Wendy McMurdo RSA (Elect), Robot Workshop i, 2010

Exhibiting Artist
John Kinross Scholar in 1985


How did the experience affect you as an individual?
After my time in Florence (in the mid 1980s), I kept on travelling – to New York ( on a St. Andrews Society of the State of New York Scholarship to Pratt Institute), to London (where I did my MA at Goldsmiths), back to the UK and to Sheffield (where I did a Henry Moore Fellowship at Sheffield Hallam University) and eventually back to Scotland in the mid 90s. It was the John Kinross Award in the 1980s however that gave me that first taste of the importance of living outside of the country I was born in. It gave me a vital first opportunity to work within a culture very different from my own.


What was the impact on your practice?
I think the most important thing about the Joh Kinross Scholarship was is that it gave me confidence and the licence at a key point in my life to simply keep on going. Most students today still leave undergraduate programmes in their early to mid 20s. It can take years to develop a substantial practice, with the first years after graduation often being tricky ones. Can I afford to keep going? is the question
that the vast majority of graduating art students now ask themselves as they approach
graduation. The John Kinross Award gives young artists the gift of time at a key point
in their career which has arguably never been more vital than at this point in time

Wendy McMurdo RSA (Elect), The 3 Graces, 1985, pastel, ink, chalk and charcoal on paper, 56.3 x 57 cm, RSA Collection


What would you say the long-term impact has been on yourself and you work?
All young artists need encouragement, opportunity and the time to make mistakes and develop their work in the early stages of their career. The John Kinross Award offers all of these things. For me, it was the beginning of a long and rewarding career in the arts.