Margaret Tait Commission 2023 | Shortlist Announced

Part of Margaret Tait Commission

Composite of film stills from the 4 artists shortlisted for the Margaret Tait Commission 2023. Courtesy of the artists.

LUX Scotland is delighted to announce that the shortlist for the 2023 Margaret Tait Commission comprises Isabel Barfod, Renèe Helèna Browne, Rhona Mühlebach, and George Finlay Ramsay.

The shortlisted artists have been invited to submit a proposal for the £20,000 commission, which will premiere at Glasgow Film Festival in 2024, and will subsequently tour with LUX Scotland alongside a solo exhibition at LUX’s space in London. For the 2023 Commission we have introduced the new role of a producer to provide dedicated production support for the selected artist. The recipient of the 2023 Commission will be announced at Glasgow Film Festival alongside the announcement of the 2023 Margaret Tait Residency recipient and the premiere of Sulaïman Majali’s 2022 Commission. Previously known as the Margaret Tait Award, the name was changed in 2023 to more accurately reflect the opportunity.

The Margaret Tait Commission is a LUX Scotland project delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, backed by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Inspired by the pioneering Orcadian filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait (1918 – 99), the commissioning opportunity recognises experimental and innovative artists working with the moving image, offering a unique avenue of production support and providing a high-profile platform to exhibit newly commissioned work.

Isabel Barfod

Isabel Barfod, ‘Sidesteps’, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Isabel Barfod is an animator and artist based in Glasgow. Working across digital, hand-drawn, 2D and 3D animation, her work is driven by irritation and speculation, looking to process agitations through drawing, scratching and mark making.

Her practice seeks to draw out the hard-to-describe’ micro/​experiences, feelings and phenomena associated with moving in and out of private/​public space as a Black Queer person. Cloaking figures and gestures in abstraction, she evokes absurd, surreal and racialised social realities residing within the ephemeral encounter. As a means of working through her own uncertainty and frustrations, she images reparative and restitutive possibilities that are collectively-imagined and speculated.

Renèe Helèna Browne

Renèe Helèna Browne, ‘Daddy's Boy’, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Renèe Helèna Browne is an Irish artist working across film, text, drawing, and spoken word. Their practice is rooted in the biopolitical power of deviant bodies as an alternative strategy to being in the world. They create dense, multi-layered art works that harness storytelling as historical revisionism, angsty fandom, and collaborative world building.

Recent exhibitions include A Strange Eight’, a solo exhibition at Intermedia Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow produced with contributions from Oreet Ashery, Sharlene Bamboat, Aaron Goddard, Mason Leaver-Yap, Tako Taal, Roy Claire Potter, Hamshya Rajkumar, and Aman Sandhu (2022), One Work: Renèe Helèna Browne’, with LUX Scotland produced with contributions from Sharlene Bamboat, Hannah Fitz, and Mason Leaver-Yap (2021), Am I an Object, part IV’ with David Dale Gallery at P/​/​/​/​/​AKT Amsterdam (2021), and the European Media Art Festival No. 34 (2021). Browne was a guest researcher with artist Emma Wolf-Haugh at ATLAS, Skye, (2022) and resident on the Experimental Film and Moving Image Residency at Cove Park (2021). They are 2021 – 23 resident with Talbot Rice Gallery.

Rhona Mühlebach

Rhona Mühlebach, ​‘Excitement Is Not Part Of My Feeling Repertoire’, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Rhona Mühlebach lives in Glasgow and works primarily with video, audio and text. She graduated from the University of Art and Design Lausanne, BA Film, in 2014 and the Glasgow School of Art, MFA, in 2017.

Recent activities include shows at the Kunstraum Kreuzlingen (solo), Swiss Art Awards, LUX Scotland & Ajabu Ajabu, ABA Berlin, Travelling Gallery Scotland, Intermedia Gallery CCA Glasgow (solo), Alchemy Film & Arts Hawick (solo), Sic! Raum für Kunst Luzern (solo), Joburg Fringe, Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Rhona’s videos have been screened at numerous international film festivals.

George Finlay Ramsay

George Finlay Ramsay, ‘Family Fugue’, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

George Finlay Ramsay (b. 1988, Dundee) is an artist working with poetry, performance, ritual and analogue filmmaking. In 2017 & 2018 he burned hundreds of people’s regrets inside volcanoes across Eurasia. His fake epic poem Raven’s Reprise’ (2020) tells of a trickster raven travelling through the pandemic and remaking the world to her better designs. His short film CASTOROCENE’ (2021) sees beavers re-build the world after humans have destroyed it. Mid length film Family Fugue’ (2022) is about how we are haunted by, and in turn haunt our ancestors. He is currently making plans to have his body thrown into a volcano after he dies.

George’s work has been presented at Art Basel (CH), Barbican (UK), Beijing People’s Art Theatre (CN), BFI Southbank (UK), Camden Arts Centre (UK), Matadero (SP), Meyerhold Centre (RU), Mubi​.com, NTS Radio, L’Orto Botanico di Roma (IT), LUX Scotland (SC), Rupert Residency (LT).

Image descriptions:

1. A composite of the the four images of shortlisted artists’ work.

2. A hand drawn 2‑D animation shows a Black figure from the waist up with black hair and wearing a light blue sleeveless top. The figure’s head is bent to the left and the background is turquoise with pixelated black stripes.

3. A close up of the fingers from two hands moulding orange and purple clay together against a burnt orange background.

4. A video still shows a forest with orange fallen leaves. Two brown bores stand in the foreground. The bores appear to be digital renders, superimposed into the forest landscape.

5. A close up of a teenage boy bathed in green light. He wears a chainmail headdress and looks intently offscreen to the left. We see the black border of 16mm film stock.


Part of Margaret Tait Commission

The Margaret Tait Commission is a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, backed by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Learn more