ArtWorks Scotland

All Episodes 2001 - 2015

  • Ended
  • #<Network:0x00007f31947838f0>
  • 2001-12-09T23:00:00Z
  • 30m
  • 23h 30m (47 episodes)
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • BBC Scotland + 1 more, Nobles Gate Scotland
  • Documentary
Compelling stories from the forefront of Scottish arts and culture

48 episodes

Season Premiere


2001x01 The Bartered Ride

Season Premiere

2001x01 The Bartered Ride

  • 2001-12-09T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Artworks Scotland episode 1

Season Premiere


2006x01 Tutti Frutti: The Return of the Majestics

Season Premiere

2006x01 Tutti Frutti: The Return of the Majestics

  • 2006-10-01T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Artworks goes behind the scenes with The National Theatre of Scotland to see how they transform the classic TV series Tutti Frutti for the stage. Former cast members including Robbie Coltrane, Richard Wilson and Katy Murphy also recall the making of the original comedy drama 20 years ago.

Season Premiere


2007x01 Paolo Nutini Takes on America

Season Premiere

2007x01 Paolo Nutini Takes on America

  • 2007-06-07T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

In 2006, Paisley-born singer/songwriter Paolo Nutini sold over a million copies of his first album, These Streets, and toured with Paul Weller and The Rolling Stones. Now he's off to the States. Over two months he'll visit 45 radio stations, 20 record stores and play 26 gigs and ArtWorks has exclusive, intimate access. Can Paolo succeed where Oasis and even Robbie Williams failed? Will Paolo crack America or will America break him?

Sanjeev Kohli dissects the most popular moans about the Edinburgh Festival: it's too big, too expensive, too arty and litters an otherwise beautiful city with wacky street performers. Surely Sanjeev can find something to like about the biggest arts festival in the world?

2007x03 Black Watch: A Soldier's Story

  • 2007-08-26T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Series focusing on contemporary Scottish art. The inside story of the National Theatre of Scotland's hugely successful production Black Watch, with insight from the show's creators interwoven with the moving personal stories of soldiers who actually served in Iraq. As the play tours Scotland, events at home and abroad underline its relevance and increase its emotional impact.


2007x04 Black Watch

2007x04 Black Watch

  • 2007-08-27T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Based on interviews with soldiers who served in Iraq, this mix of words, music and song reveals what it means to be part of the legendary Scottish regiment, to go to war and make the journey home. The National Theatre of Scotland's award-winning production was filmed live in Dingwall and contains very strong language.

2007x05 Steven Campbell: The Caravan Club

  • 2007-09-02T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

As a tribute to the painter Steven Campbell who died in August 2007, another chance to see this ArtWorks Scotland documentary first shown in 2002. After almost a decade of self-imposed exile from the art world, Campbell returned with an exhibition of new paintings called the Caravan Club at Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery. This film tells the story of his rise to fame as one of the New Glasgow Boys and follows him in the weeks leading up to the exhibition's opening in August 2002.

Gregory's Girl, Shallow Grave, Trainspotting... and now Hallam Foe. Starring Jamie Bell and filmed on location in Edinburgh, the new film from director David Mackenzie opened this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival to critical acclaim. But will it join the list of Scottish classics? And what is the recipe for cinematic success? With contributions from stars and film-makers including Martin Compston, Tilda Swinton, Ken Loach and Gillies

2007x07 Edwyn Collins: Home Again

  • 2007-09-14T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Edwyn Collins, former lead singer of Orange Juice and a successful solo artist in his own right, suffered a brain haemorrhage in February 2005 and almost died. Miraculously he pulled through, despite contracting MRSA after undergoing a risky operation, but had to face a lengthy and arduous rehabilitation programme to learn how to walk, speak and play the guitar again. The programme follows him through therapy and back into the recording studio as he completes the solo album - Home Again - that he began before falling ill. Includes Edwyn's remarkable return to the stage, singing a selection of old and new songs at the BBC's Electric Proms.

Season Premiere


2008x01 Danger! New Opera!

Season Premiere

2008x01 Danger! New Opera!

  • 2008-03-24T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Series about contemporary Scottish art. Scottish Opera has commissioned five new operas from some of Scotland's top writers and composers, including Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and Craig Armstrong. Some of them have never written an opera before. Can they attract a new audience to 21st century opera?

2008x02 Alison Watt: A Painter's Eye

  • 2008-05-30T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

A personal and revealing insight into the mind of one of the art world's brightest stars. Alison Watt made her name when, still in her 20s, she was commissioned to paint a portrait of the Queen Mother. For the last two years she's been working on paintings for a solo exhibition at the National Gallery in London, an honour accorded to very few living artists.

2008x03 Tracey Emin: Sex Success and Celebrity

  • 2008-09-01T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

As the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh showcases 20 years of work by the controversial artist Tracey Emin, Artworks Scotland debates her worth, taking a considered look at her key works as well as the woman behind the hype. Is Emin really a great artist or just the artist we deserve - a product of our self-obsessed, confessional, celebrity age? Journalist Bidisha, sculptor Alexander Stoddart and art critic Tim Marlow help examine the evidence.

2008x04 Class Enemy: A Message from Sarajevo

  • 2008-09-29T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

In August this year, the East West Theatre Company from Sarajevo brought a new version of Nigel Williams' play Class Enemy to the Edinburgh International Festival. It's a hard-hitting and foul-mouthed production that tackles the topical subject of youth violence head-on. Is Edinburgh ready for such an unstintingly brutal portrait of the lives of young people today? The programme meets the cast and director Haris Pasovic at home in Sarajevo and follows the journey of the play to Edinburgh and then on to the Glasgow suburb of Rutherglen to see how the production goes down with a group of Scottish teenagers.

Season Premiere


2009x01 When Ian Rankin Met Jack Vettriano

Season Premiere

2009x01 When Ian Rankin Met Jack Vettriano

  • 2009-05-08T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Ian Rankin, Britain's bestselling crime writer, spends a day with Jack Vettriano, Scotland's most successful painter. Both men grew up in the shadow of Fife's collieries and now enjoy an international reputation and considerable wealth. Rankin's books have been translated into 22 languages and Vettriano sells more prints than Monet or Van Gogh. Starting in Vettriano's home in Kirkcaldy and ending up in Edinburgh, Artworks Scotland brought the two friends together to talk about success, snobbery and sex.

2009x02 When Karen Dunbar Met Denise Mina

  • 2009-05-15T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

One of Scotland's best-loved comediennes and one of the country's most acclaimed crime writers might seem an odd couple, but Karen Dunbar and Denise Mina are firm friends. Karen graduated from Chewin' the Fat to starring in her own TV series and Glasgow's top panto. Denise's seven novels have won several awards and been translated into 15 languages. The pair spend a day together discussing life and work, comparing piercings and drinking far too much coffee.

2009x03 When Irvine Welsh Met Bobby Gillespie

  • 2009-05-22T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Irvine Welsh first met Bobby Gillespie when the latter offered the services of his band Primal Scream on the soundtrack of the film of Trainspotting. Since then they have collaborated on music videos and a controversial football anthem, and enjoyed the occasional night on the town. Artworks Scotland brought them together in Bobby's studio to discuss creativity, hard work and their greatest hits, and to look back at some of their old television appearances.

2009x04 Raising Kane: Fashion's New Star

  • 2009-05-29T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Scottish designer Christopher Kane is one of fashion's brightest stars and he's still only 26. Working with his sister Tammy, Kane has created a stir with a string of small-scale collections but now needs to turn his name into a global brand. Artworks Scotland gets exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Kane's highly anticipated London Fashion Week show and charts Donatella Versace's attempts to lure him to Italy to work for her. Will Christopher's creative flair and Tammy's business skills be enough for the Kanes to buck the recession?

Series focusing on contemporary Scottish art. Artworks travels with novelist Alexander McCall Smith from his home town of Edinburgh to Gaborone in Botswana to see the people and places which have influenced his bestselling books. With contributions from famous fans including Anthony Minghella, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and former First Minister Jack McConnell.

As the Glasgow School of Art celebrates the centenary of the opening of its remarkable home, Artworks Scotland tells the story behind Charles Rennie Mackintosh's internationally acclaimed building, with contributions from some of the school's best-known graduates. Fondly referred to as The Mack, the building sealed Charles Rennie Mackintosh's reputation as one of the most innovative and creative Scots of the 20th century and established him as a pioneer of Modernism. The School of Art has recently been voted the best British building of the past 175 years in a poll organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Contributors including Peter Howson, David Shrigley and Muriel Gray testify to the extraordinary impact the building has had on their creative lives. This one-off documentary, narrated by Daniela Nardini, includes songs specially written by Glasgow bands Sexy Kids and Frightened Rabbit, that both emerged from the school.

2009x07 Return of the Maestro: Donald Runnicles

  • 2009-10-08T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

As classical music star Donald Runnicles returns to Scotland as chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Artworks Scotland goes behind the scenes to find out what makes a great maestro and what life is like in the ranks of one of the world's top orchestras. Opening with Runnicles' farewell performance as music director of the prestigious San Francisco Opera, this documentary reveals the usually private process of rehearsal as he prepares his new orchestra for an appearance at the largest classical music festival in the world, the BBC Proms in London.

2009x08 Big Noise in a Wee Place

  • 2009-10-12T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

For a year, the children of Raploch, a council estate in Stirling, have been at the heart of an experiment. They have been taught to play classical stringed instruments in an attempt to transform their lives. The idea comes from Venezuela where many thousands of children from poor backgrounds have benefited from free tuition and some have gone on to join world-class orchestras. This heart-warming film follows six professional musicians charged with introducing dozens of freedom-loving kids to the discipline of making music as they create a brand new orchestra.


2009x09 Michael Clark's Heroes

2009x09 Michael Clark's Heroes

  • 2009-10-26T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The one-time bad boy of British ballet Michael Clark returned to the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 for the first time in over twenty years. In his new show, he danced to the music of Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and David Bowie. The programme follows him during the rehearsals and also, his trip to Venice, where he pays homage to two of his other heroes - Igor Stravinksy and Sergei Diaghilev.


2009x10 Auld Lang Syne

2009x10 Auld Lang Syne

  • 2009-12-31T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

ArtWorks Scotland investigates the global phenomenon that is Auld Lang Syne. Robert Burns's most famous song is sung all round the world but even in Scotland few people know the origins of the words and music, or the remarkable story of how it has travelled so far. Set against the background of last year's Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, the film includes contributions from Phil Cunningham and Libby McArthur, and performances of Auld Lang Syne by Moby, The Proclaimers and Eddi Reader.

Season Premiere


2010x01 When Alan Cumming Met Stanley Baxter

Season Premiere

2010x01 When Alan Cumming Met Stanley Baxter

  • 2010-02-20T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

In his first BBC TV appearance for almost a decade, legendary Glaswegian entertainer Stanley Baxter chats to Scotland's Broadway superstar Alan Cumming.

2010x02 When Nicola Benedetti Met Aly Bain

  • 2010-03-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Rising star of the classical music world Nicola Benedetti meets respected folk musician Aly Bain in Edinburgh to talk about the subject closest to their heart - the violin.

2010x03 When Shirley Manson Met Douglas Gordon

  • 2010-03-09T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Rock goddess Shirley Manson and Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon hang out in the taxidermy department of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to discuss images, ideas, influences and inspiration.

2010x04 When Phil Cunningham Met Mark Knopfler

  • 2010-05-10T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Phil Cunningham and Mark Knopfler spend the day together and talk about their shared love for traditional music. Playing some of their favourite tunes, they talk about collaborating on Knopfler's latest album Get Lucky. Mark speaks about growing up in Scotland, Dire Straits and composing the soundtrack for Local Hero. Phil Cunningham looks back at his musical career in Silly Wizard and his partnership with Aly Bain.


2010x05 The Glasgow Boys

2010x05 The Glasgow Boys

  • 2010-06-03T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Muriel Gray tells the story of the Glasgow Boys, the group of late 19th century painters who put Glasgow on the art world map. Focusing mainly on just four of the Boys - John Lavery, James Guthrie, George Henry and EA Hornel - she examines their masterpieces in detail and charts their shifting friendships. Following in the Boys' footsteps, Muriel travels through Scotland and northern France to uncover the sources of their inspiration and show just how radical their paintings were.

2010x06 The Madness of Peter Howson

  • 2010-11-22T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Peter Howson is one of the world's most collected living artists, his work hanging on the walls of galleries and museums and in the homes of rock stars and actors. In 2008 he received the biggest commission of his career - to paint the largest-ever crowd scene in the history of British art - but the commission is fraught with so much difficulty its completion is in jeopardy from day one. This film follows Peter over two difficult years, a journey that took him to the brink of bankruptcy, and also to the edge of his sanity.

Season Premiere

2011x01 No Sleep Till Yell - The Shetland Folk Festival

  • 2011-02-15T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The Shetland Folk Festival is one of the world's most exotic events with a hard earned reputation as the festival where nobody sleeps. Celebrating its 30th birthday, a hundred folk-musicians from as far afield as New York, Mumbai and Stockholm descend on the islands for four days and 200 performances, aided by 700 volunteers. With non-stop music from before the ferry leaves Aberdeen until the moment the visiting musicians return.

2011x02 When Bill Paterson Met Bill Forsyth

  • 2011-03-01T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Bill Paterson is one of Britain's most sought-after character actors. Writer and director Bill Forsyth is a local hero with an international reputation. They made the movie Comfort and Joy together 27 years ago. ArtWorks Scotland brought them together to revisit some of the film's locations and swap stories of their remarkably similar childhoods.

2011x03 When Peter Capaldi Met John Byrne

  • 2011-03-08T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Actor and director Peter Capaldi meets artist and playwright John Byrne at Glasgow School of Art, where both were once students. They talk about the artistic paths they have each followed. A conversation that takes in the work of John's 1960s alter-ego Patrick and his acclaimed dramas The Slab Boys trilogy and Tutti Frutti, as well as Peter's journey from playing the fresh-faced youth of Local Hero in 1983 to the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.

2011x04 When Harry Benson Met Albert Watson

  • 2011-03-15T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Two of Scotland's most successful photographers - Harry Benson from Glasgow and Albert Watson from Edinburgh - now live in New York. They spent a day together revealing the tricks of their trade and revisiting some of their best known images - Benson's photos of The Beatles at the peak of their fame and of Bobby Kennedy's assassination and Watson's portraits of Alfred Hitchcock, Mick Jagger and Mike Tyson.

2011x05 Riverside: Moving Stories

  • 2011-06-27T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

ArtWorks Scotland marks the opening of Glasgow's new Riverside Museum by going behind the scenes to tell the story of its design, construction and fitting out. The 74 million pound project replaces the city's much-loved Museum of Transport and more than doubles the number of objects on display to 3,000. The spectacular building was designed by architect Zaha Hadid and the undulating steel and zinc roof proved an engineering challenge. Almost as tricky was bringing a 179 ton steam locomotive back from South Africa to take pride of place on the banks of the Clyde. The programme also includes the moving stories of the subway carriage, the wall of 40 cars and Cafe Rendezvous, a carefully restored 1930s Italian cafe.

2011x06 Scotland Rocks at South by Southwest

  • 2011-07-05T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

In March, 2,000 bands descended on Austin, Texas hoping to make a splash at the world's largest music festival - South by Southwest. Among those keen to launch their careers in the USA were a clutch of Scottish acts including Rachel Sermanni, Unicorn Kid, Withered Hand and Admiral Fallow. ArtWorks Scotland followed them to the four-day festival to see if they had what it takes to crack America.

2011x07 Scotland's Amazing Comic Book Heroes

  • 2011-07-11T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Scottish writers Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and Alan Grant are three of the biggest names in the world of comics. Between them they have created adventures for Batman, Superman, Judge Dredd and The X Men, and the plots of films such as Wanted and Kick Ass. ArtWorks Scotland tells the story of how Scots took over these American icons and also uncovers the world's first comic strip in Glasgow's Mitchell Library.

2011x08 Gerry Rafferty: Right Down the Line

  • 2011-08-29T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Gerry Rafferty, who died in January 2011, was one of Scotland's best loved singer/songwriters, famous around the world for hits such as Baker Street and Stuck in the Middle With You. This ArtWorks Scotland film, narrated by David Tennant, tells the story of Rafferty's life through his often autobiographical songs and includes contributions from Gerry's daughter Martha and brother Jim, friends and colleagues including Billy Connolly, John Byrne and Joe Egan, admirers such as Tom Robinson and La Roux, and words and music from Rafferty himself.

Season Premiere


2012x01 The Missing

Season Premiere

2012x01 The Missing

  • 2012-02-06T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

When people disappear, they leave holes in the lives of friends and family that can never be filled. The writer Andrew O'Hagan and the artist Graham Fagen have both created works on this highly emotive subject. O'Hagan's play for the National Theatre of Scotland, The Missing, was adapted from his 1995 book of the same name. Fagen's companion piece - a moving image work called Missing - was commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. ArtWorks Scotland followed the making of both the play and the film and revisited, with Andrew O'Hagan, some of the people and places featured in the original book. The programme combines intimate footage from the rehearsal room and research and filming by Graham Fagen with moving testimony from those left behind by the missing.

2012x02 Jack Bruce: The Man Behind the Bass

  • 2012-02-13T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The late Jack Bruce fronted the 1960s supergroup Cream alongside Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker and has played with everyone from Marvin Gaye to Jimi Hendrix and from Lulu to Lou Reed. ArtWorks Scotland tells the story of his life, from childhood in Scotland to global superstardom, through some of Jack's favourite songs and with contributions from Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Flea of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Adam Clayton of U2. The story encompasses some of the biggest riffs and rifts in rock, taking in family tragedy, drugs and near death. A specially chosen set of six songs mark crucial moments in Jack's life, including Cream's Sunshine of Your Love. Jack rerecorded the tracks with some of Scotland's finest musicians including folk trio Lau, percussionist Jim Sutherland, keyboard player Andy May, guitarist Taj Wyzgowski, drummer Chris Peacock, his nephew Nico Bruce on bass and string ensemble Mr McFall's Chamber.

2012x03 Running at the Speed of Light

  • 2012-08-30T22:00:00Z — 30 mins

Fittingly in this Olympic year, one of the highlights of the Edinburgh International Festival is an extraordinary combination of sport and art. For NVA's Speed of Light, hundreds of people have been climbing Arthur's Seat after dark to watch runners wearing specially commissioned light suits perform choreographed moves. The spectators are part of the work too as they carry staffs that emit sound and light, bringing the hills to life. This ArtWorks Scotland documentary follows the creation of this hugely ambitious project and finds out why people run and what motivates endurance athletes to push their bodies to the limit.

In June this year a group of children from the Raploch estate in Stirling played alongside one of the world's most celebrated orchestras in front of an audience of 8,000. The Big Noise Orchestra joined the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela to launch the London 2012 Festival under the baton of star conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Big Noise began in 2008 with the aim of transforming the lives of children in Raploch through music. With help from the violinist Nicola Benedetti, all primary school children are offered the chance to learn an instrument and play together as an orchestra. This ArtWorks Scotland documentary follows the preparations for the Big Concert and captures what happened on the big day.

2012x05 Peter Darrell: Scotland's Dance Pioneer

  • 2012-12-04T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Peter Darrell was already a successful and ground-breaking choreographer when he became the first artistic director of Scottish Ballet in 1969. He laid the foundations for the company's current success and created a catalogue of ballets that deserve reviving. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of his death at the age of just 58, this film explores what made Darrell's work so innovative and influential with the help of dancer/choreographer Michael Clark, whom he mentored, and Matthew Bourne, who is widely considered to be the UK's most successful contemporary choreographer. Especially for the programme, Scottish Ballet restages an extract from Darrell's ballet Cheri.

In the year they both turn 50, the two stars of Gregory's Girl return, for the first time together, to the school where the film was shot to share memories of making and promoting the film as teenagers. For ArtWorks Scotland, they trace their subsequent parallel careers as actors, singers - Clare in the band Altered Images and Gordon in stage musicals - and more recently as authors.

2012x07 Annie Ross: No One But Me

  • 2012-12-18T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Annie Ross was the red-headed bombshell at the swinging heart of the post-war jazz scene. Raised in Glasgow, her eight-decade career runs from precocious child star - the 'Scottish Shirley Temple' - to indefatigable living legend. In this intimate and revealing ArtWorks Scotland profile, Annie discusses her many lives: Parisian singer in the 1940s, incomparable vocal gymnast in the 1950s and Covent Garden impresario in the 1960s. Tales of shoplifting with Billie Holiday, shooting up with her lover Lenny Bruce and of her deep abiding affection for her brother Jimmy Logan are underscored by Annie's beguiling and distinctive vocals performing a generous selection of jazz standards and her own compositions.

Season Premiere


2013x01 Andy Stewart - The Man Behind the Kilt

Season Premiere

2013x01 Andy Stewart - The Man Behind the Kilt

  • 2013-01-01T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Andy Stewart was one of Scotland's most successful entertainers, at home and abroad. He had hit records all over the world with songs such as Donald Where's Your Troosers and A Scottish Soldier and toured the globe long before it was the rock and roll thing to do. This ArtWorks Scotland documentary takes a nostalgic look at his life and work, from his early days as a serious actor and impressionist to his heyday fronting The White Heather Club. With contributions from Stanley Baxter, John Cairney, The Alexander Brothers, Sydney Devine and Andy's closest family, the film reveals another side to one of Scotland's best-loved icons.

William Burrell made a fortune out of shipping and spent it on art. Over his long life, he assembled one of the most remarkable private collections of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and stained glass in the world and in 1944 he donated it all - over 9,000 objects - to the city of Glasgow. The Burrell Collection finally opened to the public in 1983 but the building that bears his name contains no tribute to Burrell and he never commissioned a portrait of himself.

Queen Victoria was mad for it and Harry Lauder was clad in it. It's inextricably woven into the history of Scotland, from Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Tartan Army, and has been used to advertise many political and cultural affinities. Tartan is a fabric that tells tales, but not all of them are true. Moray Hunter narrates the story of tartan's murky past and colourful present, taking in the Englishmen who forged a guide to clan tartans, Walter Scott's tartan pageant of 1822 and the 21st-century Scottish Register of Tartans

Season Premiere


2015x01 Martyn Bennett: Grit

Season Premiere

2015x01 Martyn Bennett: Grit

  • 2015-01-22T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Documentary exploring the creation of Martyn Bennett's final album, Grit. Originally shown before his untimely passing in 2005, this programme features interviews with Martyn and many of his collaborators including Shelia Stewart, Michael Marra and Martyn's wife, Kirsten.