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Art in Action Campaign goes to Parliament!

On Tuesday 1st October 2019, we held successful a Parliamentary reception for our summer long Art in Action campaign.

To start the day off, The Travelling Gallery took contemporary art to the steps of Parliament and welcomed over 100 people aboard the bus including 4 MSP’s who took time out from their parliamentary schedule to see Day of Access, an exhibition by Alec Finlay.

The Travelling Gallery has been touring Day of Access across Scotland, a campaign which encourages estates to open their land to allow access for people affected by disability.

Inside the Parliament, we welcomed over 60 guests, made up of SCAN members, artists, galleries, arts organisations and MSP’s.

Opening speeches championing the key messages and advocacy points behind the campaign came from event host Dr Claire Baker MSP, Graeme Dey MSP and SCAN Director Claire Harris.

Artist Jacqueline Donachie introduced the Advice Bar that was present on the night – young people from the Fruitmarket Gallery Fresh Fruit programme were offering free advice alongside a refreshment on the night.

Artist Ruth Ewan also delivered a speech about the background to her print ‘A Richer Harvest (Mary)’ which was developed at Dundee Contemporary Arts printmaking workshop and issued to all 129 MSP’s. The print features a stanza from Mary Brooksbank’s poem Labor Omnia Vicit and celebrates the idea of an artist as an agent of change. Sandra de Rycker from DCA was present to tell guests more about the print commission and the work that the DCA print workshop does.

Singer songwriter Karine Polwart gave a beautiful rendition of Mary Brooksbanks’ Jute Mill Song – the words of which are inscribed into the Canongate wall of the parliament and is the only quote out of all 26 placed there from a woman.

Guests were also given the chance to find out more about Artlink – Edinburgh and Lothians who were one of our individual case studies. Their involvement in the camapign showcased how art can change assumptions of ability and think about how we can care for each other in a more creative way.

Art in Action is not over. Over the summer the campaign has facilited some amazing conversations and connections between our sector and elected members and this must continue. SCAN will continue to challenge decision-makers to invest in art – to maximise its potential to build that innovative, tolerant and vibrant nation we all aspire to.

Watch this space!

In the meantime, you can read all about our campaign, its aims and what happened over the summer using the link below


Art in Action Campaign Blog

Date: 3 October 2019

Art in Action Campaign goes to Parliament!