Visual Arts Programme
Created in 2001, the Mount Stuart Contemporary Visual Arts Programme presents work by significant Scottish and international artists. The programme invites contemporary artists to bring new perspectives to the extraordinary Neo-Gothic mansion, its collections and location. Complementing each exhibition is a programme of events, publications and educational activities.
Commissioned artists have included; Kate Whiteford, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Christine Borland, Langlands & Bell, Anya Gallaccio, Nathan Coley, Lee Mingwei, Lucy Skaer, Kate Davis, Lorna Macintyre, Steven Claydon.
We extend our reach beyond Bute through relationships with writers and organisations including; The Common Guild, The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, GENERATION and The Modern Institute.
Through commissioning artists Mount Stuart Trust aims to add value and vibrancy to the historical context of Mount Stuart and reinvigorate dialogue and enquiry.
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Whitney McVeigh: What is Worthwhile Doing in this World
16 March – 26 April 2019
Mount Stuart Trust is delighted to announce a solo exhibition by Whitney McVeigh this spring as part of its expanded Contemporary Visual Arts Programme.
McVeigh reaches into the Bute Archive, traditionally the realm of a patriarchal narrative, and focuses on intimate traces of the history of women in the house, in particular Gwendolen Crichton Stuart, 3rd Marchioness of Bute (1854-1932) and Augusta Crichton Stuart DBE, 4th Marchioness of Bute (1880-1947). The exhibition is an opportunity to bring the archive into the public space, an encounter that alludes to layers of time and celebrates our universality.
Read our full press release here.
This projects is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
Emerging Artist Residency
Mount Stuart Trust is delighted to announce Malcolm Mackenzie as the successful candidate for this new residency. In creating an opportunity for emerging artists, Mount Stuart is expanding its ongoing Contemporary Visual Arts Programme to support an artist at an early stage in their career whose practice is rooted in social engagement. The residency is supported by Creative Scotland.
Malcolm Mackenzie was born in Broadford on the Isle of Skye and grew up in Plockton, Wester Ross, where he still lives. He graduated from Glasgow School of Art this year with BA Hons First Class in Sculpture & Environmental Art.
Mackenzie is interested in place, community and understanding the changing nature of Scotland’s rural areas. He said, “Personal contradictions drive my practice and explore the challenges faced by these fragile areas when considering both the need to protect them as places for solitude and wilderness, and a real and pressing need to develop and consider new opportunities beyond tourism, enabling rural communities to compete and survive in an increasingly populated, connected and globalised world.”
On Bute he proposes to start the residency by making himself available to the island community; offering his labour in exchange for sharing favourite walks and special places that islanders cherish. This introduction will lead to a mapping of stories, memories, walks and areas of interest. He adds, “The residency programme takes place at a time of year, when the tourists have gone home and work on the land has slowed down – this is important as it allows me to get to the core ‘community’ rather than the visitors’ view.”
Explore some highlights from Malcolm’s project so far in the gallery below.
Our guide Steph took Malcolm on a tour of some of her favourite places on our island – including Ettrick Bay where Malcolm took this stunning photo.
Malcolm has visited the primary schools on the island to work with the pupils on the idea of journeys and experiences. They began by looking at and exploring some of the features on an old nautical chart of the Isle of Bute and other Scottish Islands.
Using music and the sounds off wind and waves, the students closed their eyes & went on a guided journey in their imagination, leaving the Isle of Bute as the captain of their own ship. They sailed back in time and eventually arrived at their very own island.
The kids drew charts of their islands and were asked to describe to each other what their island was like.
Malcolm’s I Just Called to Say Isle Love Bute phone booth will be popping up across our island where visitors are invited to record a message to Bute.
If you can’t make it to the booth you can call 01700598404 to leave your message!
You can view details of every exhibition we’ve hosted in our archive below from Kate Whiteford in 2001 to Christine Borland in 2018.
Steven Claydon, ‘Omphalos’, 2017
Mark Neville, ‘Blue Tit in Mount Stuart Workshop’, 2008
Simon Bill, ‘this is trichromacy’ & ‘you naughty man!’, part of Modernism Has Two Faces, 2011
Sarah Staton, ‘In situ ex situ’, 2007
Lee Mingwei, ‘Trilogy of Sounds’, 2010
Christine Borland, ‘An hospital: the velocity of drops’, 2003