Visual Arts Programme

The Mount Stuart Visual Arts Programme aims to commission new work, to promote and facilitate interest in the contemporary visual arts and bring exhibitions of international significance to Argyll and Bute. The Programme was inaugurated 2001 and continues to work with artists on thought provoking installations throughout the house and grounds.

Steven Claydon: The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Introduced Species

3 JUNE – 29 OCTOBER 2017

In 2017 Steven Claydon presented a solo exhibition as part of our ongoing Contemporary Visual Arts Programme. The exhibition took place throughout the grounds and house; bringing new sensibilities to familiar locations as well as those less well known. In his layered response to Mount Stuart and Bute, Claydon has been drawing equivalences between the islands of the Pacific and the Scottish isles.

Mount Stuart has been working in co-operation with The Common Guild, Glasgow to bring Claydon’s work to Scotland; following his nomination for the inaugural Hepworth Prize in 2016. “The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups” runs at The Common Guild  through 9 July.

Steven Claydon said, “The wealth of material in the Mount Stuart archives, gardens and buildings forms a formidable arsenal of subject matter that is firmly rooted in Scottish history and politics, religious identity and eclectic architectural vernacular. For me, it is the sum accumulation of these often contradictory details that lend Mount Stuart its potency.”

Image: A Gathering of Vessels (Introduced Species), 2017

Connolly Clark Films have produced a short film about Steven’s work at Mount Stuart and at his parallel exhibition at The Common Guild exploring the themes and inspirations that went in to these works.  Click the button below to watch.


As a companion to our exhibition and to the exhibition “The Archipelago of Contented Peoples: Endurance Groups”  at the Common Guild earlier this year we have published a short book exploring Steven’s processes and inspirations. You can purchase a copy of the book below.


Visual Artists

Since 2001 Mount Stuart Trust has invited contemporary artists to create and exhibit work in response to Mount Stuart and Bute.

Artists have included; Kate Whiteford, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Christine Borland, Victoria Clare Bernie, Langlands & Bell, Mischa Haller, Anya Gallaccio, Nathan Coley, Sarah Staton, Moyna Flannigan, Nina Danino, Mark Neville, Lee Mingwei, Lucy Skaer, Kate Davis and Lorna Macintyre.

Solo and group exhibitions have involved site specific installations, land art, photography, video, film, sculpture and painting.

Responding to the historic collection, grounds and house, the Contemporary Visual Arts Programme has brought new perspectives and added vibrancy to Mount Stuart, opening dialogue with new audiences and regular visitors alike.