The John Byrne Award

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The John Byrne Award is a free, online exhibition, competition, and community, welcoming people who seek a deeper understanding of the values that drive our beliefs and actions


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Our Mission: To create Scotland’s most inclusive, creative arts platform to encourage the questioning and development of values appropriate to our modern age.

We accept creative work in any medium, 365 days a year, from everybody over 16 living or studying in Scotland.


We are delighted to announce Róisín Gallagher’s ‘What Will We Lose If We Continue to Discourage the Use of Scots?’ as the winner of this quarter’s John Byrne Award!




By Róisín Gallagher

My aim is to get people more comfortable and acquainted with Scots and through my art practice I address the taught self-hatred we have towards the way we talk. My work explores and supports the recognition of Scots as a language and hopes to address damage done by school systems that brought up the generations before mine. The Scots language has been discouraged from being spoken for the past 300 years since its definition as a “provincial dialect”, often described as “Bad English” by means of implying that the speaker is of a lower class. Scots speakers therefore are dissuaded from using the language that plays an important part in expressing their cultural belonging and sense of place …


Read Róisín’s Full Entry



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Monthly Winners

The John Byrne Award 2020

How do we perceive borders, their notions and effects, in today’s world?

Abriele Skaite, 25 | Thanos Kyratzis, 24
The John Byrne Award for Positivity

What traces of ourselves do we leave behind?

Stuart Edwards, 30
Joint Winner of The John Byrne Award for Critical Thinking

At what cost to both the individual and the collective, do we demand that women artists and writers perform their trauma for social and political change?

Jenny Lindsay, 38 | Perry Jonsson, 28 | Biff Smith, 47 | Kevin McLean, 31
Joint Winner of The John Byrne Award for Critical Thinking

Scottish Forestry: Has profit trumped biodiversity?

Harmony Bury, 25
The John Byrne Award for Skill and Artistry

Are pills for ills, or ills for pills?

Pinkie Maclure, 58
The John Byrne Award for Community and Society

Is my broken finger the same as your broken leg?

Natalie Arle-Toyne, 39
The John Byrne Award for Innovation

I agree, we agree, but do they?

Callum Boath, 29
The John Byrne Award for a Connection to Something Greater

Out of the womb and into a prison?

Sean Lìonadh, 21