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Charlene Scott awarded The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation New Contemporaries Award

By Jen McLaren, 19.04.2024
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Looking For Piero, 2024, paper and natural plant pigment on paper, image courtesy of the artist

The Fleming Collection has a track record of supporting emerging artists through bursaries run in conjunction with the Royal Scottish Academy’s New Contemporaries exhibition for the best of Scotland's recent art school graduates.

Now in its fifteenth year, the RSA’s exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see some of the most promising talent in Scotland in one single, large-scale exhibition in the heart of Edinburgh. 
Showcasing 104 graduates selected from the 2022 and 2023 degree shows, it features almost double the number of artists it did last year. It is an excellent overview of the current outlook of emerging Scottish art and architecture.

Looking For Piero- Cone, 2024, paper and natural plant pigment on paper, image courtesy of the artist

The £1,500 Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation New Contemporaries Award is a prize awarded to a painter, draughtsperson or sculptor at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition to support their continued practice. 

Theo Albano, Associate Director of The Fleming Collection said: “As soon as we saw Charlene’s work, we were struck by the unity and strength of her vision. Her subtle and quiet works stood out immediately and we were just so impressed with the thoughtfulness behind the pieces.”

Born in Edinburgh, Charlene Scott studied at Edinburgh College of Art, where she received the James Cumming Award for Draughtsmanship for her final year work. Scott is also a recipient of the RSA John Kinross Scholarship, a selected finalist for the VAS Graduate Award and winner of the 2023 Astaire Art Prize. She lives and works in East Lothian.

Looking For Piero- Flora,2024, paper and natural plant pigment on paper, image courtesy of the artist

Scott works primarily with material, research and the extraction of botanical pigments to create works on paper and cloth. “Cotton paper is a textile in a way, I’m fascinated by the way that paper can become a textile and vice versa” Scott continues “Additionally, I was trained as a holistic therapist so was always interested in the healing properties a well as the intrinsic and aesthetic qualities of plants and botanicals.”

Also having trained in book making, Scott utilizes many ancient techniques originally used by book makers for centuries Scott elaborates: " Im fascinated by the unique, non-homogenous colors created by natural dyes, some of these plants you plant every year, and some take years to mature. One develops an interesting relationship with the plants through their transformation into colour."

‘Looking for Piero’ is a series of work influenced by Scott's time spent in Italy on scholarship. The work is a response to the stillness and harmony she felt upon coming face to face with the many frescoes she experienced there; distilled colour and structure being Scott's contemporary exploration of this experience of looking.

Looking For Piero- Star, 2024, paper and natural plant pigment on paper, image courtesy of the artist

Scott's creative practice is concerned with parallels she finds between minimalism and the principles of ecology; intimate observation, distillation and attention to nuance.
These qualities are essential in her practice, where she works with botanical colour and repetition through line, folds and pattern in order to explore quietude. Her works serve as a trace of her creative process which, at times, may evolve quietly through experimentation or otherwise distilled from a particular experience or sense of place.

Scott, who went to Art School in her late 40s, says "I realized a dream of mine, and never wanted to regret not having tried."

The RSA New Contemporaries exhibition runs from March 30 – April 24 at the Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound, Edinburgh. Entry £8/£5 concession (Free for RSA Friends) and free on Mondays.

Instagram: @charlenescottart