Art Events and Opportunities in Scotland: May 2019

May brings new exhibitions, events and the beginning of a five-month reading group in Market Gallery. There's also a top pick of the best opportunities for residencies and open calls with deadlines coming up soon

Article by Adam Bemakhlouf | 30 Apr 2019
  • Essential Body at 16 Nicholson Street

If you’ve been struggling to muster together some plans to get out in the sunshine, here are some free events to add to your calendar! Next time the sun’s winking through the blinds, head along to some of the exhibitions that are on throughout Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow throughout this month. For anyone with even more of a thirst for culture-cum-adventure, check out the guide to Scotland’s outlying arts spaces that’s included in this month’s Adventure supplement.

Exhibitions in Edinburgh and Glasgow

The CCA hosts two exhibitions this month. One from Shadi Habib Allah read our interview with Allah here. His work approaches the topic of welfare in the USA, unsettling the usual ways of discussing the issue with an investigation into a specific 'alternative economy' in Miami. Free Rein runs until 2 Jun. Alongside Allah, there’s Emilia Beatriz’ show, declarations of soil and honey (4 May - 30 Jun). Within this, Beatriz draws together oral histories of Scotland and Puerto Rico from beekeepers, subsistence farmers and herbal medicine practitioners, in places affected by military occupation, land struggle and environmental toxicity.

Environmentalism is the topic of interest in 16 Nicholson Street’s new exhibition and events programme for May, titled Essential Body. In their respective contributions to Essential Body, the artists consider their surroundings from crosscutting personal, theoretical, queer and political stances. Expanding on some of these themes, talks take place with the project mentors filmmaker Cameron McKay (2 May) and artist Hanna Tuuliki (10 May), a new publication will be launched on 17 May, then the mentors and artists will be in conversation on 19 May.

Across the artist-run spaces, there are also several projects taking place and starting through the month. In Glasgow, Market Gallery begin their five-month reading group On My Way Home with a prologue on Saturday 4 May, which will then take place on the first Saturday afternoon of each month. Then, on 10 May, Transmission open a new group show around the theme of refuge. The next day in Edinburgh, Rhubaba host artist Gordon Douglas for Introduction to Performance Volume 2, when participants will discuss what is 'good performance' with reference to 120 examples Douglas provides (Sat 11 & Sun 12 May). Booking is strongly advised. In Dundee, Generator open their graduate show They Had 4 Years from 25 May including their selection of six graduates from the 2018 degree shows.


The first of this month’s opportunities comes from Cove Park’s fully funded Early Career Residencies for 2019. For a period of three weeks, four artists will each be given private accommodation, a studio/workspace, and a fee of £1,200. The deadline is Monday 3 June (midnight), and more information is available from the website.

For artists with an interest in collaborating with filmmakers (and vice versa), the BBC welcomes proposals from artists of all backgrounds to address the brief Collaborative Short Films for BBC Scotland. They encourage applicants to work across film and another discipline, for example a filmmaker and a dancer. The level of support is not published, but instead a rough budget from each application is requested. Deadline: 27 May.

The Royal Scottish Academy of Artists also offers £5,000 for artists working in a lens-based media in Scotland, as well as the opportunity to show the work in the RSA in Edinburgh and for it to be acquired into its Permanent Collections. Deadline: 30 June.

May is also the last month to apply to be included in Glasgow International 2020’s supported Across the City Programme. GI is one of the best known and respected biennial arts festivals in the UK, and they offer awards of between £1,500 and 10,000. Deadline: 31 May.