As the Scottish National Gallery undergoes an ambitious transformation to create new gallery space dedicated to Scottish art, there are many people working hard behind the scenes to manage the construction project while the Scottish National Gallery remains open. And they all have a favourite painting that hangs in the gallery.
Find out why they love that artwork and what they are looking forward to the most when the new galleries open.
Caitlin Carrick, Project Operations Manager
What’s your role in the Scottish National Gallery project?
I work as the Project Operations Manager, which means that I’m on site dealing with both the construction site and our visitor facing aspect. I make sure that we can still keep the site open and functioning, while minimising our disruption as much as possible.
So you’ll find me running around day to day looking at things like fire safety, security, visitor service and working very closely with other departments such as marketing and comms, learning and engagement to ensure we can still create a great visitor experience while we complete the project.
What’s your favourite work in the collection?
Una and the Lion by William Bell Scott has been my favourite work since I first started as a gallery attendant about eight and a half years ago now. I enjoyed sitting and looking at it, and talking to visitors about it. I love the collar of her jacket, I love the imagery of it, and it also related a little to my dissertation on Elizabeth I and the Faerie Queen when I was an English Literature student.
Ever since then it’s always had a special feeling and meaning for me. I’m looking forward to seeing it in its new home when we eventually move to the new galleries devoted to the Scottish collection, once the refurbishment is complete.
What does the Scottish National Gallery mean to you?
I started working at the Scottish National Gallery as a gallery attendant in the summer, working on the Elizabeth Blackadder show in the RSA, and then moved on to become a permanent gallery attendant. And now I have the amazing opportunity of working on the Scottish National Gallery project.
I have a real love and investment of what we’re doing here, and it fills me with great pride to say that I can work alongside a team to help create fantastic new galleries and a space that will offer a much better flow for visitors.
What are you looking forward to the most when the project is completed?
I think the flow around the building is going to be a really key part of the success of the project. We are creating a brand new space with a beautiful staircase that leads you from the new galleries up to the main floor and then through the building.
So I think it’s that link, of being able to have everything back open again, returning to business as usual and seeing people physically use the space we’ve created, and to interact with the art in new ways.