Pandemic: A Personal Response to COVID-19

Thurs - Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun 12 - 5pm

RSA Lower Galleries

Booking is essential and COVID-19 safety restrictions will be in place. Book your visit here.


We are delighted to re-open with a Lower Galleries exhibition featuring a selection of work from seven winners of the RSA Pandemic Award, an award created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the summer of 2020 to assist artists with the creation of new work in these challenging times. 12 award winners each received a monetary award of £2,500 to research, develop and produce new work which reflected their personal response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


This exhibition presents new work from Anthony Schrag, Chris Leslie and Alex Hayward. It also includes a selection of work from Sara Alonso, Blair McLaughlin, Ronald Binnie and Steven Grainger, previously included in our online exhibition Latitudes, shown physically in the gallery for the first time. In addition to this, documentation of work by Suzanne Anthony, Jack McCombe and Lily Macrae is available to view online.


Colin R. Greenslade, RSA Director: The Pandemic Awards came at a crucial time in the early part of the first lockdown in 2020. The Royal Scottish Academy aimed to reach out to support artists through this difficult period and we were overwhelmed by the response. Selecting from the large volume of applicants was a difficult decision – individual stories included personal tragedies such as isolation and loss through to practical difficulties such as the closure of studio facilities.


The works produced by the recipients record the period through their own stories and experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything from sculpture and painting, through installation, performance and film – the resulting series of works are a poignant snapshot of a period of time which although currently still very much present, we hope to have left the worst of behind.


I do hope that the selection shown here will assist us all to process these extraordinary and often terrible times which we have all experienced together and apart – a chronicle of a year of upheaval. However, there is also much here to celebrate and enjoy. It is most certainly life-affirming.