Artist-run galleries and collective studio spaces in Scotland

Artist-run galleries and collective studio spaces in Scotland


Including Glue Factory, Superclub, Embassy and WASPS Studios

David Pollock rounds up some of Scotland’s finest artist-run galleries and collective studio spaces.

Scotland’s major cities each enjoy a healthy do-it-yourself arts scene, with many collectively run spaces holding exhibitions and providing working studio environments. Among the current key spaces in that hotbed of Turner-prize winning talent, Glasgow, are the Glue Factory, an industrial space that runs exhibitions and events and hosts print and recording studios; the Pipe Factory, a new studio space that also produces publications; and SWG3, an exhibition and performance-based warehouse venue that sponsors four graduates per year with studio space. Ironbbratz is also a popular studio provider.

Some of the more well-known grassroots galleries in the city, meanwhile, include the committee-run Transmission, the Duchy and the Telfer, while the Mutual is an artists’ collective responsible for a number of creative ‘interventions’ during the 2012 edition of the Glasgow International biennial. Many similar organisations abound in Edinburgh, particularly amid the lower-rent industrial areas of Leith, including studio galleries Superclub and Rhubaba, and DIY galleries the Old Ambulance Depot and Whitespace.

Elsewhere in the city, the Embassy is an annually-renewed collective of Edinburgh College of Art’s most promising graduates that also stages regular exhibitions, and the Collective Gallery is a long-established and centrally located gallery with a particular interest in supporting new visual artists. The Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and Scottish Sculpture Workshop ( near Huntly all offer exhibitions, studio space and technical support.

As the third of Scotland’s cities with a major art school, Dundee is served by long-running exhibition and project space Generator Projects and recently established collective Tin Roof, while similar organisations further north include Aberdeen collective Limousine Bull and Inverness arts space IG:LU. Finally, an indispensable country-wide resource is WASPS Studios, which offers artists working spaces in the major cities and in locations as diverse as Kirkcudbright and Nairn.