Grants and Funding

The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust supports a range of bursaries, grants and residencies to assist students and practicing artists at selected institutions. The awards are administered, and the candidates selected, by the relevant bodies.

Three abstract works of art on a salmon background. From left to right: a pink and red abstract composition with loose black grid; a vertical abstract composition of paint drips in yellows, black, pink and red; an abstract composition of vertical brushstokes in pinks, black, white and red with pink circles and horizontal yellow brushstroke on salmon background

Previous Awards

Below is a list of grants, bursaries and residencies awarded by the Trust since 2006.

Grants Awarded by the Trust

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Post-Graduate Award £1,500

The award will be provided to a Masters student. The Scholarship is to focus on Practice and to be awarded to a painter or printmaker.

Commences 2021/22


Scholarship PhD – Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee £3,000 – ceased 2018

3 year award for a Fine Art postgraduate PhD student.



2015-2018 Elenia Vlachaki

PhD Project is ‘The Capodistrian Orphanage or The Aegina Prison: Can the arts function within a social context as a catalyst for change in our relationship with our past and our immediate environment?’

2013-2015 Joanne Foster

2010-2013 Geoff Lucas

His PhD research project is entitled: ‘Towards a Concrete Art – A Practice-Led Investigation’

Geoff co-founded HICA (Highland Institute for Contemporary Art) in 2008, an artist-run gallery near Inverness. See:  He completed his Masters degree in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone in 2010. He gained his Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from Central St Martins College in 1992, and gained his undergraduate BA (Hons) from Kent Institute for Art and Design in 1995. He worked as a tutor at Richmond School of Art from 2002 to 2008.


Study Aid – £1,000 for students requiring special assistance.


Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Scholarship £5,000

For post graduate student
Starts 2021-22 academic year


Joint Degree Award £2,000 – ceased 2018

Annual award for two final year undergraduate Master of Fine Art students (the Master of Fine Art course is run jointly between the University and the Art College), to fund research for their dissertations (normally a research trip).



2015 – Olivia Norris

2015 – Isaac Nugent

2015 – Esther Wakelin Stotten

2014 – Emma Smith

Funds used to visit various Scottish castles and country houses researching medieval objects gathered by private Scottish collectors in 18th and 19th centuries.

2013 – Catriona McKenzie

Funds used to travel to Cambridge, London and Marseille to research William Blakes’s pictorial engagement with the Book of Job.

2013 – Kirsty Neale

Funds used to travel to China and Taiwan and London to research Chinese and Asian propaganda, art and culture.

2012 – Sarah Boulton

Funds used to research sound art in London and New York.

2012 – Isobel Turley

Funds used to research the link between Mudejar architecture of 14th century Southern Spain and contemporary Islamic architecture in Morocco.

2011 – Georgina Bolton

Funds used to travel to Chicago to undertake an art residency at the John David Mooney Foundation and to visit the Chicago Institute of Contemporary Art and other galleries. Funds also used to travel to Iceland to view Roni Horn’s architectural installation Library of Water.

2011 – Rebecca Fraser

Funds used to travel to Hamburg to visit the Aby Warburg Library for research into the library as a setting in portraiture. Funds also used to travel to Berlin to visit the Bebelplatz Nazi book burning memorial.

2010 – Hugo de Verteuil

Funds used to take up a 3 month summer internship position at the Mildred’s Lane Artists Community in Pennsylvania, USA.  Funds also used to travel to Chicago and Detroit to research other artist communities.

2010 – Kamila Kocialkowska

Funds used to travel to New York to view works by Mona Hatoum, and to attend the MoMA exhibition ‘Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions 1940 to Now’


Barns-Graham Travel to Italy Award £1,500

Annual award for Fine Art students (undergraduate or postgraduate) to fund an extracurricular but subject related trip to Italy.



2018 – Molly Kent (Venice)

2015 – Scott Baxter

Scott undertook a journey to Viareggio in Tuscany as part of an ongoing exploration of old seaside resorts.

2014 – Thomas Aitcheson

2013 – Catriona Gallagher

2012 – Rachael Cloughton

Rachael  undertook a trip to Rome where she visited religious sites related to St Ignatius, and visited archives with the aim of exploring their shifting narratives.  She then travelled to Naples, where she explored contemporary art commissioned for the Metro, and travelled to the archaeological site of Pompeii.

2011 – Not awarded due to administrative error

2010 – Elli Matzourani-Koutsoukeli


The Barns-Graham Scholarship  £1,500

Three year award for an undergraduate student working in painting or sculpture (for 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of study) – ceased 2018



2015-2018 –  Theo Christy

2012-2015 – Jordan James Pilling

2009-2012 – Darren Nisbet

2006-2009 – Christopher John Bryant


The Balmungo Grant

Study Aid £1,000 for students requiring special assistance.


The Barns-Graham Award £3,000 – ceased

Intern experience for two 2nd year students



2012-2015 – Lily Milne

2009-2012 – Lauren Wilson

2006-2009 – Laura Culham and Leila Watts


Barns-Graham Travel to Italy Award £1,500

Annual award for Fine Art students (undergraduate or postgraduate) to fund an extracurricular but subject related trip to Italy



2019 – Tiffany Wellington (Florence/Venice)

2018 – Ella Squirrell (Florence/Rome)

2015 – Camilla Laing-Tate

2014 – Rose Marie Caldecott

Travelled to Tivoli

2013 – Samuel Cotterell

Travelled around Italy (between Rome, Tuscania and Sabaudia) creating a film that explores Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Article of the Fireflies.


NB for this year only the award was split between two recipients as the winner’s project required just £850. The remaining £650 was given to a second student.

Rosanna Catterall (BA Fine Art undergraduate) – First Winner

Rosanna undertook a trip to the Calabrian mountains to research the location of the film Le Quattro Volte, and to create film footage of her own.

Rebecca Ballard (BA Fine Art undergraduate) – Second Winner

Rebecca undertook a trip to Venice, where she studied the relationship between place, narrative and memory in relation to photography. She visited exhibitions and galleries, and also the Architecture Biennale.

2011 – Alastair Barford

Student undertook a trip to Florence to study traditional drawing and painting on a short course at the Charles H. Cecil Studios. Student also visited museums, galleries and studios in Florence.

2010 – James Kelly

Student undertook a walking trip of part of the Via Francigena; visited several locations of Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia (1983); and participated in the grape harvest of Southern Rome, observing the accompanying festivities.

2009 – Jasmine Pajdak

Student travelled to Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan during Spring 2010, participating in mask-making workshops, visiting museums and theatres.


Study Aid – £1,000 for students requiring special assistance.


The Balmungo Scholarship £1,000

Annual award for a 1st year undergraduate student in financial need.



2013-2014 – Heather Lane

2012-2013 – Jonathan Douglas

2011-2012 – Sophia Shepherd

2010-2011 – Svetla Popova

2009-2010 – Mhairi Tavendale

2008-2009 – Roger Catalano

2007-2008 – Tomas Jankowski

2006-2007 – Louise Pendergast


Study Aid Fund  £1,000 for students requiring special assistance.


Graduate Travel Award £1,000

2019 – Freya Angell, Rosa Quadrelli, Carlos Harraiz


The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Research Support Grant £2,000 – ceased 2016.

Annual award for researchers working on projects in the field of 20th Century painting.



2016 –  Dr Sophie Hatchwell

Research: Robert Colquhoun and Robert McBryde –  the Neo-Romantic Body and the Second World War 1940-1946

2015 – Beth Williamson

Research: America in the Borders: William Johnstone’s Landscape Painting.

2014 – Lee Halman

Research: The London Lanscapes of Frank Auerbach and Leon Kopssoff, 1950 to present.

2013 – Lily Foster (PhD student at The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Research: Lily’s research project is entitled ‘Interior Paintings by Harold Gilman and Édouard Vuillard’ – a study of the depiction of private space in the work of Gilman and Vuillard from 1910-1919.

During 2012 Lily used the grant to conduct research within Britain (Tate Archive, British Library), and to travel to conduct research in France (Salomon Archives and the Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France in Paris), and USA (Yale Center for British Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC).

2012 – Dina Aleshina

Research: Working on project ‘Abstract and Concrete in the Work of Ben Nicholson and the Artists of St Ives School’ – a study of the abstract and naturalistic approaches of the St Ives group. Funds used to travel to London, St Ives and Leeds.

2011 – Emma Acker

Research: Working on project ‘A Sense of Place: The Aerial Abstractions of Richard Diebenkorn and Peter Lanyon’ – a comparative analysis of both artists’ landscape-based abstractions. Funds used to travel to Washington DC, London and St Ives.

2010 – Professor John Curley

Research: Working on book project ‘The Art that Came in from the Cold’ – looking at political agency and ambiguity of visual images during Cold War – focus funded research on the London-based Independent Group.


Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Award of £2,500 for postgraduate student

Started 2019-20 academic year


The Barns-Graham Travel Award – £2,000

Annual award for artists who have recently graduated from one of Scotland’s four art colleges, for travel and artistic practice abroad.  Recipient can be working in painting, sculpture or printmaking.



2022 – Guendalina Rota and Charlotte Maishman 

2021 – Paige Silverman (Marsaille)

2020 – Natasha Jensen (Eigg)

2019 – Richard Goldsworthy (Korea)

2018 – Shipei Wang (China)

2017 – not awarded

2016 – Mina Heyden-White

2015 – Alice Hoskins

Award used to travel to Vietnam.

2014 – Gabriele Jogelaite

Award to be used to travel to Poland to explore the grand impressions of post-war modern soviet architecture on society today.

2013 – Madeline Mackay (Graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art – BA Fine Art)

Madeline used her funding to travel to Finland to undertake a residency at the Åland Archipelago Guest Artist Residence during autumn 2012. During her trip, Madeline produced extensive sketchbook studies working outside, and drawings in the studio using local clay as a drawing material.

She produced a number of site-specific rock drawings and small works based on postcard formats. She exhibited work from her trip at the Autumn exhibition of the Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, and the Cabinet exhibition at the Compass Gallery in Glasgow.  In early 2013 Madeline had a drawing accepted to the RSW Annual Exhibition, which went on to win the Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award.

2012 – Aleksandra Zawada

Award used to travel to China to explore the Chinese art scene and recent changes in Chinese cultural heritage – in particular, the phenomenon of demolishing past cultural heritage to move forward.

2011 – Geri Loup Nolan

Award used to travel to Japan to explore connections between east and west in philosophical thinking and artistic / architectural approaches.

2010 – Martin Hill

Award used to fund travel to Greece to look at sites of antiquity. Trip inspired drawings and paintings of animals in ancient sites, work relating to roadside funeral monuments, and work relating to Greek mythology.

2009 – Gemma Saville

Award used to fund travel to Iceland.

2008 – Mairi Hughes

Award used to fund travel to Turin to investigate the Arte Povera movement, which makes use of organic materials and everyday commodities. Inspired work that re-examines the still life genre.

2007 – Margaret Bathgate

Award used to fund a site-specific art installation in Pittenweem Harbour.


The Barns-Graham Travel Award  £1,500

2019  – Jenny (Venice Biennale)

2017 – Liz Crichton (Finland)

2015 –  Hester Grant/Amanda Lightbody (Venice Biennale)


Study Aid £1,000 for students requiring special assistance.


The Barns-Graham PG Award £5,000

One year award for an Art History postgraduate student working in the field of Museum Studies.


2020 – Matteu Gernentz

2019 – Lacey Smith

2018 – Aren Ehman

2017 – Anna Ventorini

2016 – Kate Keohane


The Barns-Graham Doctoral Award £5,000 – ceased 2014

3 year award for an Art History postgraduate PhD student working in the field of Museum Studies.



2011 – 2014 – Kristen Adlhoch

Her PhD research project is entitled: ‘Abstract Photography in Europe in the Early Twentieth Century’. Kristen gained a BFA (Hons) in Photographic Studies from Ryerson University in 2000, and gained a MLitt (Distinction) from the University of St Andrews in 2009. From 2007-2008 she worked as Database Coordinator at the National Arts Centre Foundation, Ottawa, and before this she worked from 2003-2006 as the Director of the Stephen Bulger Photography Gallery in Toronto.

In January 2013 Kristen was awarded the 2013 Josef Breitenbach Research Fellowship at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. During the fellowship, Kristen plans to study the archives of Josef Breitenbach and Francis Bruguière for her doctoral research.

2010 – 2011 – Not awarded

2009 – 2010 – Kirstin Donaldson

MLitt Student. Dissertation title: ‘The Surrealist on the Street: Julian Trevelyan and Mass-Observation’.

2007-2009 – Michelle Ying Ling Huang

2nd year PhD student. Thesis title: ‘The Reception of Chinese Paintings in Early 20th Century Britain, with Special Reference to Laurence Binyon (1869 – 1943)’.

2006-2007 – Anna Sandaker Glomm

3rd year PhD student. Thesis title: ‘A Study of Early 1970s Political Poster Art in Scandinavia – GRAS, Folkets Atelier and Røde Mor’.


Between 2009 and 2014 the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust provided funds for The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust Scholarship in Fine Art £2,500


2013-2014 – Gina Batterton

2011-2013 – Philip Michael Welbourn (known as Mick Welbourn)

2009-2011 – Jessica Lalje


SSA Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Award £2000

A prize for a work of merit by a graduate who is less than five years out of college and is awarded at the SSA’s Annual Open Exhibition beginning in 2019.


2019 – Siobhan McLaughlin


Please be aware that the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust does not accept applications directly. These awards are administered by the colleges and universities cited above, and the candidates selected by and from their art and art history departments.

Please address all enquiries via email to



Further to the funding of students at art colleges and universities the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust has supported art student and art education projects at:

Tate St Ives

National Galleries of Scotland

St Ives School of Painting

Leith School of Art



The Trust is committed to supporting Artist Residencies. These are administered by the Royal Scottish Academy.


Anneli Holstrom’s proposal is to stay in Orkney.

In her application she says:

In our virtual world of logging on and off, discussions are regularly needed about the way digital technologies impact upon our connections with the physical world. Taking this enquiry as a starting point, I plan to use my time at the Pier Arts Center to explore new ways of visually depicting the ‘feeling realm’ within my image making.  In this way, I regard this applied for residency as an opportunity for a period of concentrated study and creation, aimed at identifying fresh ways of treating the topic of human touch in a computerised  era.

As Orkney is rightly renowned for its dramatic weather, it only seems fitting to draw upon this natural backdrop, as well as my perceptions and interactions with it, as inspirational sources during my stay.

Read more Specifically, I envisage my eventually produced works to play out a human drama in which calm domestic settings battle it out with a volatile outdoor climate. In this way, I plan to draw upon the tactility of these opposing forces, whilst simultaneously investigating contemporary perspectives of the manmade and natural world.

As the painting process often reminds the viewer of the essential role played by touch, texture, surface and closeness in art, I envision the culmination of my research to be a realization of this.  However, as a sculpture is undoubtedly the language of the tactile, I plan to employ its materiality at the very starting stages of this project. This process will involve the collections of objects selected for their diversity and their intimate relationship to touch. From such samples, I will then create a series of sculptural props with the purpose of formulating a language of tactility.

The last stage of my work will involve incorporating this symbolic system into final paintings, in an anthropomorphic drama where controlled and uncontrolled environments are re-evaluated.

In essence, I see my applied for Pier Arts Center residency as an opportunity to engage with new and diverse audiences, as well as form exciting networks for the future.  I therefore intend to actively engage myself in opportunities to discuss and share my practices through workshops, talks, discussions or exhibitions during my stay. In so doing, I view the applied for residency as a mutually rewarding process, wherein I can continue to develop artistically and professionally, whilst firmly contributing to the cultural heritage of Orkney itself.


Postponed until 2016

Paul Furneaux is an artist working with Japanese watercolour woodblock printing (mokuhanga).  Based in Edinburgh, his 2014 residency was postponed due to the sale of Balmungo House. Due to his subsequent commitments this has had to be put back to 2016. He is considering spending time at DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) and possibly An Talla Solais, the community-led art centre in Ullapool on the northwest coast of Scotland.


Funded residencies provided opportunities for artists and writers to live and work at Balmungo House, the Trust’s first centre of activity, without incurring charges for accommodation and use of facilities. Artist Residencies were arranged in partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy, while a Writer Residency (now ceased) was partnered by the School of English at the University of St Andrews.

Past beneficiaries of residencies offered at Balmungo House were:


Patricia Cain is a Dumfries and Galloway-based artist, author and researcher who completed her PhD through the practice of drawing at Glasgow School of Art.

Her practice (drawing, painting, sculpture and public art) is intimately connected to her interest in skill-lead art-making processes, the value of these as First Person research methodologies and the importance of teaching and encouraging skill in this era of concept-led Art Education.

Her book Drawing: The Enactive Evolution of the Practitioner explores the relationship between drawing and enactive thinking and examines how art-making can actualize and visually make evident the emergent aspects of its own activity, allowing artists to become self-aware of their own thinking and learning processes.

Trish exhibits nationally and internationally, winning both the Threadneedle and Aspect Prizes in 2010.  Her recently acclaimed major exhibition at Kelvingrove, Drawing (on) Riverside, exposed the nature of practitioner knowledge to a wider lay audience through the observation and response to the construction of Glasgow’s new Riverside Museum which has subsequently been likened to Dewey’s study of the nature of method.

One of the paintings arising from her residency, and directly inspired by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham’s work, Balmungo, was awarded the Royal Watercolour Society Award at the RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2014.


Emma Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge. She won the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2005, and has been the recipient of an emerging writer’s grant from the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Harper-Wood Studentship in English Poetry and Literature from St John’s College, Cambridge.

Her first book, The Striped World, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Collection and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2009-10 she was poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. In 2013 she was invited to be the International Writer in Residence for the School of English Studies at St Andrews University, with whom the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust acts in partnership.


In 2012 the International Writer’s Residency programme entered its second year. The programme was a five-year collaborative venture with the School of English at the University of St Andrews, which brought creative writers from outside the UK to pursue their work in St Andrews. South African novelist Damon Galgut was the second writer to participate in the scheme, living and working at Balmungo House between October and December.

Galgut is an award-winning novelist, who has been twice short-listed for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, for his novels The Good Doctor (2003) and In a Strange Room (2010). This residency represented Galgut’s first long-term stay in Scotland, and the peaceful surroundings of Balmungo granted the opportunity to work on his latest novel. During his residency Galgut tutored creative writing students at the University of St Andrews, and gave a public reading from The Good Doctor in a special literary event at Parliament Hall, alongside Australian-born novelist Meaghan Delahunt.


The visual arts residency for 2012 was a one-off collaboration with the Royal Scottish Academy and the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum at the University of Dundee. The aim of this residency was to provide a unique opportunity for an artist to research and draw inspiration from the D’Arcy Thompson collections, while based at Balmungo House.

D’Arcy Thompson (1860-1948) was an eminent Scottish biologist, best known for his research into the mathematical principles of nature and his ground-breaking publication On Growth and Form.  Given that Thompson’s research had a lasting influence on Barns-Graham’s art, it seemed very apt to celebrate this link through a special residency.  The artist Lindsay Sekulowicz was selected to participate in the project between July and November.

Lindsay, whose work often engages with museums and archives – especially natural history collections, spent just over three months studying specimens and developing art based on her findings.  In keeping with the polymath spirit of D’Arcy Thompson, she also extended her research into areas such as neuroscience, marine biology and animal behaviour. During her residency, Lindsay experimented with a variety of media, and showed work at the Royal Scottish Academy exhibition Of Natural & Mystical Things.  New work from the residency was displayed at Dundee University in early 2013.


The final residency of 2011 was a collaborative venture with the School of English at the University of St Andrews. The International Writer’s Residency programme was a five-year project, which brought creative writers from outside the UK to pursue their work in St Andrews. Canadian poet Karen Solie was the first writer to be selected for this annual residency, staying at Balmungo between October and December.

Winner of the 2010 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, Solie had visited St Andrews before to participate in the StAnza Poetry Festival. However, the residency at Balmungo enabled her to settle into the area, and undertake a more sustained period of writing. Over the course of her stay, Solie led creative writing workshops at the University of St Andrews, and gave a public reading at an event organised by StAnza.

Karen Solie’s poem Life is a Carnival was written while at Balmungo House:

Dinner finished, wine in hand, in a vaguely competitive spirit
of disclosure, we trail Google Earth’s invisible pervert
through the streets of our hometowns, but find them shabbier, or grossly

contemporized, denuded of childhood’s native flora,
stuccoed or in some other way hostile
to the historical reenactments we expect of our former

settings. What sadness in the disused curling rinks, their illegal
basement bars imploding, in the seed of a Wal-Mart
sprouting in the demographic, in streetview’s perpetual noon. With pale

and bloated production values, hits of AM radio rise
to the surface of a network of social relations long obsolete. We sense
a loss of rapport. But how sweet the persistence

of angle parking! Would we burn these places rather than see them
change, or would we simply burn them, the sites of wreckage
from which we staggered with our formative injuries into the rest

of our lives. They cannot be consigned to the fourfold,
though the age we were belongs to someone else. Like our old
house. Look what they’ve done to it. Who thought this would be fun?

A concert, then, YouTube from those inconceivable days before
YouTube, an era boarded over like a bankrupt country store,
cans still on its shelves, so hastily did we leave it. How beautiful

they are in their poncey clothes, their youthful higher
registers, fullscreen, two of them dead now. Is this
eternity? Encore, applause, encore; it’s almost like being there.


The first visual arts residency at Balmungo was organised as part of the Royal Scottish Academy’s Residencies for Scotland scheme. This programme supports contemporary artists by matching them to funded residency placements across Scotland. The Edinburgh-based artist Lorna McIntosh was selected for Balmungo House.

McIntosh, whose art is informed by her research into emblematics, 18th century chemistry and mineralogy, worked in Barns-Graham’s studio between July and September. Her residency was a time of intensive study and experimentation, in which she elaborated on her existing research and practice, and cultivated new ideas. She sketched in the Balmungo grounds, and engaged with new materials. During the residency, McIntosh was nominated for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011. The new work arising from the residency was exhibited at the Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh in 2012.


In 2011 the Trust’s residency programme was launched with a critical writing residency. The art critic Giles Sutherland stayed at Balmungo for three months between May and July, working on established writing projects and researching Barns-Graham’s art.

While Sutherland is perhaps best known for his exhibition reviews and features in journals and newspapers, the residency gave him the opportunity to become immersed in the work of Barns-Graham. Inspired by etchings of trees in the Trust’s collection, Sutherland chose to study the artist’s treatment of underlying structure and form. In addition to researching this field, he produced a series of related photographs and poems.


Porthmeor Studio Residencies

In 2017 The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust agreed to support a residency for Emerging Artists at the Porthmeor Studios, St Ives as part of their new artist-in-residency prgramme launched that year. The Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust provides funding of £7,500 for a three month residency. The artists granted this award to date:


2017 – Katie Schwab

2018 – Amélie Blendl

2019 – Daniel Sinsel

2020 – Saelia Aparicio

2021 – Ebun Sodipo


Further information about the Porthmeor Studio Artist Residency programme can be found at Borlase Smart John Wells Trust.