179th RSA Annual Exhibition: Festival Connections

A highlight of the exhibiting calendar in Scotland, the RSA Annual Exhibition showcases works from the length and breadth of Scotland and beyond, including a number of international exhibits.


In 2004, the exhibition included works by Magnum photographer Eve Arnold, painters Craigie Aitchison, Peter Howson and Callum Innes and grandfather of Spanish contemporary art, Antoni Tapies! In 2005, the exhibition has moved from its traditional spring slot to coincide with the Edinburgh International Festival. This year heralds the beginnings of a new era for the RSA. A change in Supplementary Charter enables the opening up of the Academy and allows for a greater range of art and artists to be represented. The RSA intends to celebrate this historic development by hosting the most diverse exhibition to date!


Featuring new works by Members of the Royal Scottish Academy and invited artists, Festival Connections celebrates the breadth and vivacity of contemporary Scottish Art. Held in the magnificent RSA Galleries, this show draws together a vibrant array of respected artists from across the country including Academy members such as Dame Elizabeth Blackadder RSA, George Wyllie RSA, Calum Colvin RSA, Michael Visocchi RSA, Alison Watt RSA, John Byrne RSA, Malcolm Fraser RSA and Exhibition Conveners, Will Maclean RSA and Jake Harvey RSA (to name but a very few).


Invited artists: Thomas Joshua Cooper | Paul Carter | Dalziel and Scullion | Ian Hamilton Finlay | Tracy Mackenna & Edwin Janssen | Kate Whiteford | Annie Cattrell | Ainslie Yule and architect Katherine Findlay.


Much of the work is for sale so it is also a wonderful opportunity to own your own masterpiece!

Full Colour Exhibition Catalogue: £3 (+£2.50 p+p)
Elizabeth Blackadder posters: £3 (+£2.50 p+p)


Catalogue Introduction by Bill Scott RSA


Occupying the Upper Galleries of the Royal Scottish Academy, our Annual Exhibition for 2005, offers a strong contemporary visual statement in the city centre at Festival time. The nature of our summer exhibition was influenced to a considerable extent by the amount of space available. We took the decision, for this year only, to mark the introduction of our new charter with a change to the format of this Festival exhibition. These changes would introduce some of the features of the new charter to the Annual Exhibition.


Scottish artists who lived and worked outside Scotland were, under the old charter, somewhat neglected. Invitations to Annie Cattrell, Kate Whiteford and Ainslie Yule were accepted. The disciplines of painting, sculpture and printmaking were clearly defined and made little provision for new media, installation, performance or photography. The committee invited Paul Carter, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion and Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen to represent a multi-disciplinary approach to practice. In Architecture an invitation was extended to Kathryn Findlay. We are very pleased to be able to include the work of these artists in the exhibition. Also, we are always especially delighted when it is possible for any of our Honorary Members to participate and, notable this year, we welcome Ian Hamilton Finlay to the Academy, recently unanimously elected by the Members.


Our commitment to support young art is manifest through a number of projects undertaken every year. The main event of these being the much-praised Student Exhibition in the Springtime. This show evolved naturally as a consequence of good connections between Academy members and the four Scottish art schools. One of our main missions is to foster new art and to support young artists at different stages of their careers. In this regard we have an impressive record. More and more emerging artists are increasingly aware that the Academy is providing a range of exciting opportunities. A final complement of our Annual Programme this year will take place in December, when we look forward to presenting a selected Open exhibition of non-members.


Festival Connections is supported by MacRoberts SolicitorsEdinburgh Media Base and B & W Bowers and Wilkins
EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL – find out what else is happening!