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Showcasing projects from Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund 2023



Published: 07 Dec 2023

Creative Scotland and Engage Scotland are delighted to showcase the projects of the 11 recipients of the Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund 2023.

Kathryn Hanna at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, images courtesy of the artist.

The fund provided support to freelancers working in the visual arts in Scotland to connect with peers across the UK. They cover a range of themes through their projects as recipients travelled to locations from Orkney, across Scotland and into West Sussex, via stately homes and Scottish bogs.

The 2023 recipients were:

  • Katherine Fay Allan
  • Amy Beeston
  • Harvey Dimond
  • Maya Rose Edwards
  • Kathryn Hanna
  • Rebecca Livesey-Wright
  • Lauren McLaughlin
  • Siobhan McLaughlin
  • Rachel McBrinn
  • Alison Scott
  • Katherine Murphy
  • Ruth Mutch

Some highlights include:

Amy Beeston travelled from Orkney to develop their experimental arts practice and attended Sonica Surge in Glasgow.

Harvey Diamond visited the Borthwick Institute, University of York, undertook research and filmmaking at Harewood House near Leeds, and attended the Liverpool Biennale in September 2023.

Kathryn Hanna was supported to develop new metalworking skills at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops which led to new work for ‘Life Lines’ a group exhibition at Fife Contemporary in September 2023.

Lauren McLaughlin travelled to London in August to visit organisations exploring art and care, including Finding Family at the Foundling Museum, Reflections for Nowat the Barbican Centre, MILK at the Welcome Collection, the Feminist Library and Motherhouse Studios.

Rachel McBrinn and Alison Scott conducted archival research at the National Library of Scotland, to identify films which resonated with the themes of their work ‘Congenial Soils and Favourable Situations’ resulting in films including ‘A Tree is Planted’ (1957) being screened at a public event in Oban.

Ruth Mutch travelled to London in person to attend the Pathways mentoring programme, noting that: “Without the assistance of the Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Award, I would not have been able to make this trip and would have missed out on the chance to begin to develop relationships with my fellow mentees.”

The Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Award, supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, will launch again in the Spring of 2024 and potential applicants can register their interest in receiving the information here:

Quote from Sarah Robinson Frood, Engage Scotland Coordinator: “We’re inspired by the variety and depth of discovery afforded by the Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary to artists in Scotland and continue to be amazed by the experiences that the recipients undertake, we see this as a highly valuable award for Visual Art practitioners in Scotland.”  

Kirsteen Macdonald, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland said: “The breadth of research covered by award recipients is a reflection of the dynamic, outward looking nature of visual arts practice in Scotland. We are delighted to see the creative impact that these new connections have brought, with further ripple effects into the future.”

Express your interest for the next round of the fund in 2024.


About the Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund

Creative Scotland and Engage Scotland established this bursary fund to honour Stephen Palmer, a highly regarded and deeply respected Officer and Visual Arts specialist who devoted much of his career to the work of Creative Scotland and its predecessor body, The Scottish Arts Council.

Established following his death in 2021, this annual award reflects Stephen’s deep belief in the value of travel to broaden horizons, to build new connections and to inform and inspire the development of new work.

The bursary is intended to support the creative and professional development of individuals working in the visual arts sector in Scotland. Recipients are encouraged to work with respect for the environment and will undertake sustainable travel within Scotland and the rest of the UK.  We are especially interested in helping people who may have had limited opportunity to travel for work purposes to date.

The bursary has been developed by Creative Scotland in partnership with Engage Scotland, the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education, representing arts educators, organisations, freelancers and artists from across the country. The Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

About Engage

Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for visual arts engagement and participation. We support arts educators, organisations, and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts. Engage works across five priority areas: training the workforce, diversifying the workforce, increasing the profile and visibility of members’ practice, providing opportunities for members to debate and shape practice, and leading sector advocacy. Engage has 700+ members in the UK and abroad in c.270 organisations.

Engage is an Arts Council England Sector National Portfolio Organisation and receives funding for its programmes in Scotland from Creative Scotland and for the programme in Wales from the Arts Council of Wales. Funding has also been received from trusts and foundations, individuals, and the corporate sector.

Engage Scotland programmes are delivered by programme coordinators and supported by voluntary development groups.

You can find more information about Engage on our website or social channels Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at

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