“We are currently housed in a disused testing facility for the Northern Lighthouse Board in Granton, Edinburgh. Our vision is to support emerging visual artists who have made a commitment to continuing their practice and to realising their ideas. We aim to offer the artist the space for experimentation and development of new works within a flexible environment.

We encourage artists to use the space like an open studio prior to the exhibition if they wish, allowing them the freedom and flexibility to test things out and experiment within the large space. The current setting in the lighthouse allows a much larger space than is usually available to artists in their early careers; everyone we have worked with so far has been excited by the prospect of achieving things that might otherwise have been constricted by smaller premises. There is a strong community of artist-led projects in Edinburgh and Glasgow that are often peripatetic, but having a longer term location for a series of exhibitions is important to us. It allows the artists and the public a focus and a point of reference for the project.

Despite sub-zero temperatures at our first two previews, people have braved the elements to support artists; after show performances, with sound artists Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo, White Heath and Shoulder Dystocia contribute to the social occasion, a focal point of the project. Our location means we can’t rely on passing traffic, so opening previews are an opportunity to bring people together.

After a successful start showing new works by emerging artists Neville Rae and Cara Tolmie, Sierra Metro kicks off its 2009 programme with Glasgow-based artist Patrick Jameson, followed in March by Edinburgh-based Kevin McPhee. To date, the focus has been on solo presentations but this is not a rule. This year we are keen to develop group shows, as well as collaborations with other artist-led initiatives, ad hoc artist events, and off-site screenings. Sierra Metro is a welcoming art space that aims to create discussion, development and exchange surrounding diverse practices in Scotland and beyond.”Patrick Jameson, solo show, 31 January-21 February