The Scottish Arts Club: Scottish Portrait Awards 2018

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The Scottish Arts Club is currently hosting the prestigious display of the Scottish Portraits Awards for 2018. The art club is a comfortably elevated space in the heart of the city with a specific allure and a welcoming setting.

The Scottish Portrait Awards is a refined competition organized by   the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust, which received more than 700 entries from photographers and artists born, studying or living in Scotland. The selected 60 works are an encompassing collection of modern and versatile portraiture, featuring works in different mediums and spheres (ranging from Kevin Dagg’s imposing sycamore wood sculpture to more traditional oil portraits). I have chosen to discuss only a few of the displayed works in this review, but highly recommend visiting the exhibit for the readers who wish to grasp the full scope of the SPA’s event.

Jane Seated by Daniel Murray


Dan Murray’s work ‘Jane Seated’ is the SPA in Fine Art First Prize winner. The work is a highly realist portrait of a woman, who as first glance appears to be vaguely distressed and perhaps in search of the divine. The depth of his blues and the intensity of the burgundy red suggest a symbolic, yet contained and elusive juxtaposition.


Lydia by Alan McGowan


My personal favorite piece from the exhibition is perhaps Alan McGowan’s ‘Lydia’, SPA in Fine Art Second Prize winner. There is a tasteful dripping sensuality to the artist’s portrayal, which is underlined by a contained abandon, visible in the soft lines and saturated paint.


Portrait of Saul by Eve Woehrling


Eve Woehrling, who is only 17 years old, created the delicate ‘Portrait of Saul’, which is striking in its gentle purity of form and depth of feeling. This promising artist is the winner of the SPA in Fine Art Young Artist award.

The winning pieces for SPA in Photography are Lucas Chih-Peng Kao’s ‘Mira Knoche’ (First Prize), Kat Gollock’s ‘Oyster Boys’ (Second Prize), and Eliza Coulson’s ‘Fragile’ (Young Photographer).

On the 21st of January, the exhibition is relocating to Glasgow’s Mackintosh Gallery, where it will be available until the 9th of February.

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