Sixteen recent graduates from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) have been selected by the Royal Scottish Academy to exhibit in its annual showcase of emerging talent, RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES (5th to 30th March 2016).

Of the 16 talented alumni from Fine Art, Intermedia, Photography, Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, four have won prizes at the exhibition.

Sculpture - BA (Hons) graduate, Emily Binks, has been awarded the £10,000 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Award for her sculptural shelter made of discarded furniture... a continuation of the theme of her Degree Show work, Wearable Emergency Shelters 1, 2 & 3.

The Award involves a residency and exhibition, work accessioned for the Glenfiddich Collection, and entry into the forthcoming London exhibition, New Scottish Artists at the Fleming Collection

Three Painting - BA (Hons) graduates have won prizes: The Stevenston Award (£5,000) went to Iona Roberts; The RSA Sir William Gillies Bequest Award (£2000) went to Olivia Turner; and the RSA Adam Bruce Thomson Award (£150) went to Emma Price.

At ECA, we value studio culture

Selected during the ECA Degree Show 2015, the group of 16 graduates spans six different programmes and three Schools within ECA.

Stuart Bennett, the College’s Deputy Principal, explains how our teaching and learning environment helps prepare graduating students for opportunities like RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES…

“At ECA we value studio culture, and structure our spaces and teaching to ensure students can install, not just imagine, their work in exhibition environments.

Black box, white cube, location specific, socially engaged, ambient, sound and performance work require different conditions and contexts and, within the School of Art for example, we use a timetabled ‘project space’ structure to ensure students can see their work beyond the visual clutter of the studio.

Peer learning is a vital part of art education. Artists are often not present when their work meets an audience so providing a platform for engaging discourse is a vital element of understanding how work communicates beyond the studio.

To this end, the project space is structured to ensure students make clear decisions about what they will present for the project space critique. Often in this exercise, the student who has made the work does not explain it, but listens to the group discussion and then responds”.

Of Emily Binks’ work in particular he says…

“Emily’s work, for her Degree Show and for the RSA exhibition, is ambitious in scale and complexity.

She has clearly benefited from the ability to see her work installed prior to the rigours of an exhibition.

Her peers have provided valuable thoughts, advice and encouragement. I expect they always will - a network established at art school sustains beyond graduation providing an essential foundation, critical framework and a connected potential for future success”.


Now in its eighth year, this carefully curated exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see some of Scotland’s finest emerging talent under one roof.

In total, it showcases the work of 61 graduates selected from the 2015 degree shows by exhibition convener Stuart MacKenzie RSA, with assistance from fellow academicians and representatives from the five main colleges of art in Scotland.

Our exhibiting graduates from the Schools of Art and History of Art are:

William Spendlove (Fine Art), Scott Baxter (Intermedia), Mairéad Keating (Photography), Painting students Yolanda McKean, Daryl Shaw McKee, Emma Price, Iona Roberts, Jessica Rotherham and Olivia Turner, and Sculpture students Emily Binks, Alice Chandler, Alan (Trashmouth Records) Kerr, Lydia McGinley and Hamish Young.

This year, the six Scottish schools of architecture are each represented by a graduate (or graduate team) selected by architecture convenor Dick Cannon RSA.

Our exhibiting Architecture alumni are Marshall Inglis and Marcus Rothnie, joint recipients of a High Commendation in the RIBA President's Medals Student Awards 2015.

The eighth annual RSA NEW CONTEMPORARIES exhibition opened on 5th March and runs until 30th March 2016 at the Royal Scottish Academy on The Mound, Edinburgh.