Introducing our new campaign for 2020/21

Introducing our new campaign for 2020/21


We are campaigning for a Sustainable Future for Scottish Artists and Makers.


Seeing Red – a new campaign by Scottish Artist Union to highlight the ongoing difficulties facing artists and makers due to the impact of Covid-19.

If we are going to build back better and have a thriving arts community beyond Covid-19, we need to act now to support creative freelancers. Covid-19 has exposed longterm arts underfunding in Scotland and the UK alongside an infrastructure weakened by years of austerity and Local Authority budget cuts. Freelance artists feel forgotten and many are wondering how they can continue to sustain a professional working life.

  • 81% of our members are self-employed or freelance
  • 52% did not qualify for government support schemes during Covid-19
  • 83% earn less than £10k per year
  • 88% do not get contracts consistently
  • 61% receive less than the industry standard rates of pay

Actions: we are asking you to get involved in the following ways

  • Share the Seeing Red logos on social media, (PDF version here)  and post a ‘red’ image of your artwork using the hashtag #SeeingRed
  • Print out the poster and display in your studio/workplace
  • Donate to the Scottish Artists Union here
  • Write to your MP/MSP/Councillor in the run up to the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Elections about making the case for a properly funded arts sector.
  • Join the union or encourage a friend to join
  • Support our Fair Work Contract
  • Support our campaign for Universal Basic Income

In the coming months the campaign will feature several 2020 graduates from Scotland’s art schools alongside established Scottish artists. We’re hoping many more of you will join us in posting images in support of our campaign. We will be posting a template letter you can use to contact your MSP.

The SAU stand in solidarity with other Cultural Trade Unions in Scotland in campaigning for an end to unfair working practices and support the implementation of the Scottish Government’s Fair Work Action Plan. Our fellow union members in the MU, Equity, BECTU, NUJ, IWGB, WGGB and SSP unions are all fighting to prevent redundancies and support members affected by the impact of the pandemic. We also continue working alongside Scottish Contemporary Arts Network (SCAN) and Engage through our shared Manifesto.






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