Robert Niven

ARTFORMS: Visual Arts , Sculpture



Fife artist, Robert Niven, graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2003.

To develop his art and to take it to new places, Robert applied to go on a self-directed creative residency in Canada.  His time at the Banff Centre was a very important experience for Robert giving him an opportunity to develop his art practice and to meet and get to know an amazing variety of international artists.  He says that the experience gave him time, space and support to experiment, to collaborate and to enjoy making art.

He made friends with artists worldwide which led to an invitation to the Istanbul Biennale, a residency in Argentina and a visit to artists in Mexico City.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award supported Robert on a two-month self-directed creative residency in the Banff Arts Centre, Canada.

Since the Award

Robert's art practice has developed dramatically since Banff, moving from photography into sculpture. Robert completed an MFA at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in 2007 supported by a Commonwealth Scholarship.

Robert now lives and works in Glasgow.  He has been developing a group of sculptural collages that entwine everyday absurdities with historical happenings.  He makes materials coalesce into a form of sculptural dyslexia, with mimesis, misrecognition and metamorphosis merging to create mongrel forms. 

In 2008 he curated the Dewar Arts Awards Fifth Anniversary Showcase Exhibition. For more information about Robert's work see

I am hugely grateful to have been given the chance to go to Banff. It was an unforgettable experience and has had a very encouraging effect upon my development as a young artist.