Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop – Temporary Closure

Updated 3 March 2021.

In light of the further lockdown which was announced on 4 January 2021, ESW has adapted again to the heightened restrictions with Workshop and Workspace bookings cancelled and refunded.

The focus continues to be on facilitating access for our Studio and Project Space Holders, for work which they are unable to do from home, and enabling some other people to join the studio community whose start has been delayed, as well as helping people move out.

Please note that the team is working in an adapted way and for that reason and because of restrictions on health and safety at work in line with the pandemic we cannot host any visitors for tours of the facilities. Collecting materials is the only reason which you can arrange to make a scheduled visit to ESW as described above. Please don’t come to ESW on spec at this time but we very much look forward to welcoming you in the future.

If you need to speak to us please email or leave an answerphone message.

In March we are hoping to be able to:

  • Carry out the workshop and building maintenance that we had planned for January and February.
  • Continue to create further separated and outside workspaces for future use.
  • Resolve some projects which had been suspended because of the workshops shutdown. We have been in touch with everyone who had bookings cancelled to get this in motion. We need to do this in order to have clear workshops for the annual maintenance to take place.
  • Continue setting up an outdoor classroom and auxiliary Learning Space in the North Lab.
  • Settle the Ceramic Sculpture Bursary cohort and Graduate Residents into their studio access routines, for work which cannot be done at home.
  • Support those selected for the Members Development Bursary and the Member Video Profiles.
  • Complete the filming for one pilot online course with Duncan Robertson, we are hoping to be able to promote that later in March for people to book into.
  • Continue our programming and partnership development work.

If you are interested in joining as a new Member it is still possible to get this process underway and staff will guide you in terms of the timeline for arranging Membership. If you join as a Member you have access to our monthly Members Opportunities Newsletter, Members Opportunities which we launch as open calls and Member organised events like Open Forum rapid fire talks which happen online.

If you are near ESW please catch Johnathan Elder’s exhibition in the street view Hawthornvale Space.

You can also see other news and activity through the links on our website featuring:

We feel hopeful that there are many elements of ESW’s activities that can resume over time and are committed to creating an excellent experience for people visiting. We are monitoring the information available and our own learning as a team and community on a day to day basis and will continue to take into account:

  • Government instructions.
  • Specific sectoral guidance for cultural organisations and other relevant areas.
  • The ability for ESW to function well under new arrangements and remain strong as an organisation for everyone.
  • Fluctuations in the pandemic situation and challenges that we encounter at ESW.

In normal times we have a complex mix of activities under one roof and will also be taking into account those which are most urgent for members and others to access as well as the specific practicalities for each type of access.


If you are a Studio or Project Space Holder who can access ESW independently please read our Access Manual and Check List Flowchart before coming to the building.

We would also appreciate if you could read the Scottish Government’s Guidelines for Studios and Shared Workspaces, especially the two checklists, one for Studio Providers and one for Studio Holders which lays out how we can work on what’s needed together.

Please also have a look at the Protect.scot website and app as this is a mechanism to keep us all informed and aware including connecting to contact tracing.

ESW in lockdown

We are continuing to share useful information for our members through social media and the Members Opportunities Newsletter which has information about support measures and open calls.

Residency plans have been adapted with our international partners and we are still preparing for commissions which were delayed last year.

The pandemic has amplified the social issues which were of most concern within our local and cultural community and we are further motivated to work with participants, artists and partners to refocus on those social, economic and equality discrepancies as we return to facilitating for art and exchange to happen at ESW. Key parters in this work are Multi Cultural Family Base, Artlink, local schools and a new partnership with The Rock Trust. In the section below you can find information about north Edinburgh response to COVID-19.

We are also taking further steps as a team to deal with the overall situation including adapting our working patterns. Most staff are working from home where it is possible, have separate workspaces and have reconfigured the way we have interactions to give the most effective experience to people contacting us – email is the most efficient way to be in touch as this works for staff members working from home or occupied with non-desk activity.

Please keep in touch with us as we plan for the future, by directing any enquiries to our normal office email or to laura@edinburghsculpture.org

Further information

  • If you have a Gift Voucher, Session Card or Session Voucher which expires during this closure we will be pleased to extend this and give you a voucher code which can now be used on our new online booking system. Please get in touch with any questions by email.
  • Cafe MILK is open for take away.
  • We will continue our ESW Member communications during this time as we realise it’s even more important to be able to share opportunities and supportive information. You can join as a member here.
  • We are not operating a standard reception service at present but you can contact staff through normal channels including leaving phone messages for us to pick up. You will understand that we are all working different times and juggling other responsibilities so it might take us longer to respond.
  • You can link to our social media channels through the boxes at the base of this page, where there’s also a way to sign up to our free mailing list.
  • We are in touch with ESW Studio and Project Space Holders with additional information separately.
  • Further resources:
  • https://www.creativescotland.com/
  • https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/coronavirus including ‘Can you help?’ section about how to volunteer.
  • https://www.a-n.co.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-guidance-for-artists-and-arts-organisers/


There is a large community effort in the North East of Edinburgh, within Newhaven where ESW is based and the surrounding areas. You can read a key community activity bulletin, which is prepared by Elaine Lennon, here… It includes links to NHS Lothian, Edinburgh City Council, the Scottish Government’s Ready Scotland website, opportunities to help, links to local organisations, a very extensive online list of activities ideas, for adults and children, and a list of emergency contacts.

Please email elaine.lennon@edinburgh.gov.uk if you have any community news to share. More info about submitting is near the end of the document.


You can support the work of ESW and artists through one-off donations, or by becoming a Member.

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop is grateful for the support it receives from Creative Scotland, Culture Edinburgh – Edinburgh City Council and its other project funders.