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Mother-of-three ‘shocked and delighted’ to win art residency prize

By PA News

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A mother-of-three who went to art school in her 40s has said she was “shocked and delighted” to have won what is described as Scotland’s biggest prize for emerging artists.

Charlene Scott, 52, from Tranent in East Lothian, has been awarded the 2024 Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Prize for her work, which features home-made botanical pigments she prepared in her back garden.

Ms Scott, who will now spend three months this summer at Glenfiddich’s Dufftown distillery with artists from around the world, said she has to make the colours on a stove in her garden because her family complain about the smell if she makes them in the kitchen.

Prior to becoming an artist she worked as a travel agent for 10 years, then did a variety of jobs from home while raising her three children.

She then fulfilled a lifelong ambition when she started a degree course at Edinburgh College of Art in her late 40s.

Charlene Scott said she was ‘shocked and delighted’ to win the award (Colin Hattersley Photography/PA)

Andy Fairgrieve, co-ordinator of the Glenfiddich artists in residence programme, described her work – which uses folded paper along with her botanical pigments – as being a “clean yet complex celebration of simplicity with a great sense of hidden depth”.

Ms Scott said: “I use line, folds, repetition and pattern along with botanical pigments to build a framework that I hope will entice a viewer to look closely and linger a little longer.”

Adding that she is “really looking forward to developing” her technique, she said her work seeks to “make connections between the aesthetics of minimalism and the basic principles of herbalism and ecology”.

Mr Fairgrieve said: “It would be easy to underestimate the works of Charlene Scott, however the longer you linger and absorb her works more is revealed.

“Not unlike a well-crafted single malt whisky, her work is a clean yet complex celebration of simplicity with a great sense of hidden depth. She will be a perfect fit to this year’s Glenfiddich residency.”

The prize, said to be worth £15,000, which is supported by distillery owners William Grant and Sons, is awarded annually at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition in Edinburgh.

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