Margaret Tait Award & Residency


The Margaret Tait Award is a Glasgow Film Festival commission supported by Creative Scotland and LUX Scotland. Inspired by the pioneering Orcadian filmmaker and writer Margaret Tait (1918–99), the award was established in 2010 to support experimental and innovative artists working with the moving image, providing a high profile platform for them to exhibit newly commissioned work and engage with a wider audience.

Each year the Award is presented to a Scottish or Scotland-based artist who has established a significant body of work over the past 5–12 years; is recognised by peers for their contribution to the artists’ moving image sector; and can demonstrate the significant impact that the award will have on the development of their practice. The recipient of the award receives a £10,000 prize to produce ambitious new work, which is exhibited at the Glasgow Film Festival the following year.

Eligible artists are nominated through an open call process, which allows anyone (the general public, as well as arts professionals and artists) both within and outwith Scotland to put forward an artist. Nominations are assessed by a jury of artists and professionals from across the fields of the visual arts and cinema. Shortlisted artists are then asked to present proposals for the commission.

The recipient of the 2017 Margaret Tait Award is Glasgow-based artist Sarah Forrest.

Previous Margaret Tait Award recipients include:

2016: Kate Davis, Charity
2015: Duncan Marquiss, Evolutionary Jerks and Gradualist Creeps
2014: Charlotte Prodger, The Stoneymollan Trail
2013: Rachel Maclean, Happy & Glorious
2012: Stephen Sutcliffe, Outwork
2011: Anne-Marie Copestake, And Under That
2010: Torsten Lauschmann, At The Heart of Everything is a Row of Holes

All of the Margaret Tait Award film commissions are available to venues through the LUX collection.

The Margaret Tait Award 2017

The recipient of the 2017 Margaret Tait Award is Glasgow-based artist Sarah Forrest. Shortlisted along with artists Jamie Crewe, Margaret Salmon and Kimberley O’Neill, Forrest received a £10,000 commission to produce a new piece of work, which will premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival in February 2018.

On receiving the award, Forrest said, ‘I’m delighted to receive the Margaret Tait Award. Her work and approach as a filmmaker and writer has been influential for me, so to receive an award that celebrates her legacy is a humbling experience. So too was my inclusion in a shortlist of such incredible artists. The work that I have proposed will begin with a period of research on the Isle of Lewis, where I will be looking initially at the island’s rich history of prophetic “second sight”, drawing from stories that I heard from my mother who grew up there. This work will build on recurring themes in my practice that look at appearance, perception, doubt and belief, with the commission being an exciting and significant opportunity for me to explore these in a longer form work.’

After studying at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee, Forrest gained her masters from Glasgow School of Art in 2010, during which time she also studied at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. Forrest has held solo exhibitions at CCA, Glasgow (2013), Supplement, London (2014) and Kunstraum Düsseldorf (2016). Her work has been presented at film festivals internationally, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2014) and she has completed numerous residencies, including the inaugural Margaret Tait Residency in 2012.

The 2017 jury for the award consisted of a diverse range of experts and curators from the fields of the visual arts and cinema, including Katrina Brown (The Common Guild), Graham Domke (freelance writer and curator), Sean Greenhorn (Glasgow Film), Alexia Holt (Cove Park), Kirsten Lloyd (Edinburgh College of Art), Gayle Meikle (artist and curator), Emma Nicholson (Atlas Arts), Charlotte Prodger (artist and recipient of the 2014 Margaret Tait Award), Mark Thomas (Creative Scotland) and Nicole Yip (LUX Scotland). From the 25 artists who were nominated for the award, four were then shortlisted by the panel and asked to submit proposals.

The Margaret Tait Residency

The Margaret Tait Residency (2012–14) was established by Glasgow Film, and supported by Creative Scotland in conjunction with Pier Arts Centre and LUX Scotland. It aimed to support and develop the skills of an emerging Scottish or Scotland-based artist working with the moving image, who would benefit from a focused period of development in a stimulating environment outwith their typical studio base.

Previous recipients of the Margaret Tait Residency award include:

2014: Florrie James, O.K. Rick
2012: Sarah Forrest, that now