home                        Invitation to Submit Art Development to The RSA in Edinburgh                       back to news stories
    In 1986 I was awarded the John Kinross Fellowship to travel and study in Italy. In February 2020 I was asked to reflect on the progress of me work and how the
    Fellowship award contributed to my development as a full time professional artist. Below are the questions and statements which I supplied to the RSA. I was also
    asked to submit images of my latest work which they could include on their website.

At the time of the Scholarship:

1. How did the experience affect you as an individual?

The Scholarship was a great boost to my confidence as an artist. It changed my perception of colour and how a new environment can influence your thought processes being exposed to different cultures and architecture. It gave me a sense of determination to further explore my art.

2. What was the impact on your practice?

I felt I was more disciplined in my approach to recording subject matter. I was very focused on searching for places of interest and then following up with sketching. It also helped that the weather was very favourable in Italy and I enjoyed drawing and sketching outdoors. I researched more deeply into subject matter which helped me understand more the cultural and historical aspects of the country I was staying in.


3. What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and your work?

I feel more comfortable now being able to explore more subject matter that interests me. It has definitely helped me to express colour more vividly and I have more of a sense of cultural values. This aspect has stuck with me since leaving Scotland and moving to Singapore. I have been researching all the mixed cultural diversities here in SG and I have made an effort to engage with the local communities to explore new themes for my work.


                   Niall McWilliam, Two landscape studies, RSA Collection


                                           Hopefully one day I would love to return to Florence - it was such a beautiful city to have spent nearly 4 months
                                           absorbed in art, the history and the culture that the city had to offer.