- The British Council has acquired Below another sky, a collection of print works developed by Scottish Print Network with support from Creative Scotland.
- The whole collection is set to become part of the British Council’s International Touring Exhibitions Programme. A taster of Below another sky will go on display at the British Council offices in Spring Gardens, London from Friday 25 September.
- British Council supports DCA Print Studio Director Annis Fitzhugh to present a paper “Means of Exchange” at the Impact 9 International Printmaking Conference (22-26 Sept in Hangzhou, China) documenting four Below another sky residencies.
- Alexia Holt, project Curator to give a talk at the British Council offices in Spring Gardens on Friday 9 October at 6.30pm.
Below another sky grew from a set of international residencies into a collection of prints by twenty artists. Curated by Alexia Holt, on behalf of the Scottish Print Network, the project was supported by Creative Scotland and included within the Glasgow 2014 programme at the time of the Commonwealth Games.
Exhibited across Scotland in 2014-15, the prints have now been acquired by the British Council Collection and will become part of the British Council’s International Touring Exhibition Programme.
Curated by Alexia Holt on behalf of the Scottish Print Network, a partnership between Dundee Contemporary Arts, Edinburgh Printmakers, Glasgow Print Studio, Highland Print Studio, Inverness and Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, the project saw 10 Scottish artists and 10 Commonwealth artists undertaking research residencies during 2013 and 2014.
Artists from Scotland travelled to Antigua, Baffin Bay, Bangladesh, Canada, India, New Zealand and Zambia; artists from Australia, Canada, India and Pakistan were on residency in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. They then developed their projects with one of the five Scottish print studios involved which now have them available for purchase. This collaboration gave the opportunity to artists who frequently work in print to explore unfamiliar techniques or materials, and to investigate anew how printmaking traditions can be made contemporary.
The project takes its name after a poem ‘Travel’, published in 1865 by the Edinburgh-born author Robert Louis Stevenson who was of the opinion that travel, both real and imaginary, sharpened creative intelligence and understanding.
Alexia Holt said: “Following exhibitions throughout Scotland, the Scottish Print Network are delighted the work commissioned for Below another sky will now be exhibited in London and shown internationally through the British Council's touring programme. This project initiated many new international connections for both participating artists and print studios, and we are pleased we can now develop these partnerships to create further opportunities for collaboration in contemporary printmaking”.
Prints acquired by the British Council Collection, including those by Turner Prize nominees Jim Lambie (2005), David Shrigley (2013), and Janice Kerbel (2015), will be exhibited in the organisation’s headquarters in London from 25 September to 2 November 2015. By touring the exhibition British Council hope to continue the international exchanges started by and embodied in the Below another sky project.
Since 1939 the British Council has been collecting works of art, craft and design to promote abroad the achievements of British artists, craft practitioners and designers and it has now grown to a collection of more than 8500 artworks, from paintings and prints, to drawings, photography, multi-media and installations. The Collection has no permanent gallery and is used in international touring exhibitions, loaned to museums and galleries worldwide and displayed in the British Council’s cultural centres in over 100 countries around the world and UK. The art pieces are also displayed in the British Council’s cultural centres in over 100 countries around the world and in UK.
Juliet Dean, British Council Scotland’s Visual Art Adviser said: “Below another sky is a beautiful example of international collaboration and partnership working which highlights the excellence of printmaking across Scotland. We are delighted to have acquired the entire work for the British Council Collection as it will enable us to tell this story internationally and stimulate future exchanges and opportunities.”
Coinciding with the exhibition in London Annis Fitzhugh, the Director of Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Studio presents a paper “Means of Exchange” at the forthcoming Impact 9 International Printmaking Conference in Hangzhou, China (22-26 September 2015). This year’s theme is “Printmaking in the Post-Print Age: Critical and Creative Methods in the context of Contemporary Art and Society”. Annis’s paper explores the works of four Below another sky residents from a printer’s point of view, it considers work in print produced by Julia Dault, Emily Floyd, Robert Orchardson and David Shrigley.
Annis Fitzhugh said: “The Impact printmaking conferences, initiated by UWE [University of the West of England], are attended by around 400 delegates from around the world, representing leaders in the field academically and practically. Presented papers and talks are further shared by publication with organisations and institutions worldwide. I am excited, therefore, to be able to share with this year's conference in Hangzhou, DCA's experience with the Below another sky project. A celebration of the expertise residing in Scotland's network of Print Studios (thanks to long-term funding by Creative Scotland and other bodies), the BAS exhibition also demonstrates a serious interrogation of the role of printed art in contemporary practice, and its importance as a means of collaboration and analysis.
The skilled curation by Alexia Holt, as well as the project funding itself, freed the studios to work closely with twenty artists over an extended residency period to produce critically important and visually impressive works.”
The paper will be available on belowanothersky.org from October 2015.
In tandem, Alexia Holt, Curator of Below another sky will give a public talk at the Spring Gardens on Friday 9 October focusing on the unique role the five print studios involved in the project play in the support, development and promotion of contemporary visual arts in Scotland. This talk will reflect upon the value of collaboration and the importance of research residencies and international exchange to the development of new work.
To reserve a space please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below Another Sky blog
About Creative Scotland
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.
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Full information: belowanothersky.org/artists-residencies
Sarnath Banerjee is a graphic novelist and visual artist based in New Delhi and Berlin. His graphic novels, such as ‘Corridor’ (2004) and ‘Harappa Files’ (2011), take life in contemporary Indian cities as their subject matter.
To date Banerjee has worked primarily in India’s largest and most densely populated cities. In contrast to this experience, Below another sky invited the artist to work in Inverness, Scotland’s newest and smallest city, often referred to as the ‘capital of the Highlands’. Banerjee spent two weeks in Inverness in June 2013 to explore the city and discover the legends, stories and characters known only to those who live there. Working with the Highland Print Studio, he also experimented with both lithography and screen-printing. The artist returned to Inverness in July 2014 to develop a new series of screenprints: ‘Casual Highland’.
Claire Barclay’s sculptures and installations present investigations into the physical and symbolic nature of materials and the spaces they inhabit. Frequently employing traditional craft techniques and materials, alongside those associated more with industrial design and production, Barclay’s work consistently explores the language of image and object. Printmaking has become an increasingly important part of her practice.
Barclay spent one month at the Banff Centre, Canada, in April 2013. During this time she researched craft traditions and materials connected to Banff’s local area. She was also able to visit the ethnological and First Nation collections held at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. Through this, she was able to develop further her research and approach towards the connections between North American and Scottish traditions of object making.
Through her research process in laboratories, scientific and medical institutions, Christine Borland has often rendered visible people, subject matter and practices which are usually inaccessible to a general public. Her works foreground historical and contemporary scientific research and methods, while freeing their metaphorical associations by introducing the imaginary, the aesthetic and poetic.
From the age of 10, David Livingstone (born 1813) worked as a cotton spinner in Blantyre Mill, Lanarkshire; he went on to become a pioneering medical missionary and an explorer in Africa. Borland took a studio photograph by Thomas Annan of David Livingstone (reading to his youngest daughter Anna) as the starting point for a series of experimental screenprints on to blankets woven in a textile mill (Morton, Young & Borland) in Ayrshire. She then travelled to Livingstone in Zambia, visiting and taking photographs in Kariba Textiles Ltd. This mill manufactures a variety of blankets, including emergency relief blankets, from recycled rags imported from their parent company in India and originating largely from the West. The artist returned to Highland Print Studio in September 2014 to develop a new series of four screen and digital prints.
The Lahore-based artist Fahd Burki worked at Edinburgh Printmakers during September 2013.
Fahd Burki is known for his works on paper employing acrylic, charcoal, marker pen and collage. He has also produced a number of screen prints. These works frequently present abstract graphic fields that contain a central form dominating the picture plane. The sources for these forms range from tribal folk art to science fiction. Although these sharp-edged forms can be seen to refer to the type of icons associated with digital media, they are painstakingly produced by hand and, as Murtaza Vali has noted, ‘the result is a series of always playful, at times menacing icons or symbols harvested from a personal mythology of the present, at once disconcertingly familiar and completely novel.
Canadian artist Julia Dault was on residency with Dundee Contemporary Arts Print Studio in June and July 2014.
Dault produces abstract paintings and sculptures. Often her layered paintings use unusual textiles such as vinyl, costume pleather, printed silk, spandex and sequined velveteen as substrates and sources of colour. Using non-traditional tools she has either bought or made herself in the studio, she removes portions of the topmost layer of paint to reveal the colour, texture and patterns of the fabrics and paint beneath. Her mark-making is rendered visible and through careful repetition Dault harnesses this process to create work with an underlying structure that is simultaneously evident and elusive. She said recently that ‘Every painting I make involves a tool and a gesture of removal’. As in printmaking, the tools allow the artist to work in a way that she has described as ‘pressure-sensitive’, and to reveal the force and labour involved in the final piece.
Rohini Devasher produces prints, drawings and films. Devasher’s interest in pattern and the self-organising systems found in nature, also extends to her work with digital technologies and specifically with video feedback.
The artist’s current work involves research and fieldwork in astronomy, the most recent projects being an exploration of ‘strange’ terrains where myth and fiction blur the boundaries of what is real and imagined. During the first part of her residency with Glasgow Print Studio, in October 2013, the artist visited the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory to continue her exploration of astronomical sites. She returned to Glasgow Print Studio in June 2014 to produce a new series of photo etchings based upon her experience at observatories in India and in Scotland.
Geoffrey Farmer’s international reputation was confirmed with his installation ‘Leaves of Grass’ at Documenta 13, Kassel 2012. This work, built upon the artist’s research in image collections, was developed from vintage ‘LIFE’ magazines published between 1935 and 1985. Organised chronologically, the work takes the form of 17,000 figures collaged together from clippings from the magazine, mounted on dried Miscanthus grass and displayed on a narrow 124-foot table. Referencing Walt Whitman’s 1855 poetry collection, which Whitman considered a modern portrait of the United States, Farmer’s work cumulatively reorders and recontextualizes the twentieth century as seen through the ‘LIFE’ photographers’ lens.
Farmer’s 2013 exhibition ‘Let’s Make the Water Turn Black’ at the Migros Museum, Zurich, was described by Jan Verwoert as ‘a magical backstreet symphony of lost things’ in which assemblages of both found and fabricated objects are choreographed through computerized mechanical animation to accompany a chronology of sound recordings and compositions played out over the course of the day. Each museum day represents and spans the life and biography of Frank Zappa, as arranged by Farmer, who uses Zappa’s musical influences to explore Musique Concrète, Avant-garde compositions, historical recordings, foley sounds and field recordings. This work will travel to Nottingham Contemporary, Kunstverein Hamburg and the Pérez Art Museum Miami.
The artist worked with Edinburgh Printmakers in June 2014. This was the first time the artist had worked in Scotland.
Melbourne-based artist Emily Floyd worked with Dundee Contemporary Art’s Print Studio during the summer of 2013. She also participated in DCA’s group exhibition ‘There Will Be New Rules Next Week’, marking the Impact 8 Conference in Dundee in August 2013.
Floyd produces work in both print and sculpture. Many of her recent sculptural pieces refer to the simple, geometrical forms and primary colours common to children’s building blocks. In a recent profile on the artist’s work published in frieze, Wes Hill noted that Floyd, ‘explores the history of pedagogical play in her work, employing it as a frame for investigations into design, typography, protest, public art and the legacy of Modernism’.
Michael Fullerton is a painter whose work centres on portraits of figures ‘who embody political commitment or represent strong ideological positions.’ Recent works include portraits of Alan Turing, David Shayler and Lech Walesa.
In May 2013, Fullerton travelled to Auckland, New Zealand, to meet and photograph Kim Dotcom, a German internet entrepreneur and founder of Megaupload, and Peter Gutmann, a computer scientist and specialist in the design and analysis of security systems. These photographs acted as the source material for new paintings and work in print shown in the solo exhibition ‘Meaning Inc.’ at Greene Naftali, New York (January 2014) and at Glasgow Print Studio (July 2014).
Louise Hopkins is known for her paintings and drawings made on materials such as furnishing fabric, graph paper, sheet music, magazine and catalogue print and maps. In her work on maps, Hopkins employs pencil, ink and paint to alter boundaries and transform territories and thereby challenge our perceptions of geography and highlight the historical and political forces that shape it.
Unable to travel internationally during 2013, Hopkins instead explored from her studio what it means to experience other countries remotely. She invited a number of the artists participating in Below another sky to send her objects from their home countries or residency destinations and used this material to inform new work on paper and in print. The final prints – both Landscape with Red Blue and Black and the blind embossed etching Arrangement with Moving Parts – developed in direct response to conditions of real and imagined travel.
Janice Kerbel works in a wide range of media, including light, audio, texts, publications and print. Her meticulously constructed work has taken the form of plans, proposals, recordings, scripts and announcements for impossible or imagined scenarios.
The artist’s 2007 print-based work ‘Remarkable’ (shown at Frieze Art Fair that year) announced ‘a range of extraordinary characters imagined in response to the context of the fair.’ Produced in the format of large-scale silkscreen posters, and using a digitally modified process of nineteenth-century letterpress reminiscent of printed broadsides and fairground ephemera, these works were fly-posted on a daily basis around the venue. ‘Remarkable’ exemplifies Kerbel’s ongoing interest in the relationship between text and image; reality and illusion. For her 2011 exhibition ‘Kill the Workers’ Kerbel wrote a play for lights. Using the language of theatrical lighting and a traditional lighting rig employing 36 lanterns, a dramatic narrative unfolded in which a single spotlight became the key protagonist as it struggled to be seen as light alone. Kerbel’s 2014 project ‘DOUG’ is a musical composition for unaccompanied voice that chronicled a continuous stream of catastrophic events endured by a single individual.
Jim Lambie is known internationally for his floor installations and sculptures that respond to and alter our experience of the architecture in which they are presented.
His work employs everyday, contemporary materials and objects, both found and fabricated, such as record sleeves, clothing, ornaments and furniture. These objects are transformed into new sculptural forms that express his interest in music and popular culture. Lambie’s use of bright, often day-glo colour is founded in his interest in synaesthesia and the psychology of space.
Lambie visited Antigua in March 2013. This gave the artist the opportunity to see and experience at first hand Caribbean culture as expressed in the island’s musical traditions and architecture. His work for Below another sky was produced in 2014 with Glasgow Print Studio.
Scott Myles’ conceptually-based practice encompasses sculpture, installation, painting and print. His work is underpinned by an interest in language, linguistic play and dichotomy and represents a complex network of responses to social and physical infrastructures of all kinds.
Myles has produced a significant body of work in print. One recent example involved scaled-up facsimiles of ELBA branded manilla document folders. These screen-printed paper sculptures embody the way in which the artist layers allusions in his work to art lineage, social and economic history and autobiography. Myles uses folders in his studio to archive research papers and the scaled-up ELBA series match in width the height of the artist suggesting a performative aspect to the sculptures, in the form of containers the artist could conceivably lay down inside.
Myles visited India and Bangladesh in October 2013. This was his first visit to these countries and he was able to work in a number of cities during this trip. Building upon this research visit, he has developed new work in print with Peacock Visual Arts.
David Noonan is known for his work with photographic imagery, frequently combined with abstract imagery, and transformed into collages and large-scale silk-screened tableaux. The figurative imagery is derived from found photographs collected by the artist from a wide range of sources including archival documents, books and magazines. These images often include dancers, actors and other performers, sometimes in the process of applying make-up and often in what seems to be mid-performance. This sense of concealment, disguise and the adoption of other persona is reinforced through the layering and folding of the actual materials Noonan employs in these works.
The artist travelled to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen in September 2013. He went on to develop new work with Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen.
Elizabeth Ogilvie is known for installations that combine film, architecture, science and sound in immersive environments.
Ogilvie’s Below another sky residency, in September 2013, enabled her to film in Baffin Bay: between Baffin Island, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, and northwest Greenland. All of the ice floes from the Ilulissat Icefjord in northwest Greenland (on UNECO’s World Heritage list since 2004) pass through these waters on route via the Davis Straits to the north Atlantic. This unique phenomenon has been studied for over 250 years and has informed our understanding of icecap glaciology and climate change.
Ogilvie has been researching ice for five years now and has also studied the Inuit’s relationship to ice through previous visits she has made to northwest Greenland. The residency enabled her to observe, film and photograph ice in various forms and to consider the cultural resonance of ice within the Arctic. The body of work she developed as a result of this trip was shown in a major solo exhibition at P3, London, in 2014. Working with Highland Print Studio, the artist has produced an experimental series of prints: ‘The Secret Language of Ice’.
Robert Orchardson works primarily in sculpture, using materials such as wood, resin and aluminium. His installations reference numerous sources that attempt to give form to something inherently intangible; from futuristic design to science fiction films or otherworldly stage sets.
In February 2013, Orchardson visited the Indian city of Chandigarh, designed and planned by Le Corbusier. With support from the Le Corbusier Centre in Chandigarh, Orchardson was able to visit key examples of the architect’s work in a city that has been described as ‘one of the most remarkable urban projects and a key milestone in the history of Modern architecture and urban planning’. Developed directly from his research in India, the artist’s new work in print was produced in 2014 with DCA Print Studio.
Amol K. Patil lives and works in Bombay, India. In July 2014, Patil travelled to Scotland with seven other artists associated with Clark House Initiative: a curatorial collaborative and a union of artists based in Bombay. Clark House Initiative took part in ‘International Artist Initiated’, a programme of exhibitions and events devised by David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, to coincide with the city’s 2014 Commonwealth Games. Following this project, the artist was based in Inverness for one month to develop new work in print in association with the Highland Print Studio.
Patil’s practice ranges from performance to video, drawing, painting and installation. The performances in particular refer to his family’s longstanding relationship with theatre and his current work explores renditions of plays written by his late father (both an avant-garde playwright and an employee of Bombay Municipal Corporation). Creating fabrics, jackets and skins during and as part of his live performances, Patil is fascinated by contemporary life in India and has stated that he wishes to explore the more superficial aspects of brand identity, fashion, mall culture and Bollywood in his work.
Carol Rhodes is a painter whose work often depicts oblique landscapes, detached views of non-places presented in aerial perspective.
In January 2013, Rhodes travelled to Bengal, India. Although born in Edinburgh, Rhodes spent her childhood in this region. This residency allowed her to visit collections of Indian miniature painting, a form she has been interested in for some time, and to investigate the region’s topography through drawing and photography.
In a recent solo exhibition (Mummery + Schnelle, 2013), the artist presented a new painting, ‘River, Roads’, based on a drawing made in India. In addition to other recent paintings, she also presented earlier drawings, aerial photographs and an Indian miniature painting from the early 19th century. Through the development of her work in print with Edinburgh Printmakers during 2014, continued to explore the importance of the relationship between these quite distinct elements to her overall practice.
Seher Shah works with drawing, photographs, sculpture and print. Recent exhibitions, such as ‘Object Anxiety’ (2011), ‘Radiant Lines’, ‘Brute Ornament’ (both 2012) and ‘Constructed Landscapes’ (2013), exemplify the artist’s ongoing exploration of architectural modernism and specifically the engineered social spaces and urban environments of new Brutalism as manifested in Europe and in Asia. Her works on paper break down and play with the iconic architectural structures associated with these movements, employing acute angles, block-like forms and the grid to create a new and personal interpretation of the modernist landscape.
Shah was based at Glasgow Print Studio in April 2014. This was the first time the artist has worked in Scotland.
David Shrigley is known internationally for his drawing, animation and sculpture, but has also worked extensively in print, producing etchings, woodcuts, linocuts and screenprints, primarily with Schäfer Grafisk Værksted in Copenhagen. Shrigley’s work in print shares the same humour, immediacy and sense of the absurd expressed in all other aspects of his practice.
In February 2013, Shrigley traveled to Auckland, New Zealand. During this time the artist produced drawings, writing and developed further his ideas for typography and new work in print. Although the artist presented a solo exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts in 2006/7, this was the first time he has worked with DCA’s Print Studio.