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Understanding the Talbot Rice Gallery

ByKitty Becher

Oct 11, 2019

Established in 1975, the Talbot Rice Gallery (TRG) is one of Edinburgh’s leading contemporary art galleries and is the public art gallery of the University of Edinburgh. It is constructed out of a 19th Century former history museum, juxtaposed with a contemporary white cube gallery. Founded by David Talbot Rice, the Watson Gordon Professor of Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh, the gallery sought to provide a meeting place where the university and the general public could come together. This vision has certainly been fulfilled, as the gallery has created an established and dynamic network between artists and academics across all disciplines at the university, creating an exciting synergy that has inspired both innovative research and thought-provoking exhibitions.

This is clearly exemplified in the recent Real Music exhibition, which presented cutting-edge works by Samson Young created as a result of interdisciplinary collaboration between the artist and the university’s Next Generation Sound Synthesis research group.

The gallery also provides numerous opportunities for students at the university. The Trading Zone Exhibition, involving students studying within the University of Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, builds on the TRG’s belief in interdisciplinary exchange by giving students the opportunity to learn from the TRG before graduating and offering advice and support even after graduation.

The TRG also offers a two-year residency program for graduates who have had three years out of university. Residents have access to the invaluable resources of workshops, libraries and collections, as well as the academic community within the university itself. This opportunity gives students the curatorial support and artistic nurturing that are so important to creators at the beginning of their careers.

For anyone looking towards a career in the art world, the TRG certainly has its doors open; the team works to advise and support individuals and help them to find their voice within the art world, an indispensable opportunity for emerging artists in Edinburgh.

Image: Rory Biggs O’May

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