The Great Scottish Make Off


Think of the bits of your favourite reality cooking competition and replace food with art, then throw yourself into the middle and make it a festival and you’ve got The Great Scottish Make Off. Artists were selected as the contestants, and will be given a brief, materials, and a day to create a work in a friendly “competition”. The local community was invited in to watch, and we offered a chance for anyone and everyone to get involved by shopping at artist stalls, having their own mini- make off workshops, and enjoying live entertainment in our festival atmosphere. The Great Scottish Make Off is all about engaging local communities, highlighting local artists, and introducing more people to the benefits of creativity.

The Basics

The Great Scottish Make Off is an idea for a fun, engaging arts event to take place across several cities in Scotland in summer 2016. The aim is to bring together communities, artists, and local organisations to make something that everyone can enjoy.

Think of it as a real life, much less competitive, more interactive version of your favourite reality cooking competition, but with no losers. We’re just replacing food with art…and we’re not cooking it. We will not be held responsible for what happens if you put your paints on the hob or a sculpture in the oven.

There are three core parts of the idea:

Competition Bit

In each city, a group of artists* will be selected and given a brief, materials, and one day to create a piece.

*We say artist for ease of use on words, but anyone can apply to be one of the competitors. If you aren’t a professional artist or maker, but want to show your work, you are more than welcome to apply. All are welcome, though space will be limited.

Interactive Bit

If you like Master Chef or Bake Off, watching is half the fun, but by the end of an episode you’ve got your stand mixer out and flour all over half the kitchen. We want to make sure everyone is involved and gets to try a little creativity. We’ll run workshops with local artists, and even have mini make-off challenges for everyone to try.

Exhibition Bit

Under pressure, sometimes things can be completely different than what you would make at home (for better or worse). The selected artists will also get a chance to exhibit the body of work they would normally show in a gallery or art festival. So the public can see the artist making under these restrictions, but also see what he or she would normally make in the comfort of his or her own studio.