Artists connect and activate in collections across Scotland

Throughout the pandemic SCAN has been working with museums and galleries across Scotland to explore how working with contemporary artists in their collections can make a difference. Our case study short films and resources explore how contemporary art can inspire communities, generate new tools, allow hidden histories to surface, and imagine a better future.

At the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, artist Rabiya Choudhry’s neon work Dad created a beacon of light in the window when the gallery was closed. At the Hunterian Art Gallery, a Charles Rennie Mackintosh drawing of a tobacco flower, inspired artist Jimmy Robert to explore his Caribbean heritage, creating new stories from, and with, the gallery’s collection. At Glasgow Women’s Library, artist Ingrid Pollard brought hidden histories into focus through working with their archives and at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh working with artists and scientists at Climate House helps experts and audiences imagine a more sustainable future.

Our Curatorial Leadership in Collections project (CLiC) supports a network of contemporary art curators from collections across Scotland and shares learning with the wider museums sector. The CLiC Connect and Activate Programme in 2020-2021 develops best practice working with contemporary artists and supports a new generation of leaders to think about how collections can be both resilient and relevant in challenging times.

Moira Jeffrey SCAN director said, “Our CLiC project works with museum curators and leaders in a wide range of settings from universities and scientific collections to historic galleries and libraries and archives. In these diverse contexts contemporary artists bring new perspectives and unique skills to bear on our history, culture and the pleasures and challenges of our current lives. You can find out more from our four beautiful films and written resources, showcasing examples of the brilliant work undertaken during the challenge of the pandemic.”

Read and watch our case studies here