Message from the School of Fine Art regarding the Mackintosh Building fire.

School of Fine Art statement >

Dear all,

To say that it has been a traumatic weekend for everyone seems something of an understatement.  However as we start to recover from the immediate shock of Friday’s events, we want to express how extremely proud we are of the response we witnessed from our students and staff. The professional, measured and contained response in the face of a serious and life-threatening incident has been incredible, although does not surprise us.

To the students and staff who worked together so bravely on Friday to execute an orderly and calm evacuation of the Building even before the Fire and Rescue Service had arrived on the scene, thus allowing the Services immediate access to do their job so effectively, we thank you.

The School of Fine Art also owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the teams from the Police and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for their rapid response, extraordinary bravery, tenacity and for their incredible respect not just for the world famous building, but for the works of art contained within it.

For students, and particularly final year students, please know that Fine Art staff have been working tirelessly over the weekend on your behalf and will continue to do so. There is no news for you yet and as has been communicated to you, the School is closed until Friday 30th May. We ask that you please respect that - there is genuinely nothing else that we can tell you until Friday when we can advise a plan forward at departmental briefings. As a reminder those Friday briefings are at the following times in the Barnes Lecture Theatre:

2pm – Fine Art Photography
2.45pm – Sculpture and Environmental Art
3.30pm – Painting and Printmaking
4.15pm – M.Litt

From Friday we will need to pull together and work harder than ever. It will be a very busy fortnight while we gather ourselves to present the School of Fine Art, united, to the world at an end of year showcase. We ask that you take time this week to ready yourselves in preparation to get stuck into implementing departmental and school plans from Friday. We will need everyone’s help to do so.

We are so very grateful for all the messages of support that we have received from alumni, peers, friends and strangers from across the world. It is a reflection of the deep emotion felt for the Mackintosh Building, and a reminder of the reach and depth of affection for the school, its students, staff and alumni. At this point in time it has been such a comfort to know that so many people are thinking of us and wishing us the very best of futures. 

We ask that you bear with us for the moment while a large and necessary body of work is tackled in the background. Whilst there is no doubt that this has been an event of enormous importance, the School of Fine Art’s community has once again rallied and we will remain strong. Over the coming weeks we will show that our community come together demonstrates the most extraordinary reserves of spirit, and that it is not in our nature to submit to misfortune and adversity - instead we choose to overcome them with creativity, passion and strength.

Watch this space…


Alistair Payne
Acting Head of School of Fine Art

Paul Cosgrove
Programme Leader, Sculpture and Environmental Art

Lesley Punton
Programme Leader, Fine Art Photography

Jim Birrell
Programme Leader, Painting and Printmaking

Mick McGraw
Undergraduate Programme Leader

John Calcutt
Postgraduate Programme Leader