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.

McVeigh’s practice is concerned with identity, memory and the collective unconscious. She refers to the “archaeology of memory” as a central concept in her work, and the belief that energy, in accordance with particle physics, never dies. In this show she presents curated assemblages of archive material and objects, and (following on from her recent work Divine Rules at the Getty Villa CA) a selection of books from the 25,000 publications in the Mount Stuart library, together with her own open letter and texts addressed to the public reader and inscribed on brass plaques placed throughout the house.

A speech given by Augusta in 1934 to the North Bute Literary Society forms the basis for a sound installation She Was Known to You made in collaboration with actor Maureen Beattie. The tone of the recording, in the manner of writing, is quiet and reflective, and is sited in Augusta’s study. The various works encapsulate McVeigh’s process – a transformative dialogue between the context, the artist and the viewer – and her profound skills of observation.

Read our full press release here.

This project is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Visual Artists

You can view details of every exhibition we’ve hosted in our archive below from Kate Whiteford in 2001 to Christine Borland in 2018.

Artists Archive