Press release

Prestigious launchpad for graduate artists and architects

Published on 21 February 2022

Ten University of Dundee graduates will be among the artists and architects exhibiting when Scotland’s most prestigious showcase for young creative talent takes place later this month.

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Ten University of Dundee graduates will be among the artists and architects exhibiting when Scotland’s most prestigious showcase for young creative talent takes place later this month.

The 12th annual RSA New Contemporaries will open to the public at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh on Saturday 26 February.

The Dundee contingent will compete for prizes with a total value of more than £20,000 having been selected on the strength of their work at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and Architecture Degree Show in 2020. A further 47 graduates of other art colleges and architecture schools across Scotland will also be exhibiting.

The artists and architects who studied at Duncan of Jordanstone are Alistair Battles, Martin Crawford, Stephanie Dulson, Josie Jones, Ellen Mitchinson, Stella Rooney, Amalia Shipman-Mueller, Heather Taylor, Sherry Trimon and Ian Young.

All 10 graduated from the University in 2020, but Covid restrictions meant the exhibition was unable to take place last year. In being selected for RSA New Contemporaries, they follow in the footsteps of 177 Dundee alumni who have exhibited at it since its inception in 2009, winning almost £70,000 in prizes in that time.

Professor Anita Taylor, Dean of Duncan of Jordanstone, said, “RSA New Contemporaries showcases the very best of Scotland’s emerging creative talent and we are delighted that so many of our graduates have been selected for the exhibition on its return after a Covid-enforced hiatus.

“Duncan of Jordanstone graduates have a track record of success within New Contemporaries, and I am sure that this cohort will also excel in 2022. It has been an extraordinarily difficult time for graduate artists and architects. We could not be happier for these ten immensely talented graduates of 2020 on finally having the opportunity to take part in the prestigious RSA New Contemporaries exhibition.

“We wish our rising stars every success and, naturally, we hope that they will be further recognised through prizes and awards.”

The New Contemporaries programme reflects the RSA’s commitment to supporting and presenting the best contemporary work in Scotland. The RSA team works closely with exhibitors in an effort to develop lasting relationships in the lead up to the exhibition and beyond.

With considerable monetary prizes in addition to residency, studio and purchase awards, RSA New Contemporaries offers a ‘first exhibition’ opportunity for more than 50 early-career artists and architects annually.

Exhibition Convenor, Marion Smith RSA, said, “I am delighted that this RSA New Contemporaries exhibition will provide a unique platform for outstanding graduates from 2020, to present their fully developed work in physical form throughout the Academy’s magnificent galleries.

“This cohort of graduates have had a year longer to develop and deliberate over their presentations, but they have had to contend with the constant cloud of not knowing whether plans will go ahead that has beset us all.

“Diverse approaches to making work are abundant. The exhibition will feature film and animation, installation, large scale drawings and paintings, photography, sculpture and more. I hope your senses and emotions will be reinvigorated. There will be sublime contemplative works alongside those which literally stand out using saturated colour, light, sound, rhythm and humour in good measure.”

The 2022 RSA New Contemporaries takes place at the RSA Galleries, The Mound, Edinburgh, from 26 February to 3 April. Read more about the RSA New Contemporaries on the RSA website.


Grant Hill

Senior Public Affairs Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768