Arthur Watson

Programme Director

Contemporary Art Practice, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

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Trained Grays School of Art, in Printmaking and Printed Textiles. In 1974 established Peacock Printmakers, an artists' print workshop, publisher and gallery, collaborating directly with over 100 artists, leading many projects, including the Scottish Bestiary for Paragon Press and curating exhibitions in the UK, Europe and America. Served on Scottish Arts Council Awards to Artists panel, Exhibition panel and Combined Arts committee. Founding board member of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop and the 369 Gallery, former chair of Art in Partnership, Scotland and the Richard Demarco Gallery. Director of Workshop and Studio Provision Scotland and Secretary of The Royal Scottish Academy.

In 1995 appointed Course Director, MFA, DJCAD and 2000 - 03 Head of Graduate Studies in Fine Art. Established the Centre of Artists Books and Fine Art publishing at the Visual Research Centre with projects including the Great Book of Gaelic (48K) for the Gaelic Arts Agency and Voices of Scotland (25K) for the Scottish Executive.

In 1990 represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale with Kate Whiteford and David Mach; in 2000 Singing for Dead Singers at five venues in Aberdeen with 76 page book and in 2003 Leaving Jericho with Doug Cocker in Chicago with 84 page book. From a base in the practice of printmaking and three-dimensional installation research is grouped under three main headings; Culturing a Landscape (investigating particulars of landscape through its cultural underpinning), Envisioning the Oral Ephemeral (an engagement with aspects of Scottish culture which are neither visible or permanent) and (Scottish) Art, Identity and Archiving.


  • 2005 - 08 The Demarco Archives: Accessing 40 Year dialogue between Richard Demarco and the European Avant-Garde. Funding by AHRC (£312K) with Prof Elaine Shemilt, led by Dr Euan MacArthur in association with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. A project to digitise and identify 10,000 photographic images and associated documents.

  • 2003 - 09 Cairn Gorm: Reading A Landscape funded by SAC National Lottery and other public bodies (£350K) lead artist with Emeritus Prof Will Maclean, Dr Norman Shaw, Lei Cox, Mel Woods and Fergus Purdie. A commission to research, interpret and create a series of site-specific publicly accessible artworks in the Cairngorms National Park.

  • Ongoing - 2010/2011 Scotland and the European Avant-Garde (the Legacy of Strategy: Get Arts) projected budget £195K. A major exhibition and book co-curated and co-authored with Dr Euan MacArthur in collaboration with the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Galleries of Scotland, building on research done as part of the AHRC-funded Demarco Digital Archive.

  • Ongoing - 2010/2011 The Rediscovery of Highland Art: Histories, Languages and Place. A key output of Window to the West AHRB-funded project led by Prof Murdo MacDonald. I will co-curate the exhibition with Prof MacDonald and deliver a conference paper, book chapter and installation in collaboration with Emeritus Prof Will Maclean and oversee the content and production of a folio of artists' prints with Paul Harrison.

  • Ongoing - summer 2010 Double Diablerie funded through Nozomi (a joint initiative between DJCAD, Edinburgh College of Art and partner institutions in Japan). I am one of two Scottish artists, with Prof Ian Howard (ECA) collaborating with two Japanese artists in the production of a large format artist book which will open at the Edinburgh Festival and in Nagoya prior to an exhibition tour. The book will explore aspects of superstition and devil worship in Scotland and Japan.

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