Announcing the Recipients of the Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund 2023

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

The fund provides support to freelancers working in the visual arts in Scotland to connect with peers across the UK.  The projects will take place between now and the end of 2023.

The 2023 Fund will take artists and curators from across Scotland up to Orkney, and down to West Sussex, via stately homes and Scottish bogs. The recipients are:

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 and Ruth Mutch.

We received over 70 applications demonstrating the diversity and high quality of Scotland’s visual arts sector. Each of the selected recipients has demonstrated a clear ambition to explore new ideas and connections, and these awards will significantly inform and enrich their future work in the sector.


More details of recipients and their projects:

Katherine Fay Allan plans to travel to Wakehurst: Kew Gardens in West Sussex, to learn more about their ongoing research in biodiversity and conservation. As an interdisciplinary artist that finds inspiration within the ephemeral activity of nature, this is an opportunity to connect with researchers and grow future collaborative work.

Amy Beeston is looking forward to a concentrated burst of sound art events at SONICA SURGE in Glasgow this autumn. She hopes this immersion in innovative audiovisual art and experimentation will help her find strategies for melding her own sound art and visual art practices together with more coherence in the future.

Harvey Dimond will travel to both the Borthwick Institute at the University of York and Harewood House near Leeds. He will undertake research into the Harewood-Lascelles family papers, which relate to his Barbadian family’s ancestry, as well research into the Institute’s Southern African collections. This will allow him to further develop his practice’s focus on ancestry, migration and ecologies in the global south.

A collaborative tour between participatory artists Maya Rose Edwards and Seamus Killick to connect with Scottish swamps, bogs, and marshes. A research tour which will explore the historical and scientific significance of these habitats through participatory creative activity with the local people who live alongside them.

Kathryn Hanna’s project ‘Molten Energy’ explores the process of bronze casting through the often opposing lenses of queer and religious consciousness. Hanna will be learning bronze casting processes at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and visiting Birnam Arts in Dunkeld and Little Sparta in Dunsyre to investigate new conceptual ideas.

Rebecca Livesey-Wright will travel to mother-artist & care-informed creative spaces in England. “This will inform how I integrate my identities of mother & artist in my work. Experiencing these spaces will allow me to compare the landscapes of access between Scotland & England & examine how these impact how moth*rs & others with primary caregiving responsibilities access arts.”

Lauren McLaughlin will travel to London to visit a number of key institutions, collections and organisations whose practices are centred around supporting artists with caring responsibilities. She will research how other artists and collectives have engaged with maternal activism and bring this learning back to Scotland to implement in her continued practice.

Artist and Curator Siobhan McLaughlin will undertake a research trip to Orkney to expand her understanding of materials and her network by connecting with new artists and organisations; walking from Stromness to the Ness of Brodgar, where the earliest evidence of woven cloth from the Neolithic period in Scotland was uncovered.

Rachel McBrinn & Alison Scott will travel to Oban to develop a screening of ‘Congenial Soils and Favourable Situations’ and an accompanying walk in local Atlantic rainforest sites, in partnership with local organisations. They will also use part of the funding to undertake research at the NLS Moving Image Archive in Glasgow.

Katherine Murphy will travel to Atlas Arts Skye to visit with resident artist Lauren Gault to engage with her creative practices and discuss present and future collaborations. She will embark on a reflective writing residency with TRADE artists, at an independent residency space The Lengths Studio in rural Highlands, Achaphubuil, Fort William.

Ruth Mutch plans to travel to various universities across the UK to participate in person in the Pathways into Children’s Publishing illustration course. The bursary will allow her to develop relationships with fellow mentees, illustrators, publishers and tutors – which would have been much more challenging attending purely online.

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.

Quote from Sarah Robinson Frood, Engage Scotland Coordinator:

“We are delighted to be able to continue to support artists from across Scotland to access the Stephen Palmer Travel Bursary Fund in 2023. The range of applications highlighted the energy and diversity of Scotland’s visual arts sector at this moment, and how much artists value making connections with peers and locations across the UK.”  

Kirsteen Macdonald, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland said:

“Broadening horizons, building new connections, and extending networks are all essential ingredients for informing and inspiring the development of new work. These travel bursaries are specifically designed to help Scotland’s freelance artists, writers and curators to pursue a myriad of opportunities across the UK that will have a positive impact on how they approach their work in future.”


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 FacebookTwitterLinkedIn 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