Project information

The Fruitmarket Gallery Commissions

To establish a fund to enable a sustained programme of commissioning, presenting, promoting and publishing new work. This will contribute greatly to the continuing vibrancy of Scotland's cultural Life and will support artists and audiences.

April 2011 - March 2014

Charity information

The Fruitmarket Gallery

The Fruitmarket Gallery logo
  • Need


    Without continued and sustained investment to commission, exhibit, promote and publish art in Scotland, the country’s creative scene risks stagnation and loss of public engagement. Without stimulating opportunities for artists and audiences, the continued vibrancy of Scotland’s cultural life is under threat; artists will not see it as a viable place to work in and with; and audiences will not be inspired and given opportunities to think about their own place in the world.


    The Fruitmarket Gallery is a not for profit contemporary art Gallery of national and international significance. It is one of very few organisations in Scotland which provides opportunities for artists to create new work, enabling them to develop their ideas without commercial pressures and then to present and interpret this for wide audiences. The Gallery’s commitment to artists and audiences is unique in Scotland.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To raise Scotland’s profile in the international art world


    » By enabling the creation and presentation of high quality work and a reputation for supporting artists and engaging audiences.
    » Making new work the focal point of an exhibition which contextualises the development of artistic practice.
    » Create publications to accompany the commission and exhibition which enable wider dissemination of the work.

    Success will be...for artists to see Scotland as a viable place to live and work; international artists and organisations want to collaborate with the Gallery and in Scotland.

    Aim 2

    To signal a commitment to provide high quality experiences and engagement for audiences.


    » Continue to provide stimulating experiences for audiences by presenting and interpreting new work.
    » Provide a programme of talks, events and projects alongside the exhibitions which allow audiences to development of the artist's practice and context.

    Success will be... that audiences attend in healthy numbers, providing good feedback as demonstration of their continued and developing engagement.

    Aim 3

    To signal a commitment to artists to support their development, providing opportunities in Scotland.


    » By establishing a fund, allowing artists the opportunity to make work without immediate commercial pressures and with exhibition of the work in mind.
    » Producing a publication which can act as a calling card for the artist and disseminate their work internationally.

    Success will be...that artists want to work with The Fruitmarket Gallery and provide positive feedback of their experience, the has a reputation for supporting artists.

    Aim 4

    To underpin the work with a programme of interpretation, education and outreach.


    » Create online materials for audiences outside of the Gallery (i.e. web-films, down-loadable exhibition guides).
    » A programme of talks and events alongside the exhibitions.
    » A short documentary film, featuring an interview with the artist.
    » Education workshops and projects for children and young people encourage engagement with the exhibition

    Success will be... attracting good levels of participation and positive evaluations.

  • Impact


    In the long term this project will maintain the vibrancy of cultural life in Scotland, keeping the art world and artists interested in working in and with Scotland and keeping audiences interested in engaging with art and artistic practice. Success fill be demonstrated through visitor figures and feedback, participation in events and evaluation; artist feedback; peer review (both formal and anecdotal); press and critical response.


    The major risk is that not enough money is raised for the project. Should this happen it is able to be scaled down in timescale or in scope, though its impact will be lessened.


    Donors will receive an illustrated report which provides visitor statistics and feedback, artist feedback, web statistics, details of associated talks, events and projects, participant statistics and evaluation, press cuttings and if available, details of peer review.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £90,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Commissioning fees To three artists over three years to enable them to devote time to making new work
      £30,000 Production fees The material costs of making the new work for three new commissions
      £30,000 Publication a contribution toward the publication design and production for three artists
      £15,000 installation costs a contribution toward the cost of mounting the exhibitions for three artists
  • Background


    The Fruitmarket Gallery is located in the heart of Edinburgh. The Gallery attracts over 170,000 visitors each year and is the 13th most visited attraction in the City. The Gallery has national and international impact, attracting wide audiences, collaborating internationally and disseminating its work through a highly respected publications programme and web presence.


    Artists, audiences and participants will benefit from the project. The Gallery attracts over 170,000 visitors each year, with over 25,000 coming to see each of its 4-5 exhibitions per year and up to 60,000 during the Edinburgh Festivals period.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Fruitmarket Gallery has a national and international reputation for its high quality programme. The Gallery has brought to Scotland some of the world's most important contemporary art including the work of Cai Guo Qiang, Fred Sandback, Eva Hesse, Roman Signer, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. At the same time it has created high profile opportunities for artists who have developed their practice in Scotland such as Nathan Coley, Callum Innes, Lucy Skaer, Claire Barclay, Toby Paterson.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    The Artists Commissioned To Make New Work

    The Fruitmarket Gallery sets standards for evaluating ideas for the creative programme, believing that audiences have a right to a quality experience.

    Dr Fiona Bradley

    Fiona has overseen the successful refocusing of the programme and provides its curatorial voice.

    Elizabeth McLean

    Depute Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery. Elizabeth oversees the Gallery's visual identity and designs the Gallery's print and publications.