MSPs to support Scotland’s vital art scene as visits to galleries, studios and art organisations begin as part of the Art In Action campaign
Sarah Boyack MSP visited Collective, Edinburgh this morning as part of the Art In Action campaign
marking the first of a series of visits by MSPs to see first hand the value and importance of art in
Scottish life. Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) renewed their annual awareness campaign
as artists galleries, and visual art organisations await details of how cultural funding pledged last
week by the Scottish Government will be distributed.
Speaking ahead of the visit SCAN Director Clare Harris said: “SCAN welcomes the recent
announcement from the Government regarding new funding for the culture sector, including for both
artists and visual art organisations, but we know that the road to recovery will be long and complex.”
“During the isolating months of lockdown, art has been a lifeline for many, young and old. It is
important that as Parliament and MSPs look to the future recovery of the country that they are able
to place art amongst their high priorities for our communities, our economies and our wider
On the visit, Sarah will see Collective’s recently reopened site and meet with Kate Gray, Collective’s
Director, and her team. Sarah will see an exhibition by Julijonas Urbonas, a An Award-winning
Lithuanian artist, designer, researcher and engineer, who received the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica in 2010.
She will also tour the outdoor spaces to see permanent sculptures by Scottish artist Tessa Lynch and
discuss upcoming plans for Not Going Back to Normal, a resource for Scottish disabled artists in a
post pandemic world. The pair will also discuss Collective’s Satellite Programme, supporting Scottish
emerging talent to develop and exhibit new commissions.
Collective’s Director Kate Gray said; “Collective brings people together to look at, think about and
produce contemporary art in a new kind of city observatory at the heart of Scotland’s capital. From
works by leading artists and online programmes and events reaching those across the globe, to
programmes engaging the local community and Scotland-based artists at the beginning of their
careers, we urge the government and funders to continue to support our work and that of our peers
in the visual arts sector during these difficult times.”
Sarah Boyack MSP for Lothian said; “It was great to hear about the work of artists during the
pandemic and their exciting plans for the future. Art is part of who we are and we need the hope
and inspiration that comes from art more than ever.
“For artists however, being able to survive economic uncertainty and retain employment underscores
the importance of supporting those who work in culture, ensuring equality and fair work, with
publicly-funded organisations paying union rates and supporting the living wage.”
Collective, which is in Boyack’s constituency, is the first in a series of visits across Scotland which
encourage MSPs to learn more about the role art is playing in supporting wellbeing, benefiting
communities and contributing to a creative and innovative future for Scotland.
In the medium term, SCAN urge a doubling of the current cultural budget and providing a five-year
stabilisation deal for the cultural sector, so that it is able to contribute fully to the national recovery
and build a cultural workforce based on the principles of equality and fair work, enabling publiclyfunded
organisations to pay union rates and support the living wage.
Art in Action is a campaign being run by Scottish Contemporary Art Network to champion the
valuable role visual art plays within communities across Scotland – and to call for stronger
recognition of this value when it comes to decision-making.