Pittenweem Arts Festival

Bursary Award

2019 Bursary Award Winner

My work is often subtle, delicate and ambiguous but sometimes it can be bold, graphic and colourful. It usually takes the form of a print or a book (or a printed book). There is often text whether that is a title, a narrative, or just words.

A preoccupation for all things nautical has led to projects covering subjects including ocean currents, flashing patterns of lighthouses and Scottish fishing folklore. I try to find a narrative where there doesn’t always appear to be one. 

I am interested in the natural environment for its potentially dramatic and changeable nature. Also, with the interactions of humankind with the natural. 

Often research and location based, my work is made up of a combination of photography, printmaking and collage: creating minimal compositions, sometimes with a hint of humour.


This page from my book Lost at Sea was inspired by an incident in 1992 when 28,000 plastic ducks fell off a cargo ship somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Their subsequent movements were used by oceanographers to learn more about the world's ocean currents. The book is also a response to the global plastic waste crisis. I created a narrative about ducks and where they ended up. The book was risograph printed on recycled paper in three colours.

 A page from my book Science gives way to Superstition on the High Seas; this book was conceived after a research trip to the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther where I gleaned information about Scottish fishing folklore. I compiled some of my findings into this small zine/publication. The zine was printed using eco-friendly risograph in two colours on recycled paper.

minimal compositions, 

sometimes with a hint

 of humour.

Past Award Winners

The festival has thousands of visitors and the chance to talk about my work with so many people has given me more confidence and clarity about what I am trying to achieve. Winning the award was a turning point in my career and I cannot recommend enough applying for this opportunity.

Nicola Wiltshire 2017 Bursary Award

Nicola’s comment sums up the success of our Bursary Award. This will be its twelfth year and we will be continuing to offer the advantages of a the award, avenue and associated costs: the value of  the Bursary is about £1000.  The award allows a beginning artist to exhibit to an audience far in excess of the number who would visit an art gallery exhibition.

As we encourage the winner to be present during the Festival the award-winner also has the opportunity to meet buyers and establish contacts. 

Consolidating our belief in the value of a Bursary Award which allows the artist to exhibit at the Pittenweem Arts Festival, we will continue with the Award scheme in future years.

Sophia Pauley 2018

Jill Macleod 2016 

Julia Cowie 2015 

Thomas Cameron 2014 

Here’s a selection from work they exhibited 

Sophia Pauley: Kantrida Blocks

Nicola Wiltshire: Sanctuary

Jill Macleod: Chalmers Lighthouse 

Julia Cowie : Vessel

Thomas Cameron: Portrait with Bookcase 

The Royal Burgh of Pittenweem Arts Festival

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