneficial to add another layer of theoretical context to the research we were undertaking. From the experiences, documentation and historical evidence collated we were able to then create some more physical/tangible outputs – these were in the form of printed material (motifs, signs), photographs, document library, zine, manifesto, maps.

 Taking part in this project both as project leader and artist has had a lasting impact on my practice – from the initial experience of planning, developing and leading a project such as this to collaborating with artists in a new way. One very positive aspect has been the increase in network, not just for me but the other participants and people involved through the project. Creating and maintaining these networks for collaboration and critical discourse is highly important especially in the context of a rural setting and something which I value highly in my practice.’

Lindsey Gallacher, £400

cufflinksTo purchase a new machine to cut stone which would enable more accurate cutting to bring better precision and creativity to my work.

After purchasing the Rubi stone cutting machine, my work developed immediately as I could now cut more accurately, and cut thinner slices. I have been able to cut beads of the same size and the time needed to sand down has reduced dramatically allowing for larger more creative pieces. I created a new body of work for a local exhibition called ‘Made’ showing work of contemporary craft makers in Caithness. This work went onto show at Groundwork Gallery in Kings Lynn. I have been able to take on commissions that require confidence in delivering work that I know will work as opposed to experimental works.

 Ultimately this award has allowed me to make work I would never have been able to without the purchase of this machine.  I am now developing display ideas using the stone cutter which will enhance my silversmithing work and now plan to develop ideas for contemporary home wear and larger items.’

Lukasz Latkiewicz, £1000

wooden toysrocking horse

To purchase a CNC machine that will decrease time necessary to create wooden toys, cut the costs, improve quality, expand range of our products.

‘The CNC machine has changed the whole process of developing and creating our wooden toys. Small size of the machine makes possible carving our products on a small space (we don’t need to rent a big workshop anymore and that by itself has been a huge saving enabling us to decrease price of every toy by about 50%. I can also create designs on my computer and turn them to live with incredible precision and quality. Thanks to this machine we save a lot of time because the machine carve toys itself. We are still learning about our new machine and there is lots of improvements that we can do.’