On behalf of the Royal Scottish Academy, I am delighted to welcome you to the 195th Annual Exhibition.
It has been an enormously difficult year for us all but the RSA has kept going with the exhibition programme online, and when permitted, open for actual visits. Many interesting and informative events continue to take place on our social media channels and website. We had hoped against all hope that in 2021 a physical exhibition could be held again in the magnificent surroundings of the RSA galleries. Sadly, at the end of January, we had to take the difficult decision that due to the continuing restrictions, uncertainties and the safety of all involved, we had no choice but to yet again hold the exhibition online.
Unlike last year with the sudden March lockdown, the dedicated and creative RSA team have had longer to plan this eventuality and though we are all suffering from screen exhaustion everyone is now much more adept in how to make exhibitions, talks and events an even more rewarding experience.
Nothing can replace the pleasure of walking into a gallery and enjoying the juxtaposition, scale and texture of actual art. However, in the comfort of your own home you can at least examine the exhibits in much more detail.
Since the Academy was founded in 1826, the Annual Exhibition has been a yearly feature in the Scottish calendar giving the not so well known and young emerging artists and architects the opportunity to exhibit alongside the established Members of the Academy. The RSA plays a crucial role in encouraging artists and architects at various stages in their careers by giving out yearly close on £200,000 through awards, bursaries, residency schemes, purchase prizes and artwork sales.
The 2021 Annual Exhibition has attracted a record open submission of works from which the selection team had the task to select the final exhibits. This was a difficult undertaking as the standard and variety of entries were particularly high. There are many terrific items submitted, some very topical, reflecting the angst and isolation of this past year. We hope that you enjoy the exhibition and that it inspires you with a wish to be creative and a burning desire to own one of the pieces on show.
On behalf of the Academicians, Exhibitors and the Royal Scottish Academy team, I wish all our Patrons, Friends, Sponsors, supporters and art lovers viewing the site a safe passage through the next few months until the majority of us are all fully vaccinated.
Dr Joyce W. Cairns PRSA HRA HRHA HRWA HRBA RSW
President, The Royal Scottish Academy