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


Coronavirus and caring for our community: Read our response here.


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 award £7,500 annually and £500 quarterly.


We are delighted to announce Grant Holden’s ‘Who Would Clean a Car Park?’ as the winner of this quarter’s John Byrne Award!



By Grant Holden

“During my final year at art college, I lived near a multi-storey car park in the centre of Edinburgh. One day, I heard a brush being swept there. At the time, I was developing ideas for my graduation film about a cleaner and his (talking) brush. Never had I thought a car park would have to be swept. When doing research for the film, I came across a quote in a report by the Equality & Human Rights Commission on the cleaning sector. A worker said that cleaners were frequently “the first to be blamed and the last to be thanked”. That really stuck with me: what would it mean to carry out a job that society relies upon yet never fully appreciates? …”



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What would you like to see, hear, read today?

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