The Leith School of Art Mentoring course provides the support necessary to develop an independent creative practice with the close supervision of an experienced personal mentor and the encouragement of fellow students. The programme is ideally suited for artists who already have experience in their chosen area of creative interest and are wishing to further develop work to an advanced level.
The course aims to provide the supportive environment necessary to build an independent creative practice with guidance and expertise of an experienced mentor. The course encourages the development of critical awareness and an appreciation of how individual engagement sits in relation to wider contemporary art contexts. The programme aims to be flexible and responsive to individual creative needs and our team of professional mentors provide feedback and guidance to help define and develop creative goals.
Artists on the course are provided with sustained one to one support plus opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences with fellow students. The course is structured through a series of scheduled one to one mentoring sessions which facilitate critical awareness and an appreciation of how individual practice sits in relation to wider contemporary art contexts.
In the first term students work with their mentor to identify and establish a personal research project which aims to build their creative and professional practice. This project is developed over the year culminating in a professional body of work which reflects the specific interests of the individual whilst also engaging with ideas in contemporary practice.
On completion of the course students will have developed a major body of new work carried out with the support of a personal mentor. Artists on the programme will have a deepened understanding of their creative interests and how this ties in to discourses in the broader field of creative practice. In addition students will have developed the skills necessary for independent life as a visual practitioner, or towards further higher academic study. On completion of the course students have the opportunity to exhibit in a final exhibition which provides an ideal platform for showcasing work completed on the course.
Students will receive a dedicated programme of study as follows:
- Nine individual mentoring tutorials providing bespoke support towards creative and professional development. Sessions, typically up to 60 minutes, will be arranged by appointment at specific points in the year with your Mentor.
- Four peer group sessions exploring themes and ideas in practice and fostering shared developmental experience and critical feedback. These three hour sessions will take place on Saturdays at our North Junction Street Campus at key points throughout the year.
- A final exhibition of work at the historic Grade A listed Custom House Gallery on the Water of Leith.
Professional Specialism: Painting, Drawing
Catharine is known for her distinctive Scottish landscapes. Edinburgh's natural panoramas, as seen from the hills and parks, have been a source of inspiration in her work. She is interested in the process of looking and editing, working directly from source on location through the mediums of drawing and painting. Rather than a topographical approach, each work delves into Catharine’s connection to a place and the character it embodies. Catharine has been awarded several national prizes including the W Gordon Smith Award in 2018 and the Lynn Painter-Stainers’ Prize for creative representational painting in 2014. She is a professional member of Visual Arts Scotland and a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.
For Nick printmaking is the perfect medium for generating new visual ideas and he is constantly surprised by the possibilities for innovation and experimentation that printmaking provides. Nick has over thirty years experience of teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels including Course Leader for MA Printmaking at Cambridge School of Art plus teaching posts at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and as masterclasses tutor for Edinburgh Printmakers. Nick has contributed to national and international exhibitions and conferences and has work represented in a number of collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Specialism: Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture
Andrew Mackenzie graduated with an MFA from Edinburgh College of Art in 1993, and lives and works in the Scottish Borders. His work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, and is represented in many collections and as President of Visual Arts Scotland Andrew he was responsible for curating a number of major group exhibitions. He is represented by The &Gallery, Edinburgh and the Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary. He also collaborates with other galleries often, such as Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London.
Specialism: Painting, Drawing, Intermedia
Passionate about teaching Val has taught extensively across a diverse range of art courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is Course Leader for the One Day painting course and also currently teaches both art practice and theory at Edinburgh College of Art. She has exhibited widely and her writing has been published in academic books and catalogues. Her current painting practice is rooted in nature and she takes inspiration from the wood and scrubland next to her home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. She has received several awards for her painting and was awarded The Katherine Michaelson Prize for art writing.
Specialism: Illustration, Graphic Design
Andrew Baker brings an extensive knowledge of illustration, graphic design and the creative industries. He is a passionate advocate for art and design education, having previously taught on undergraduate courses at Middlesex University and UCA. Andrew studied at Liverpool Polytechnic and The Royal College of Art, going on to establish a successful career in London as an illustrator. He has won several awards including Gold for Editorial Illustration from The Association Of Illustrators. His recent projects include a 225 page illustrated book, BODY: A Graphic Guide To Us, and numerous illustrations for the Radio Times.
Jane Couroussopoulos studied painting, etching and engraving at City and Guilds of London Art School. She moved to Edinburgh 34 years ago where she has a studio in Coburg House, Leith.
An experienced tutor, Jane has taught painting and drawing for many years at Leith School of Art and for the last seven years has been leading the two day Drawing course. Until recently she worked as a community education tutor for Edinburgh City Council.
Objects and places that have a particular significance, are the subjects of Jane's work. In it, she explores the tension between the objects and the abstraction of the space around them, between organic and man-made structures, and in her landscapes and cityscapes, the representation of urban and rural spaces emptied of people.
She exhibits widely, and in March and April 2022 a series of twelve works was exhibited in St Giles Cathedral. Her paintings are used as the cover images for a long-standing series of academic law books, published by Bloomsbury.