2017 Scottish Portrait Award (SPA) I Scottish Arts Club

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Pictured is the winner of the Fine Art Award – Helen Wilson, Jonah Gaskell of Kittyfield Farm. She is known for her paintings of ballerinas, musicians and other performers.

Robin Gillanders, a known Edinburgh photographer has not entered a competition since he was 18 years old. He decided to participate in the SPA because it seemed more ‘his style’. He took photographs of Robert Alan Jamieson with the competition in mind. The judges praised Wilson’s uncompromising honesty and direct engagement through the work, while Gillander’s portrait won because of it strong composition, tonal range and sense of narrative for the character. Both the fine art and photographic winners were praised for their story-telling quality and for capturing the subject very well.  In both cases the judges’ decision was unanimous.

The SPAs are run by an experienced team of volunteers, supported by the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust. Their goal is to establish a vibrant new platform for celebrating and supporting excellence in Scottish portraiture.

When Ewan McClure delivered his work, Counterpoints, for the exhibition he said, ‘Where can anyone go to find out who the modern Scottish portrait artists are?’  If that place becomes the SPA exhibitions and our website they will be delighted.


2017 Scottish Portrait Award (SPA) Exhibition to be held at the Scottish Arts Club, 24 Rutland Square, Edinburgh.

In 2018, Mitchell hopes to see an even wider range of entries to the fine art competition. ‘We accept entries in any medium for the SPA in Fine Art. I would like to see more 3D works entered and more conceptual approaches to portraiture. We want to encourage and promote the creativity of our artists.’

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