UHI Shetland Fine Art Student Keith Massey Wins Prestigious New Graduate Award from the Society of Scottish Artists

UHI Shetland Fine Art Degree Show student Keith Massey has been honoured with the New Graduate Award from the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA). This prestigious accolade celebrates outstanding work by recent graduates and provides Keith with the opportunity to exhibit his selected artwork at the Royal Scottish Academy, one of Scotland’s most high-profile exhibitions.

Keith's work will be featured in the SSA’s Annual Exhibition later this year, a significant milestone often seen as a steppingstone for emerging artists. His artwork, inspired by the sea and its interface with humanity, explores new materials and techniques to represent this connection both realistically and conceptually. Keith transforms materials into the form of a carving aesthetic, remoulding images both physically and emotionally. He takes the subject to its limits, rearranging it into a new form while incorporating and paying homage to its natural beauty.

Through sculpting, he experiences the heritage, malleability, and vulnerabilities of the material, and these same limitations are evidenced in his oil painting through the paint’s application. Keith’s work thematically links realistic and conceptual elements, inviting viewers to examine their perceived realities in the hazy interface where imagination lives.

Keith commented: "I was completely taken aback and delightfully surprised to be awarded the Scottish Society of Artists New Graduate Award. The opportunity to exhibit at the Royal Academy is something I could never have dreamed of, and I am extremely grateful for the recognition of my work.

What I have learned studying through UHI Shetland, which has become the most important thing for me, is that I need not worry about what people think about me or my art because I now have enough confidence to go out into the world and do what I do. UHI Shetland has enabled me to speak from my heart and for that, I will always be thankful."

Paul Bloomer, Fine Art Lecturer at UHI Shetland praised Keith’s achievement: "We are incredibly proud of Keith and his well-deserved recognition by the Society of Scottish Artists. His dedication, creativity, and unique perspective have always stood out, and this award is a testament to his hard work and talent. We are excited to see his work exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy and look forward to his continued success."

The Society of Scottish Artists is a leading arts organization that supports and promotes the work of contemporary artists in Scotland. Their Annual Exhibition is a key event in the Scottish art calendar, providing a platform for emerging and established artists to present their work.

Keith’s work can be viewed currently at the Vision 2024 Exhibition at the Lerwick Campus, Gremista as part of the UHI Shetland Fine Art and Contemporary Textiles Degree Show.

Exhibition Details:

Dates: Friday, June 7th - Friday, June 21st, 2024

Opening Hours: Including Saturday and late evening openings