Margaret Tait Resident 2023 Cal Mac begins residency in Orkney

Part of Margaret Tait Residency

Portrait of Cal Mac by Erika Steveson, 2023.

Artist Cal Mac, recipient of the Margaret Tait Residency 2023, will travel to Orkney this week for the first part of his six-week residency at the Pier Arts Centre’s newly renovated facilities Linkshouse – Orkney Arts Residency. On the residency Cal will begin exploring the relationship between visual language and feelings about belonging, acceptance and being valued and at home’ for LGBTQIA+ people in different areas of Scotland in his moving image practice. We’re looking forward to working with Cal over the coming months as he embarks on the residency in October and March 2024.

Cal Mac, Agony to Ecstasy’, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

On receiving the Margaret Tait Residency, Cal said: The Margaret Tait Residency allows me the time and space to focus on what my approach to moving image is – without the demands of production or completion. During my time at the Piers Art Centre, I plan to merge my excitement for visual experimentation with my commitment to creating personal and evocative work. I became interested in what it means to be LGBT in rural Scotland in 2020, and so this residency allows me to experiment through a specific project that’s been in the works for a while. In discovering LGBT realities in Orkney, I want to explore conflicts of alienation, relationships with community, and attachment to home, but more specifically how these conflicts can be articulated in a way that’s unique to artist’s film. Through the experimental nature of the residency and through the support of LUX Scotland and the Piers Arts Centre, the possibilities of what this can look and sound like are vast. I’m beyond delighted to receive the residency to start working with LUX Scotland.

Cal has recently exhibited work as part of a solo exhibition BLOODBATH’ at Outlier Gallery, Glasgow. In May 2022, LUX Scotland presented Cal’s film Agony to Ecstasy’ (2021), commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, as part of our ONE WORK programme with a commissioned written response by Chris Fite-Wassilak. Agony to Ecstasy’ looks at the scope of the socio-addictive condition within Scottish people. It focuses on the relationship between pain and pleasure, between stress and relief and between entrapment and escape. There is an opportunity to see Agony to Ecstasy’ at Dance is a Place’, curated by Katie O’Grady and Rachael Ryder at Civic House, Glasgow, on 5 October 2023.

Matthew Cosslett in conversation with David Upton, LUX Scotland Public Programme Manager, by Erika Stevenson, September 2023.

LUX Scotland recently premiered a new moving image work by Matthew Cosslett, recipient of the Margaret Tait Residency 2022, at Glasgow Film Theatre. Matthew’s work missing in-crypt tides’ grew from research developed while on the residency.

Margaret Tait Residency 2023

The Margaret Tait Residency is delivered in partnership with the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, with support from Screen Scotland, builds upon the legacy of the residency delivered by Glasgow Film in 2012 – 2014. Aimed at emerging artists working in film and moving image with up to five years professional experience, the residency provides time and support for developing work and practice without the demands of deadlines or public presentation. Cal will spend up to six weeks at the Pier Arts Centre’s newly renovated facilities Linkshouse – Orkney Arts Residency.

The selection panel for the Margaret Tait Residency comprised Kari Adams, Curatorial Assistant, the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney; Sarah Forrest, artist and recipient of the Margaret Tait Residency 2012; Jesse Mpango, curator and co-founder of Ajabu Ajabu Audio Visual House, Tanzania; Sarah Smyth, International Distribution and Commercial Development Officer, Screen Scotland and was chaired by Eve Smith, Learning Programme Manager, LUX Scotland.

Cal Mac

Cal Mac is a visual artist working and living in Glasgow. Working between sculpture, sound print and video, he explores themes of belonging and addiction through sociological, scientific and visual dialogues. His work often looks at clubbing and natural environments, enquiring into our current emotional condition and need for connection. His work has been screened at Atlas Arts (Skye), The Royal Scottish Academy (Edinburgh), Limerick Institute of Technology, and online for Lift off Festival, and Film and Video Umbrella. Following his first commission from Film and Video Umbrella in 2020, Mac has done residencies at Cove Park and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. In 2021 Mac was shortlisted for the Royal Scottish Academy Morton Award.

The Pier Arts Centre

The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney was established in 1979 to provide a home for an important collection of British fine art donated by the author, peace activist and philanthropist Margaret Gardiner (1904 – 2005). The Centre also curates a year round programme of changing exhibitions and events for the education and enjoyment of the general public.

The Pier Arts Centre is currently working on a project to develop Linkshouse – Orkney Arts Residency an accessible residency facility with studio provision for individual or group use. Linkshouse will act as a launch-pad for local artists and a landing-strip for artists visiting the county. Beyond that it will be a focal point for the wider community, supporting other local arts organisations and festivals to nurture talent and make connections, while supporting the Pier Arts Centre’s educational work, enhancing opportunities for outdoor learning and wellbeing and represents a whole new area of creative activity for the Pier Arts Centre and Orkney.


Part of Margaret Tait Residency

The Margaret Tait Residency provides an opportunity for artists working with film and moving image to develop their practice, in partnership with the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney.

Learn more