Image of someone jumping over a ball
Starcatcher’s ‘Little Top’. Image ©

Brian Hartley.

Thursday 19 October 2023

Edinburgh, 19th October – Today, six Scottish-based awardees have been announced for the British Council’s Spotlight on Culture UK/France 2024 Fund. 

The fund aims to spark new and refresh existing connections between the UK and France, supporting collaborations that build long-term relationships between artists, creative practitioners, and arts and cultural organisations.

Scottish-based projects have been awarded over £100K through joint-funding as part of the Spotlight on Culture/UK France 2024 – Together We Imagine programme, delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland and The National Lottery. The spotlight is a celebration of artistic co-creation and cultural partnerships, taking place as France enters the international spotlight as host of the Rugby World Cup, Paris 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and their Cultural Olympiad. 

In 2024, an exciting programme connecting Scottish based artists with counterparts in France will feature six projects from across art forms. Projects include: a co-production between Cryptic in Glasgow and Station Mir through sound and digital art, exploring the endangered natural heritage of our coral reefs. Meanwhile, University of Aberdeen are collaborating with La Pie qui Joue, Rennes to celebrate Scottish female folk musicians and to make their legacy more accessible to new and wider audiences.

A full list of all the successful projects is included below.

Rhona Matheson, CEO of Starcatchers, is thrilled to be receiving the grant, saying:

"Little Top will transport you to a playful, joyous, upside down, topsy-turvy world where people can fly, patterns fill the air and anything is possible. We are delighted to present our award-winning show, a co-production with SUPERFAN, at Festival Premières Rencontres. This is an opportunity to strengthen our partnership with Compagnie ACTA, fresh from our collaboration on international project, Arts & Early Childhood. The presentation of this work will allow us to continue working together to explore best practice in arts for early years on a European scale. We are very grateful to the British Council's Spotlight on Culture UK/France 2024 Fund for this invaluable opportunity."

Dana MacLeod, Executive Director of Arts, Communities & Inclusion at Creative Scotland, said: 

“Spotlight on Culture UK/France 2024 is an excellent opportunity to strengthen Scotland’s cultural connections with our European counterparts and ignite some imaginative partnerships. This programme allows us to support a strong selection of artists and organisations to work with some renowned French counterparts. The pairings with French artists and organisations are genuinely exciting and offer not just an enhanced showcase opportunity for Scottish creative work to new audiences, but also rich mutual learning and a space to exchange practice.”

Peter Brown, Director, British Council Scotland, added:

“It’s wonderful to see such a strong showing for Scottish projects within the Spotlight fund. Not only will the projects help maintain vital links between Scotland and France, but it is also a fantastic opportunity for creatives across both countries to connect, collaborate and form lasting relationships. 

“We are excited to follow this wide range of grantees and the impacts these collaborations are destined to create. All are in the spirit of audacious imagination and innovation that our British Council work aims to spark.”

Information about awardees and their projects:

  • A co-production between Cryptic and Station Mir for a first collaboration between artists Alex Smoke (sound and music) from Scotland and Paul Duncombe (digital art) from France. Exploring the endangered natural heritage of our coral reefs, the project will cross music, digital arts, biology and the environmental emergency with poetic exploration and ecological claim. The project will be presented at Festival interstice in Caen (May to August 2024) and Sonica Festival in Glasgow (September 2024).
  • A first collaboration between Glasgow International and CAPC Bordeaux for a co-production of a new performance-based work by Glasgow-based artist Tako Taal, with public performances in both locations. These performances will take place in June 2024, as part of Glasgow International Festival and CAPC’s L’Academie des Mutantes.
  • Following a Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2023, Dovecot Studios and the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie in Aubusson will produce public displays in Aubusson and Paris in Summer and Autumn 24, of 21st C tapestries created in Scotland with women artists. The project will also support inspiration and exchange between Scottish and French artist-weavers studying and creating new artworks. The collaboration includes a co-produced work by a French female artist to be displayed in Scotland in Summer 2024.
  • Take Me Somewhere, Glasgow / Festival Actoral, Marseille. This collaboration includes a Scottish focus on radical performance within Festival Actoral in Autumn 2024 centring on approaches to sustainability, equity, diversity inclusion and accessibility. It will increase both organisations’ understanding of French/Scottish showcasing and provide residency opportunities to build lasting relationships between French and Scottish live art practitioners whose identity reflects or whose practice responds to issues of environmental justice, decolonisation, queer/trans politics/lived reality/disability.
  • The collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and La Pie qui Joue, Rennes, with innovative research at its centre, will celebrate Scottish female folk musicians and make their legacy more accessible to new and wider audiences. With storytelling at the core of Scottish folk tradition, music will be intertwined with literature from underrepresented Scottish authors, giving voice to a broader Scottish experience. A series of performances and workshops will take place in a range of venues in Brittany in Summer 2024.
  • Following on from their Eramus+ collaboration on artistic awakening in early childhood, Starcatchers Productions and Compagnie ACTA strengthen their partnership through the presentation of Starcatchers’ award-winning production Little Top at Festival Premières Rencontres in April 2024. Here they will share their research findings and explore and develop new opportunities to expand exchange of experience and best practice between companies, artists and practitioners working in arts for early years.

Notes to Editor

For media enquiries, please contact: 

Anna Christoforou, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager, UK Nations, British Council 


About the British Council

About British Council:

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language.

With more than 80 years of expertise and present in more than 100 countries, British Council is a globally recognised organisation in the teaching of the English language, with more than 300,000 students around the world and working with people in over 200 countries and territories. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people. 

About UK/France Spotlight on Culture:

Led by British Council, UK/FR Spotlight on Culture Together We Imagine is a celebration of the Franco-British relationship through culture. It will plant seeds for new opportunities for individuals and organisations. As France is in the international spotlight as host of the Paris 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and their Cultural Olympiad, British Council has designed a vibrant programme of cultural collaborations, events, activities and grant-funded projects taking place across France between Spring and Autumn 2024.

About Creative Scotland:

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at