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Photo of a sculpture
'Ornamentation #5' by Megan Hampton
Megan has won the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy Award

Eight recent graduates from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) have won prizes at RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES, the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual showcase of emerging talent.

Oliver Beetschen, Shimal Morjaria and Jonathan Piper, who graduated in 2016 with a Master of Architecture degree, have won the prestigious RSA Architecture Prize, and for the second year in a row, the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Award has gone to an ECA graduate, Frances Rokhlin (Fine Art - MA Hons).

Fine Art - MA (Hons) graduates, Megan Hampton and Doug Stevens, have won the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy Award and the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Graduate Research Award respectively.

The RSA Chalmers Bursary went to Lucy Wayman and the RSA Stuart Prize to James Howden Boyle; both graduated from our Sculpture - BA Hons programme in the summer of 2016.

Celebrating nine years of Scottish talent

Now in its ninth year, RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES showcases the work of recent graduates from Scotland’s art and architecture schools.

Of the 66 graduates in this year’s show, 17 are from ECA, drawn from all four undergraduate BA (Hons) programmes in the School of Art, our five-year MA (Hons) degree in Fine Art (which combines History of Art with art practice), and our postgraduate Master of Architecture (MArch) degree.

The work was selected during the ECA Degree Show 2016; art by Delia Baillie RSA, with assistance from fellow academicians and representatives from the schools, and architecture by Charlie Hussey RSA. It is on show at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh until 15th March 2017.

Colin Greenslade, Director of the RSA, says “The development of [New Contemporaries] has enabled us to engage with new artists towards promoting a nationally significant presentation of new Scottish practice. The exhibition is now an important fixture in the calendar with collectors, curators and visitors travelling from far and wide to this must-see event”.

From a towering Tokyo high-rise to a “small but powerful” study of Colditz

Oliver Beetschen, Shimal Morjaria and Jonathan Piper, who have won the RSA Architecture Prize for their project, Moral Hazards of the Generic City: A Retrospective Re-design of the Otemachi Tower, have also been spotted by Blueprint Magazine, with a glowing review in its ‘pick of the 2016 graduates; the ones to watch for the future’.

Liam Ross, who along with Tolulope Onabolu led the ‘Tokyo Hauntology’ studio the work was produced in, said “it proposes an architecture which intentionally expresses the risks that contemporary building design both constructs and negates… [making] originally hidden parts of the buildings infrastructure the overt organising principles of its architecture”.

In contrast to the trio’s towering model of Otemachi Tower, which forms the centrepiece of their exhibit, Frances Rokhlin’s work is characterised by its exceptionally small scale; her award-winning paintings of Colditz have been praised for their “economy of scale, palette and historical narrative”.

As winner of the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Award, Frances will now undertake a £10,000 residency, plus exhibition, with her work accessioned for Glenfiddich Collection and automatic entry into New Scottish Artists at the Fleming Collection. She has previously won the 2016 RSA William Littlejohn Award for Innovation in Watercolour.

RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES 2017 is at the Royal Scottish Academy on The Mound, Edinburgh from 18th February - 15th March 2017. Entry is FREE on Fridays (10-5pm); charge on other days.