A MOTHER of three who went to art school in her late forties and "fulfilled a lifelong ambition" has been named as the winner of Scotland’s biggest prize for an emerging artist.

Charlene Scott, 52, of Tranent in East Lothian has won the 2024 Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Prize, worth £15,000, for her work using folded paper and home-made botanical pigments.

She will now spend three months this summer at the distillery in Dufftown, Morayshire, alongside artists from all over the world on the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence (AiR) programme.

The prize, supported by distillery owners William Grant & Sons, is awarded annually at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition in Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Valorant: New Edinburgh mural pays tribute to new Scottish character

Charlene, who has two grown-up daughters and a 16-year-old son, fulfilled a lifelong ambition when she started a degree course at Edinburgh College of Art in her late forties.

She had worked as a travel agent for 10 years, then did a variety of jobs from home while raising her children, but her passion for art and making remained a constant.

Her distinctive work, made by folding paper to create lines and patterns then adding colour from natural pigments she makes herself, caught the eye of the Glenfiddich Award judges.

The National:

Andy Fairgrieve, co-ordinator of the Glenfiddich Artists in Residence programme, said: “It would be easy to underestimate the works of Charlene Scott, however, the longer you linger and absorb her works more is revealed.

“Not unlike a well-crafted single malt whisky, her work is a clean yet complex celebration of simplicity with a great sense of hidden depth. She will be a perfect fit to this year’s Glenfiddich Residency.”

Charlene said she was “shocked and delighted” to win the award. “The residency is such a gift. My work is quite slow, and I need time to soak up my surroundings. I’m really looking forward to developing my work at Glenfiddich.”

READ MORE: Glasgow charity manager crowned 2024 Mastermind Champion

She began making her own colours from foraged plants while doing a foundation course in art at Edinburgh College and now grows plants to make dyes in her own garden.

She said: “I use a stove in the garden for making pigments - when I use the kitchen my family complains about the smell!

“I can’t help but make connections between the aesthetics of minimalism and the basic principles of herbalism and ecology. I use line, folds, repetition and pattern along with botanical pigments to build a framework that I hope will entice a viewer to look closely and linger a little longer.”

While at Edinburgh College of Art, Charlene won the James Cumming Award for Draughtsmanship, the Astaire Art Prize and an RSA John Kinross Travel Scholarship, which enabled her to spend six weeks in Florence.

The RSA New Contemporaries exhibition brings together the work of recent graduates selected from all five Scottish art schools. Due to a cancelled exhibition during the pandemic, this year’s showcase features 104 artists, double the usual number, drawing graduates from the classes of 2022 and 2023.