Curatorial development in Scotland

Emma Nicolson

Emma Nicolson is Director of ATLAS a new initiative based in Skye and Lochalsh.

ATLAS is a platform for the creation of projects which are not fixed by, or to, a permanent gallery space. The aim is to use the island of Skye and adjacent Lochalsh as a site for the contemporary visual arts with a focus on the production of exceptional work and projects, often in response to a specific context, location or situation.

Emma has been in her current role for just over a year, prior to this she was a senior manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney for three years. She has a commitment to contemporary arts practice, particularly that which explores a multidisciplinary approach and engages collaboratively with the community. She has been actively involved in the arts for over twenty years, and worked with a range of international, high-profile cultural institutions. At the MCA she was responsible for a dynamic learning programme hub working on the presentation of 40 exhibitions, and overseeing the expansion of education and public programme audiences to 47,000 a year.

Before moving to Australia she worked for National Galleries of Scotland. During her tenure, she project-managed the successful opening of the state of the art Clore Education Centre and its initial year of programmes. She has developed a specialisation in exhibition outreach programmes having curated and delivered touring exhibitions to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness, Newcastle and Skye. Throughout her career she has maintained an interest in arts practice in the Highlands. While working for the National Galleries of Scotland she worked closely with other arts professionals and artists on projects in this area.

She is currently on the Board of CCA, Glasgow, a director of Portree Community Trust, a member of the following steering groups, Creative Scotland’s Visual & Arts and Crafts Review Steering Group, and visual art at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.