The art world has often been accused of being London centric when thinking of the U.K. and despite the rise of cutting edge and influential museums, galleries and arts centres based outside of London this, for the most part, remains the case.
With places like Wysing Arts Centre, The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and Turner Contemporary in Margate, not to mention Tate's Liverpool and St. Ives, focus is beginning to spread more evenly.
In the meantime the Fleming Collection alongside the Royal Scottish Academy are bringing New Scottish Artists down to London, giving these artists a London presence and added exposure. Also, as part of the exhibition the first ever Fleming-Wyfold Bursary was awarded.
I spoke to Colin Greenslade, programme director at the RSA, earlier in the year about the bursary, the upcoming exhibition and the plans they had for the future of the Fleming-Wyfold Bursary. I asked him how the bursary came to be, "The new Fleming-Wyfold Bursary and partnership with the RSA is an effective and very tangible way that the Fleming-Wyfold Foundation (FWF) can directly help and support the best of emerging Scottish visual arts. The leap from school to established career is obviously a challenging moment for artists. This collaboration was viewed as a way for the Foundation to build on the legacy of the Fleming Collection, the finest collection of Scottish art in private hands, by giving artists a new opportunity for significant support and guidance at this pivotal moment in their career."
New Scottish Artists opened at The Fleming Collection on 25th March showcasing a selection Scottish creative talent and talent nurtured at the Scottish schools. The show is also in conjunction with the awarding of the generous Fleming-Wyfold Bursary.
The first bursary of £14,000 plus an additional £4000 towards project production costs, was awarded to the Dundee based Brownlee Brothers. Their work is politicized, very contemporary and highly conceptual which strikes me as an interesting precedent.
The benefits to any emerging artist showing work in London are huge. The Fleming-Wyfold Bursary and partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy, according to Greenslade, is "committed to the role of encouraging the study and development of Scottish art."
The Fleming Collection's London home, in the affluent centre of London, will give all these emerging artists great exposure whilst positioning them among some of the biggest galleries in the world. As added by Colin Greenslade, "The leap from school to established career is obviously a challenging moment for artists. This collaboration was viewed as a way for the Foundation to build on the legacy of the Fleming Collection, the finest collection of Scottish art in private hands, by giving artists a new opportunity for significant support and guidance at this pivotal moment in their career."
The exhibition features a selection of work from the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition in Edinburgh, including the winners of the bursary, so this is a real chance to see what is coming out of Scotland in terms of contemporary art and getting an out of London perspective without leaving the city.
New Scottish Artists, 25 March- 31 May 2014, The Fleming Collection, 13 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8DU