The Nation//Live was the first major community outreach project for the refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery, culminating in an exciting exhibition in the Contemporary Scotland Gallery from 5 October 2013 to 6 May 2014.

The National Galleries of Scotland Outreach Team have worked in-depth with communities and local partners in four selected Scottish regions, Clydebank, Inverness, Dumfries and Galloway and the Isle of Skye. Our fifth project drew participants from across Scotland. Our aim was to explore major themes in Scottish history and their relevance today.

Encompassing crucial turning points in the nation’s history, The Nation//Live presents a dramatic vision of Scotland’s story as interpreted by its communities today. Encounters between the past and the present, the national and the local, have linked local heroes, characters and events to works of art from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery collection, which in turn have inspired new work to be made by the communities engaged on the project.

Our participants, led by project artists Martin O’Connor, Kevin Reid, Sarah Forrest, Catherine Weir and Drew Wright, have added their stories and memories to a rewriting of the national narrative. These personal recollections contrast with the official history usually associated with institutions like museums and galleries.

The five projects were unified through a contemporary video artwork by filmmaker Daniel Warren, sections of which can be seen throughout these project pages, with the full film streamed below alongside the original project trailer, the exhibition trailer and a subtitled version of the whole film.

A limited edition project catalogue, DVD, 10’’ vinyl LP and MP3 download code are available to purchase from the online shop.


The Nation//Live – Full Film


The Nation//Live – Full Film (subtitled)


 The Nation//Live – Project Trailer (2011)

A preview of our first major community outreach project for the new Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Directed by Daniel Warren

Music by Wounded Knee and Bigg Taj


 The Nation//Live – Exhibition Trailer (2013)

Preview of a powerful new film by Daniel Warren which unites all of the Nation//Live outreach projects and reveals how today’s Scots feel about their ability to shape their own lives.

[Duration 1:58]