Outset Scotland: Video Profile

The Skinny presents Outset Scotland, in association with Own Art

Video | 15 Jul 2014

Since its inauguration in 2003, the philanthropic organisation Outset Contemporary Art Fund has supported new art by bringing private funding from its patrons, partners and trustees to public art projects and museums. Outset boasts support from a diverse group of individuals, from beginners to experienced collectors, who all have equal and unique access to the foundation’s relationships within the international artistic community. Outset Scotland was set up in 2013 with the aim to support contemporary art in Scotland by enabling artists' exhibitions and education programmes. In the above video, Kirstie Skinner, Director of Outset Scotland, provides a comprehensive guide to the various projects to which Outset Scotland has dedicated recent support, including the Collective Gallery’s series of artists walks and the Common Guild-curated Scotland + Venice presentations at last year’s Biennale.

While maintaining that Outset Scotland’s main drive is to foster philanthropy, Skinner emphasises the importance of encouraging art collection in Scotland: “It’s crucial for artists in order to make a living here, for their galleries to thrive here, that there is a wider collector base than exists at the moment.” Skinner appreciates the importance of making art collection more accessible to more people, promoting a style of “shared collecting” which caters to that ideal. This model of shared collecting is embodied in The Collective, a group of friends and relatives who founded an art cooperative 12 years ago with the aim of buying and sharing higher value works of contemporary art. Bob Lee, founder of The Collective, asserts that “contemporary art shouldn’t be restricted to just wealthy people, it should be open to everyone.” In partnership with The Collective and Own Art, Outset Scotland aims to introduce Scotland to Own Art’s model of buying contemporary art, which allows people to spread the cost of an artwork over a 10 month interest-free period, thus enabling entry into collecting contemporary visual art in a uniquely accessible manner.

Skinner elaborates on the responsibilities and valuable consequences of collecting. "You're holding things in trust, for that artist and for the culture as it evolves, because that work is never static. The longer you have it, the more complex its significance is."