Andy Murray, Chvrches and James McAvoy among Scotland's top 10 cultural contributors in 2013
10 Peter Mullan
Top of his game
As Matt Mitcham in Jane Campion’s superb drama Top of the Lake, Mullan showed that he’s a master at communicating a twisted mind, while in Sunshine on Leith he gave depth to the role of Rab, showing off his gravelly singing voice to boot. A fine year ended with him picking up a Scottish BAFTA for his TV role in The Fear. (GT)
9 Rachel Maclean
Maclean’s brilliant and timely explorations of national identity won her the Margaret Tait Award at the Glasgow Film Festival, followed by a celebrated Edinburgh Art Festival show and a nomination for the Jarman Award. Maclean is sure to continue to shine in 2014 with her solo show at CCA. (RT)
Picture courtesy of Rachel Maclean and Edinburgh Printmakers.
After 40 years of publishing some of Scotland’s finest writers, Canongate aren’t getting complacent: to celebrate their birthday they selected a future list of storytellers who will shape the next four decades, as well as publishing a free book (40) including art, lists, stories and – most excitingly – a cake. (KL)
7 James McAvoy
Having previously bolstered the ‘flawed hero’ side of his CV with appearances in X-Men: First Class and Wanted, McAvoy dedicated some time to his inner anti-hero in 2013, first with Hitchcockian mind-bender Trance, then as the dirtiest of dirty cops in Filth. An X-Men sequel beckons in 2014. (NB)
6 Jenni Fagan
Fagan was the only Scot on Granta’s prestigious Best Young British Novelists list with her debut novel, The Panopticon. Ever the talent-spotter, we published Fagan’s flash fiction in April. 2014 might be Fagan’s year too, with a film of The Panopticon optioned by Ken Loach and another novel, short story collection and poetry anthology on the way. (KL)
5 Eclair Fifi
Stirling sound and vision
She’s been blending sublime Italo, Chicago house, rap, slow jams, trap and techno in her sets for years, but in 2013 Edinburgh-born Eclair Fifi (real name Clair Stirling) surfaced from the underground. Alongside her own Radio 1 slot, she DJed on LuckyMe’s shows for Rinse FM and took residency at Social Club, Paris and Hoya, Manchester. Besides her rock solid mixtapes and remixes, the artist (currently studying illustration and visual communication at ECA) plays a key role in LuckyMe collective’s aesthetic, styling and designing artwork, shoots and merch. (CS)
Picture: Nils Vom Lande.
4 Traverse Theatre
50 years of new writing
It’s no accident that the Traverse shares an anniversary with the National Theatre: both emerged from creative energy generated by the fresh breed of 1950s playwrights. For the past 50 years, the Traverse has celebrated new writing, expanding its remit to include dance and becoming a Fringe powerhouse in August. To celebrate its five decades, the Cambridge Street institution supported 50 emerging playwrights, brought new writers into theatre and sustained an energetic tradition that has made it one of the UK’s most iconic spaces. (GKV)
Resurrecting our faith in pop
The undisputed Scottish pop breakout success of 2013. Chvrches’ debut album The Bones of What You Believe notched up excellent reviews and went top 10 in the UK and top 20 in the US. Lauren Mayberry has distinguished herself as a voice of rare, non-bullshitting guts and identity in the mainstream music world. That voice, wed to Iain Cook and Martin Doherty’s minty-fresh synth lines and beats, has propelled ‘Lies’ and ‘The Mother We Share’ into becoming two of the year’s most essential tracks. (MJ)
Picture: Elliot Lee Hazel.
2 Andy Murray
Hot 100 devotees will notice that Sir Andy (seriously, how has that not happened yet?) is a non-mover for the second year running. Last year he occupied this penultimate position both for his victories in the Olympics and the US Open, and for his tearful defeat at Wimbledon, which showed us a hitherto unseen sensitive side. This year, there were no such tears, but rather roars of approval from all over the country, as Andy triumphed at Wimbledon (the first UK male to win the singles since 1936, though significantly, not the first Brit full stop) and became Britain’s sporting hero. (NB)