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Congratulations to the six artists featured below, who have been awarded BAG grants for 2020

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I am a painter based in Scotland. My work tells stories of the imagined and observed worlds, the ethereal spaces between the seen and unseen realms. I paint to encourage people to connect to their own inner wonderment and hope. I honour the profound interdependence of all living things. More recently and perhaps in reaction to Covid, my figurative paintings celebrate the wondrous and precarious nature of being here on earth, rather than what feels wrong in the world.

Today's reality seems stranger than fiction; our daily lives have become as dark and disturbing as anything by the Brothers Grimm. Globally, we find ourselves in a 'dark wood', an immense literal drama changing everything. My ambition is to create work to offer people some positivity in our shared future, a path half glimpsed through the trees.

I feel we live in a world that’s very much composed of fragments; fragments of information and experience. I crave slowness, the chance to consolidate and develop a new body of work and a roadmap for the next chapter of my art practice.  Presently, the work only exists in my head and rough sketches so I decided that an art residency was a perfect solution. This BAG grant is my key to space, support and renewed creativity.

My focus will be on reconnecting with my own rhythms. I look forward to stripping back the layers of communication we are tied to everyday and tuning into my internal voice, hoping to concentrate on one thought and feeling at a time.

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In recent years my practice has evolved from fine art photography to printmaking. This began whilst living on the Isle of Lewis when I began experimenting with drypoint etching, gravure, photogravure and woodblock printing. Works from this time are now in the collections of the V&A and the Yale Museum of British Art. In 2018 I attended printmaking courses in aquatint and etching at Glasgow Print studio which helped to further develop my skills. In 2019 I travelled to Japan, and whilst there I also had the chance to improve my woodblock printing technique.

For a decade I've been obsessed with documenting, climbing and walking the mountains of Scotland. I've traveled with a camera and sketchpad, and now I'd like to begin the process of creating a series of new etchings of our most iconic views. Inspired by the works of printmakers DY Cameron, William Wilson and James McIntosh Partick, I plan to work towards creating 50 etchings of our most recognisable mountain landscapes. From the Cuillins in Skye to the peaks of Arran, I hope to build on what I've learned and contribute to Scotland's rich legacy of printmaking.

I intend to eventually exhibit and publish this work alongside short texts to accompany each image, working towards mounting an exhibition of the work in 2022.



I’m an artist and writer. My visual art hovers between figuration and abstraction, between painting and drawing. I’m interested in embodiment, and the power of images. Over the past few years, after having a career break to raise my children, I’ve been working on developing a cohesive approach. I am still enjoying getting to the bones of how pictures work, how humans work, how the two things work together.

I applied for a grant to attend a course in ‘Imaginative Compositions’ at Moray Art Centre, taught by Olivia Irvine. Composition, structure, and pictorial space is something I’m sinking ever-deeper into – specifically in relation to our felt bodily sense. Meaningful composition and the ‘figure in a landscape’ seem to be endlessly fascinating ideas within art and and I look forward to considering new possibilities and ways of approaching the problems. I'm delighted to be a part of the BAG prize, and really looking forward to the course.

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My work incorporates various drawing and painting techniques and materials. The paintings are mostly of familiar spaces or objects, exploring ideas of ecology and femininity; working from life, often outside, reacting to the place directly. My work over the years has been autobiographical, considering relationships and spirituality through kitchen scenes and resonant landscapes. I spend a lot of time visiting family and exploring the north west highlands, my own work is very influenced by the artists that worked in this landscape and on the islands.

The grant will help with my research and creation of work about the island of Tenerife for a book and exhibition. I want to use the exhibition to explore the island's stories, through the relationship between the people and the non-human world around them. I also work with Gorgie Farm, where we are trying to set up workshops for young people to interact with the garden through drawing. I see these two projects as linked to my research in storytelling associated with plants and eco-poetics. The grant would help me to buy the materials and fund the initial set up of these workshops which would help local residents access the arts and learn about the garden through creating drawing, collage and poetry. The opportunity to create work made both in Scotland, (in particular the north west highlands) and Tenerife for the exhibition will be a hugely important milestone for my professional career

BAG - Iona's Portfolio - Iona


Instagram: @ionamcveanart & @ionammm

I am really keen to attend a figure painting course in Sweden which is run by the Florence Academy of Art.  This 5 day experience will give me a breadth of new skills in a new and stimulating environment, where I can also interact with other artists. I have only just begun to use oil paints but I would love to be taught professionally. The course is life painting,  therefore very unique and not an experience which is easily acquired, especially during these times. I hope to learn new techniques and improve my observational painting. These skills will enhance the quality of my work and broaden my clientele. Networking and conversing with other artists and professionals is something which I regard highly, and this opportunity would be something to remember and look back on as I move forward in the creative world.

Lizzie Rose, Map, 29x20cm, acrylic and p


I run, walk, draw, explore and read maps as methods of gathering research. Drawings follow pathways feet have taken, moments held, air breathed. I am interested in our connection to the wild; to the contrasting ferocity and nurture of the Scottish landscape and to the ageless presence of the trees surrounding us. I wish my work to reflect a reminder of why we should care, and believe that in recognition and understanding comes caring.

The Balavoulin Art Grant will enable me to purchase equipment, to transport work to and from remote locations, and travel costs for self created residencies on island, mountain top and within the forests of Argyll.

I believe having this support to engage more deeply with these three Highland environments would enable me to produce a solid body of work that would represent me, and reflects my deep desire to connect with others in caring for our land and seas.

2020 Grant Winners: Latest News
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