Memories of


Stephen Palmer

We are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend and colleague Stephen Palmer. Over the last 15 years Stephen has made a significant contribution to the work of Creative Scotland and the Scottish Arts Council, with a particular focus on the development of the Visual Arts.

He has been a constant advocate for and support to many hundreds of artists and arts organisations across the country and he took great pride and pleasure in helping them to achieve their goals.

Stephen has so many outstanding qualities but he’ll be especially remembered for his expansive knowledge and overview of contemporary art and culture; his supportive outlook and generosity to others; and his ability to bring humanity and humour into all aspects of the job, no matter how tough or difficult the situation.

We’ll be passing this book of remembrance onto Stephen’s family. All messages of love and support are welcome. Plans for a gathering later in the summer will also be shared over the coming weeks.

Donations if desired to St Columba’s Hospice or in aid of Motor Neurone Disease.

Amanda Catto,
Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland

Book Owner: Amanda Catto
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Kitty Anderson

I met Stephen on a trip to the Istanbul Biennial in 2009. We were only there for a few days, but Stephen brought several watches with him, despite the fact that there weren’t nearly enough opportunities to wear them! He was totally unapologetic about his interest in such things, and wonderfully confident in his …

Duncan Bremner

So very sad to hear the news of Stephens passing. A surprise that really touched me. He was a considerate and witty man who took the time to talk with anyone and to share the gossip with you! A champion for the arts he loved his job and the people he worked with across the …

Margaret Mitchell

I was so saddened to hear the news about Stephen. In the short time, I knew Stephen, his kindness and dedication shone through. Not only was he interested in the work I was doing but he also enquired with sensitivity about the lives of those I photographed. He was incredibly supportive, helpful, and generous …

The Pier Arts Centre

We will remember Stephen well-coated and effortlessly scarfed to brave the Orkney weather on his visits to the gallery. Those visits always involved at least one night’s stay and he often extended that to meet and visit with other artists and practitioners in the County, providing sound and supportive encouragement and advice. We’ll miss …

Lucy Mason

Stephen was a very special man who carried his great knowledge and experience lightly.  I knew him, all too briefly, as a kind, caring and generous colleague – always encouraging, respectful and practical.  He brought laughter and good sense to his work and was a pivotal member of the Visual Arts Team.  His baking …

Sophie Crichton Stuart, Morven Gregor, Donna Chisholm and the team at Mount Stuart Trust Contemporary Visual Arts

Many condolences to Stephen’s family, friends and colleagues.   Stephen was a warm and generous spirit, who we will remember with great fondness.   Over the years, we have been grateful for his support and friendship and we will miss him greatly. From us all at Mount Stuart Trust Contemporary Visual Arts.    …

Morag Thomson Merriman

Stephen was a very dear friend and I was devastated when he told me about his MND diagnosis.  He brought so much joy, fun and laughter to my time at the Scottish Arts Council.  He had the most wonderful warm, caring nature and was always popping into the Grants Dept for a lovely blether …

Diana A Sykes

The small team at Fife Contemporary have all felt the impact of Stephen’s death and will miss his presence. His firm commitment to and knowledge of contemporary practice made a difference. This was undoubtably helped by the qualities of thoughtfulness, humour and kindness he brought to his work and life. I hope a little …

Ben Harman on behalf of Stills, Edinburgh

We are so sad to have lost Stephen. He gave so much advice and support to us over the years and was a genuinely brilliant person. We will really miss his company and remember him fondly. We are thinking of him and send our love and very best wishes to all of his family …

Embassy Committee (2012-2014)

We the Embassy Committee (2012-2014), wish to offer our deepest condolences to the close friends and family members that knew and loved Stephen outside of his professional capacity. By way of support and in remembrance of the fantastic man that he was, we want you to know how much of a debt of gratitude …
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