Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison honoured in national art collection

The family of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison have spoken of their pride at seeing an on-stage image of him unveiled in one of Scotland’s leading art galleries.

Scott Hutchison's family visited the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh today to see his image on display.
Scott Hutchison's family visited the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh today to see his image on display.

The late singer-songwriter has been honoured in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery alongside images of Annie Lennox and Alan Cumming.

The National Galleries of Scotland has acquired an image of Hutchison, which captured by Edinburgh-based photographer Ryan McGoverne in 2014 during a guest appearance at a book launch at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile.


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    Ryan McGoverne's image of Scott Hutchison is now a permanent part of Scotland's national art collection.

    His brothers Grant and Neil, and his parents Ron and Marion, visited the gallery ahead of the portrait going on public display.

    The family, who have set up a charity in memory of the singer to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people and children, selected the image after the National Galleries of Scotland was approached by one of his friends, Michelle Fisher, following his death.

    Tributes to the singer, who wrote about depression, anxiety and self-doubt in his songs for the band, poured in from around the world after he took his own life in May 2018.

    Grant Hutchison said: “When people came to see us it was as much about what happened in between the songs as what happened during them.

    Scott Hutchison's brothers Neil and Grant, and parents Marion and Ron, saw Ryan McGoverne's portrait unveiled in the gallery today.

    “It’s highly appropriate that this photograph was taken at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. We would sometimes have to wait for five or 10 minutes waiting for him to finish a story between songs.

    For us, the image really captures the person, beyond the singer of the band.

    "The guy on stage, the guy in the green room and the guy in the pub were pretty much the same person.”

    Marion Hutchison said: “We are incredibly proud of this, although obviously it is tinged with sadness. Since Scott died, the response to his death, and his life, has just been absolutely overwhelming.”

    Ron Hutchison added: “Today is wonderful, but it’s also hard. It’s yet another reminder that Scott is not here.”"

    Hutchison family

    Hutchison’s family launched a new charity on the anniversary of his death to continue his legacy and channel the energy he created into “positive action on mental health among young people.”

    Tiny Changes, which has raised more than £300,000 to date, will be staging a major fundraising concert - featuring special guests paying tribute to Hutchison and his music - at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh in January as part of the Burns & Beyond festival in the city.

    Mrs Hutchison added: “I kind of knew almost immediately after Scott’s death that we would have to do something.“There’s never been any stigma attached Scott’s death but that’s not the case with most families who have been in that situation. People cross the road to avoid them - don’t really want to know about it. We’ve had the opposite experience, but still the same one

    “We launched the charity on the anniversary of Scott’s death. We were grieving a lot then and we still are now, but people just seemed to want to make a connection and hold onto something.”

    Grant Hutchison said: “The one thing that has stuck with me since just after Scott died was something mum had said about all the other people who had taken their own lives and their families.

    “We had a lot of support from fans and the police and offers to raise money for us. We had endless amounts of support. But mum was thinking about people who did not have access to that and would no be able to voice their feelings in the way that we could.

    “Now we have experience of this and know what’s like I can’t even imagine doing this without the support that we’ve had. But that is happening for other people every day.”

    Discussing the image chosen to represent Hutchison in the gallery, McGoverne said: “A live shot shows the personality of whoever is being photographed. They are not aware, they are in their element. They are not self-conscious about being photographed.

    “Fame can dehumanise people, even in the eyes of their fans. Scott always seemed a completely real human being. This image shows that. He isn’t performing in any way.

    “Scott is chatting away with that big smile on his face and is very relaxed in this image. It really sets it apart from what you normally think of as a gallery image.”