Meet Tommy Zyw | Director25 Jan 2022
I first worked at The Gallery during the summer of 2009 as an intern during my university holidays. After graduating from St Andrews I joined The Gallery full time in September 2010 and was made Director in 2016.
My first day at the Gallery was to help install a Festival exhibition by James Morrison. I remember Jim's patience and kindness to this enthusiastic but inexperienced art history student.
One of the great privileges of my job is to visit artists' studios. It is always special to be allowed into the working space and to view the artwork in the context of its creation. Studios can range from beautifully organized to wonderfully chaotic (and everything in between!). I recently visited Duncan Shanks in Lanarkshire ahead of his Festival exhibition this year, and this week I will visit Colin Brown in Stonehaven.
In December I was involved in a snowboarding accident whilst practicing at Hillend Ski Centre. I snowboard regularly and recently came second at the Scottish Slopestyle Championships. However, after falling hard from height I knew something was wrong. I was rushed off by ambulance, and after several X-Rays was diagnosed with a fractured vertebra and coccyx. My sincere thanks to the paramedics (and mountain rescue!) who were fantastic throughout.
Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with good wishes. I am well down the road to recovery and look forward to seeing everyone in The Gallery soon. I will make a full recovery.
When not at The Gallery I also enjoy cycling. In 2020 a group of friends, my twin brother Davy and I undertook a charity cycle ride around the North Coast of Scotland - Ride for MND. We were flabbergasted to raise £150,000 for the MND Charity My Name'5 Doddie Foundation. We were so grateful to the friends of The Scottish Gallery for their support. The Foundation, which was started by rugby legend and MND sufferer Doddie Weir, is committed to a vision of a world free of MND. Davy was diagnosed with MND in 2018. A documentary film about our ride entitled The Ride On is premiering at Fort William Mountain Festival this February.
January 2022 sees the second year of Doddie Aid. Doddie Aid is a mass participation event, encouraging you to get active in January and help raise funds to help to find a cure for MND. Davy is Team Captain for Edinburgh, alongside Broadcaster Eilidh Barbour, Cyclist Mark Beaumont, and Scotland and British Lion international Hamish Watson. Unfortunately, I have been unable to take part due to my injury but have been doing my best to recruit new members! The pause in training has allowed me to mastermind some future challenges. We are planning another fundraising ride for this August, the details of which will be made public soon.
It has been a slower start to 2022 than I had planned! I have had to focus my energies on my recovery. On the upside, it has meant more precious time with my family, and a chance to consider future fundraising challenges. Watch this space!