News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

15-minute sketcher exhibits for Alzheimer’s cure

Posted: 11th October 2018

Edinburgh-based designer Andrew Glidden donating all profits from the sale of 52 sketches to Alzheimer’s Research UK during week-long exhibition.

Andrew Glidden on George Street


Workplace wellbeing – 52-week sketching challenge

Design Agency owner Andrew Glidden found himself spending the whole day working at his desk and eating lunch at the same desk, barely moving beyond his chair. He set himself the challenge of heading out from his George Street studio once a week for a whole year to do a quick sketch of whatever took his fancy, no client, no brief, just for the fun of it. The rules were simple – 15 minutes maximum, no rubbing out!

Social media encouragement

After posting images of his weekly creations on social media, interest grew and questions about an exhibition were asked. Initially Andrew had no plans for exhibiting or selling, but nearing the completion of his year-long challenge, and with encouragement from friends and followers, an exhibition of all 52 has been planned, along with a book documenting the sketches and journey.

Alzheimer’s Research UK

Never intending it to be a commercial enterprise, but with requests to buy the sketches being made, Andrew has decided to donate all profits from the sale of the original sketches during the week-long exhibition to Alzheimer’s Research UK, an organisation close to Andrew’s heart as his father, former Hearts 1956 Scottish Cup-winning captain Freddie Glidden, now aged 91, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia a number of years ago.


Kyle Lockhart, Alzheimer’s Research UK Regional Fundraising Officer for Scotland said “We are so grateful to have the support of Andy at his upcoming art exhibition. There are around 7000 people in Edinburgh and 70,000 people in Scotland with dementia and the condition has a devastating effect on families.

Alzheimer’s and the other forms of dementia are now one of society’s biggest medical challenges, but overcoming them isn’t impossible. Our mission is to make life-changing breakthroughs possible for people with dementia and fantastic fundraising efforts such as Andy’s, are vital in helping us achieve this, both through raising vital funds and helping to spread awareness of the condition”.

Exhibition details:

52 in 52 – One year of weekly 15-minute sketches of Edinburgh and beyond

Venue: White Stuff, 89 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3ES. 2nd Floor

Andrew Glidden and Claire Mackenzie Department Manager at White Stuff


Sat October 20 – Friday October 26, 2018

Sat     14:00 – 18:00

Sun    12:30 – 17:00

Mon   12:30 – 18:00

Tue    12:30 – 18:00

Wed   12:30 – 18:00

Thurs  12:30 – 19:00

Fri      10:30 – 18:00


Quotes – Andrew Glidden:

“As a professional commercial designer, I found myself spending almost the entire working week sitting at my desk in our George Street studio in front of the computer, eating lunch at the same desk. I needed to break the cycle. But how? After an inspirational visit to the Royal Scottish Academy Summer Exhibition in 2017, I hatched a plan. Get out of the studio one lunchtime a week for a whole year, and do a sketch of whatever took my fancy. And to make things interesting, set a maximum time limit of 15 minutes per sketch, no more. Oh, and no rubbing out”

“With no client to satisfy, and no ambition beyond the therapeutic process itself, the journey began. Tentative at first, growing more liberated and free by the week. “I draw what I feel, not what I see” was my mantra. Friends and colleagues were encouraging, and all of a sudden here we are. The year has passed, all 52 sketches completed, an exhibition and a book – who’d have thought it?”

“I approached White Stuff in George Street as I had been to a number of exhibitions there and remembered the beautiful space on the second floor – I also have a fond attachment to the White Space building, being a frequent shopper when it was the Grays Ironmongery shop. Since my Design Agency is in George Street, and many of the sketches are of George Street and surroundings, exhibiting there seemed very appropriate – Claire, the Deputy Managing Director at White Stuff and her team have been incredibly supportive – I can’t thank them enough for helping to make this happen”

“Since the whole idea was never intended to be about making money, I decided the purest conclusion was to donate all profits from selling the original sketches at the exhibition to a worthy cause, and since my 91-year old father suffers from Alzheimer’s Dementia I, which is a terrible disease, I chose Alzheimer’s Research UK in the hope that some good may come from the donation which would benefit all in the future.”


About Andrew Glidden

Andrew Glidden studied at the Edinburgh College of Art in the early 1980s and spent almost 20 years living in London and working all over the world as a professional commercial designer.

He set up his own creative design and branding agency with his wife Anni in 1997, before moving the business lock, stock and barrel to Edinburgh in 2002, where it continues to thrive.


Instagram: @andyglidden

Andrew Glidden


Creative Managing Director

Glidden Design and Brand Communications

115 George Street

Edinburgh EH2 4JN

Tel: 0131 226 4744  Mobile: 07973 432 572

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here