Artistic Programme

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop offers funded residency and research opportunities enabling artists to spend time here developing work or realizing projects. These are open opportunities with deadlines announced throughout the year. For the selected artists we offer studio space, access to workshops and equipment and relevant training, accommodation in one of our apartments if required and staff support.

We also invite artists and curators to deliver projects and programmes and we work on collaborative projects with partner organisations who share a similar ethos and approach to supporting artists and connecting them with audiences.

Individual artists can avail of self-funded opportunities to access the facilities and work spaces through the Reach Scotland programme which offers subsidized access to work spaces, accommodation and training.

We regularly offer internships for students or recent graduates and employment opportunities which are advertised on the Creative Scotland website and through visual arts networks and artists are recruited to sit on the Board of Directors and management committees.

Micro Residencies

Dillan Marsh & Eleanor Clare, Comedy and Tragedy, 2015

Dillan Marsh & Eleanor Clare, Comedy and Tragedy, 2015

The Micro Residency programme gives artists time and space to develop their research and practice in an unpressurised environment. The flexible nature of the residencies allows artists to explore ideas whilst benefiting from Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s facilities and staff support.

The Micro Residencies promote interdisciplinary practice and include events that enable the public to meet the artists.

There are four micro residencies offered each year with an open call launched in March.

Reach Scotland

The Reach Scotland Programme targets artists living and working outside Edinburgh who would benefit from time working at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

Artists can apply for a studio or work space, accommodation and training – all at a subsidised rate. We can accommodate 2-4 artists each year on this programme for periods of anything from one week to two months.

There is a selection procedure in place and although there is a focus on sculpture, we accept applications from artists working in a range of media and different disciplines. There is no deadline for applications.

 ECA/ESW Graduate Bursary Award

Amy Boulton, Waterfront, (still), 2016

Amy Boulton, Waterfront, (still), 2016

In collaboration with ECA School of Art, we offer an annual bursary for students graduating from the BA, MA or MFA courses. The aim of the bursary is to help emerging newly-graduated artists to establish themselves after leaving college, and encourage contemporary sculpture practice in its widest sense.

One bursary is offered each year through an open call.

RSA International Residency for Poland

Residency for Polish Artists

An annual award, this is run in partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

The award brings a Polish artist to Edinburgh on residency for three months allowing them the time and space to research and develop new work and forge an international network of new connections.

ESW/ RSA New Contemporaries Award

Each year, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop presents an annual award at the Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries exhibition to support emerging artists’ research and development. The selected artist is offered a month’s residency at ESW.

Research Programme

Based on re-imagining the learning environment to facilitate new knowledge, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s research programme examines workshop-based approaches to artistic production that are theoretically informed, practical and participatory. The programme facilitates new experiential knowledge, practices and tools for artists and art educators to adapt and implement and is enabling us to develop an international network of practitioners and educators.

Participation is managed in two ways. Arts collectives and organisations are invited to propose artists from their networks, and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop advertises places through open call.


Holly Antrum Catalogue ESW (photo credit Tom Nolan)-18
Holly Antrum, Catalogue, 2012-14, super16mm transferred to HD
Photo by Tom Nolan

TANK is a street front gallery space presenting outcomes of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s artistic programme and hosting a curated programme of exhibitions of work by invited artists.

Between April and September 2016 the TANK programme hosted the series of exhibitions On an otherwise ordinary evening curated by Peter Amoore. Thinking through artist’s practice, the series brought together two artists and one critic engaged with the telling of stories, in attentive homages to other artists – their lives and their works – and in the imagining of impossible encounters between objects.

Artist and filmmaker Holly Antrum began the series with her exhibition Catalogue, presenting her 2012-14 film work of the same name alongside material from the Cobbing Family Archive and the Scottish Poetry Library. This multi-layered film was shown for the first time in Scotland and presents the unscripted dialogue and camera play between Holly and the artist Jennifer Pike.

_GYP1126 (11 The Miraculous)
Raphael Rubinstein with Sophie Dyer and Maeve Redmond, The Miraculous, 2016.
Photo by Graeme Yule

In the following exhibition art history was retold and relocated amongst the functional spaces of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop by poet and critic Raphael Rubinstein. Working in dialogue with designers Maeve Redmond and Sophie Dyer, Rubinstein transposed narratives from his 2014 Paper Monument publication, The Miraculous, onto the walls, windows and tables of the workshop. The project related tales of artists’ works and lives to the contemporary production of art in the lived spaces building.

Siân Robinson Davies, Conversations, 2016.
Photo by Graeme Yule

For the final exhibition in the series objects spoke after being given voice by artist and comedian Siân Robinson Davies. In a newly commissioned audio work, titled Conversations, objects attempt to understand one another, sometimes learning and other times failing. Fading in and out of an otherworldly soundscape, a bossy cycle helmet patronises a stately sounding sun and the notion of doing anything without touching baffles a confused knife. The voices for these scripted dialogues were performed by local artists, comedians and writers.


Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop manages projects within the public realm which we initiate or develop in partnership with other organisations. Projects have included Steep Trail – a partnership with Polarcap and Fife Contemporary Art & Craft which presents and develops work in Scotland and China; the National Memorial for Organ & Tissue Donors in Scotland – a public artwork by Alec Finlay located in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; and The Edward Marshall Award – a design project to create furniture for the new public spaces at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

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October 2016