City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Young Scottish Talent Continued to Flourish Throughout 2008

By Editor - Posted on 06 February 2009


to the Dewar Arts Awards another aspiring array of young Scottish
talent will continue to flourish in their chosen fields. The awards
cover a wide range of the arts including film makers, visual artists,
dancers, actors, photographers, textile designers, writers, composers,
conductors and contemporary jewelers.

Over the past six years, the trustees of the Dewar Arts Awards have dispersed almost £2million pounds to help young people in Scotland with outstanding talent but lack the money to turn their potential into reality. The awards are open to anyone living in Scotland under 30, and are given throughout the calendar year.

Lynsey Murdoch (Glasgow) was granted an award to write and produce a low budget film Eat Me; Sophie Neil (St Andrews) to pursue a Masters in Production Design for Screen at NFTVS, Beaconsfield; Blair Mowat (Edinburgh) to pursue a Masters in composition for film and TV; James Wood (Stonehaven) to pursue an MA in 3D computer animation at Bournemouth University and Eoghainn Maclean (Glasgow) to study digital film making at SAE Institute Glasgow.

Music related awards have gone to Bede Williams to pursue a Masters in Orchestral Conducting at RSAMD; Patricia Orr to study at the National Opera Studio; Maryam Sherhan to pursue a post graduate diploma in Advanced Accompaniment at RSAMD; David Gray to study for a BMus (Performance) RAM London; Fiona Scott towards the final year at RSAMD Opera School; David Smith (Burntisland) to study at Royal College of Music, London and Shian Blackwood (Dunscore) to attend a harp-making course and build a 33-stringed acoustic harp. Extensions awards have gone to Elysia Leech studying on the RSAMD Post Graduate Opera Course; Linsey McDonald (Leven) studying for a Diploma In Music (trumpet) at Berklee College of Music, Boston; Alan Benzie (Motherwell) studying jazz piano at Berklee College of Music, Boston; Maria Kozlova (Glasgow) studying on the RSAMD Opera Course; Daniel Short (Glasgow) pursuing a Masters in Performance/Jazz Guitar at Royal Academy of Music; Laura Kelly (Glasgow) pursuing post graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music; Caroline Sharp (Banff) studying violin performance at the Royal Academy of Music and Barbara Misiewicz (Glasgow/Poland) completing a first degree in music (cello) at RSAMD.

From Edinburgh, visual arts awards have gone to Malcy Duff to develop his work as a cartoonist; Morag Keil to pursue an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art; Eve Smith to pursue an MA in Curating Contemporary Art; Caroline Walker (Glasgow) to pursue a Masters in painting RCA, London; Sara Barker (Glasgow) to create a new body of visual art for exhibitions and Elaine Woo (Glasgow) to participate in a Parial Fellowship Artist Residency in Vermont.

For dance, an award has gone to Shaun McLaughlin (Glasgow) to study at Elmhurst School of Dance (Birmingham) and Dominique Collins (Dumbarton) to study at Laines Theatre Arts School.  Extension awards have gone to Richard Hackett (Bishopton) and Mia Valenti (Wemyss Bay) to study at Central School of Ballet, London; to Craig Creelman (Glasgow) and Kevin Young (Johnston) to study at the London Studio Centre and to Shaun Kelly (Perth) to study at the English National Ballet School.

In the world of theatre and drama, awards have been given to Fingal McKiernan (Anstruther) for a postgraduate course in acting at the Drama Studio; Martin O'Connor (Glasgow) to restage his production of Reality at the Tron Theatre; Daljinder Singh (Glasgow) to develop The Severed Head of Comrade Bukhan for performances at The Arches and The Traverse; Victoria Armstrong (Glasgow) for a three month exchange programme with Cal Arts, Los Angeles and Helen Cuinn (Dunfermline) towards the staging of The Hair on my Head is Dead.  Extension awards have gone to Gayle Rankin (Kilmarnock) studying drama at Juilliard School, New York; James McArdle (Glasgow) studying drama at RADA and Jennifer McVey (Gourock) pursuing an acting degree at the New School of Drama, New York.

An extension award was made to Jenni Fagan (Glasgow) studying Creative Writing at Norwich University - then to transfer to Greenwich University.

Awards for skills in art and design have been made to: Linsay Croall to attend a printmaking course at Tamarind Institute, USA; Lynne MacLachlan (Paisley) to pursue an MA in metalwork and jewelry at RCA, London and Katherine Brown (Edinburgh) for a three month internship with Bless of Berlin.  Extension awards have gone to Jonathan Boyd (Glasgow) pursuing a Masters in Jewelry and Keith Gray (Aberdeen) pursuing a Masters in Printed Textiles, both at RCA, London.

In 2008, exceptionally
talented young people have been helped to purchase high quality
instruments through the Daughter of Dewar Awards, and from Glasgow
support has gone to: Kate McDermott for a bass clarinet; Liam Harley for a set of Uilleann pipes; Mharhi Baird to buy a 6-keyed wooden flute; Jonathan Cheyne for Fred Morrison reelpipes; Fraser Russell for a CC Tuba; Ryan Sullivan for a bassoon; Jennifer McMonagle for a Starfish harp; June Naylor for a Mark Norris professional harp, and from Edinburgh Lisa Norman for a contemporary copy of a baroque horn, Sean Shibe for a classical guitar and Scott Galbraith to buy a violin. Sarah Markey (Coatbridge) to buy a 6-keyed flute in D, Rachel Watson (Mid Calder) for a tenor saxophone; Stephanie Irvine (Gartmore) for a clàrsach; Calum Tonner (Monifieth) for a trumpet; Daniel Rainey (Dumbarton) to buy a violin and  Rachel Steele (Perth) and Laura Sergeant (Larbert) each to buy a cello.  As
a result of the financial downturn it is announced, with regret, that
the funding to purchase instruments has been suspended for the time

Notes to Editors

The rules of the Dewar Arts Awards are simple. The candidates have to be living or domiciled in Scotland
and aged under 30, able to demonstrate outstanding ability in any art
form and without the financial means fully to realise their potential.
Colleagues, tutors or someone with knowledge of their work can nominate
anyone.  Candidates may also be required to have previous work professionally assessed.

trustees have at their disposal the income from a trust fund set up by
the Scottish Executive in memory of Donald Dewar, the first First
Minister of Scotland. Applications are accepted all year round
recognising that opportunities do not always fall conveniently into the
financial calendar year. This rolling format also means there are no
deadlines to be met.

are assessed by some of the most respected names in the arts. Among the
trustees, chaired by journalist and broadcaster Ruth Wishart, are
Catherine Lockerbie (Director of the Edinburgh International Book
Festival), Faith Liddell (Director of Festivals Edinburgh), Sir Brian
McMaster (retired Director Edinburgh International Festival), Lesley Thomson
(Director Liddell Thomson Consultancy) chair of The Arches and Jean
Urquhart, The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool, Sheena Wellington and Richard Chester (former director of the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.)

Patrons of the Awards include Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Giles Havergal, Tommy Smith and Callum Innes.

Further details of the awards can be found at or by emailing