4 February 2015 — Announcement

Learning Programme Announcement

Members of the Learning Team with Graham Fagen, L-R, Jo McInnes (CoGC), Polly Johnston (GSA), Stefano Pia (GSA), Graham Fagen, Robert Mills (GSA), Kieran Milne (DJCAD).

Scotland + Venice partnership launches largest ever Learning Programme 

New website launched: www.scotlandandvenice.com 

28 students and recent graduates from seven art and design schools across Scotland have been selected by Hospitalfield in Arbroath to become members of the largest Scotland + Venice Learning Programme to date. The scheme gives young art school students and graduates the opportunity to learn and develop new skills within the context of the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia (9 May – 22 November 2015), the largest and most prestigious visual arts exhibition in the world.

This is the first time the programme, which has been a feature of the Scotland + Venice partnership since 2003, will host students from Dundee and Angus College (both Arbroath Campus and Gardyne Campus, Dundee) and Moray School of Art, University of the Highlands and Islands in Elgin, alongside students from City of Glasgow College, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee, Edinburgh College of Art, The Glasgow School of Art and Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen.

The Scotland + Venice Learning Programme offers participants training, mentoring, support and work experience, as well as a chance for the team to immerse themselves within the context of the Venice Biennale. Each of the students will spend up to four weeks in Venice, greeting visitors to Fagen’s exhibition. A key aspect of the Scotland + Venice team’s role will also be to communicate the impact 2

of the programme through a new initiative called ‘The Loop’ which provides an opportunity for the students to produce a collaborative project and share their experience in Venice with other art and design students across Scotland.

Beginning with an intense Residential Learning Weekend in March 2015 at Hospitalfield, the Learning Programme will take place alongside the Scotland + Venice 2015 solo presentation of new work by Graham Fagen, one of the most compelling artists working in Scotland today. Through his teaching at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Graham has had his own influence on generations of young artists. His commission for the Venice Biennale, which is curated by Hospitalfield, will be presented at the Palazzo Fontana – a new location for the Scotland + Venice presentation – located off the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio district of Venice.

Participating students include Jo McInnes, Sarah Scanlan and Holly Smith (City of Glasgow College); Kieran Milne, Lise Olsen and Tamara Richardson (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design); Kinga Elliott, Arran Storey and Alice Taylor (Dundee and Angus College); Anna Danielewicz, Troy Holmes and Hannah Ustun (Edinburgh College of Art); Polly Johnston, Robert Mills and Stefano Pia (The Glasgow School of Art); Skaiste Klaniute, Craig Lee and Jenni Murison (Gray’s School of Art); and Julija Astasonoka, Hester Grant and Amanda Lightbody (Moray College, University of Highlands and Islands). Recent graduates who participated in Hospitalfield’s Graduate Residency Programme in 2013 and 2014 will also join the Scotland + Venice team. Graduates include Lydia Brownlee, Emma Ewan, Jamie Kane, Ewan Murray, Jess Ramm, Alison Scott and Nick Thomas.

Details of the Scotland + Venice Learning Programme are announced alongside the launch of the partnership’s new website: www.scotlandandvenice.com. Designed by Glasgow-based web developer Maeve Redmond, the website features comprehensive information on the 2015 presentation; background information on the artist and organisers; details of Palazzo Fontana; an archive of previous presentations; a dedicated media section featuring the latest news; and links to Scotland + Venice social media channels, including a new Instagram page which also launched this week. Students in the Learning Programme will work closely with the Scotland + Venice partnership to create content for these channels.

Lucy Byatt, Director of Hospitalfield, said: 

“We have inherited this wonderful Learning Programme that has been developed in each edition of Scotland + Venice since 2003. The opportunity to shoulder considerable responsibility as the public face of Scotland + Venice and to spend a month living and working in Venice is an experience that I am sure we all wish we had when we were at college. I very much look forward to working with the students that we have selected from each college and thank all the staff who have worked with and guided us. It has been a hugely rewarding experience to meet so many astonishing young people with so much potential”.

Amanda Catto, Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts, Creative Scotland, said: 

“The professional experience provided by the Scotland + Venice Learning Programme will be invaluable to the students involved. Established In partnership with the leading art and design schools in Scotland, the programme provides students with a unique opportunity to develop their networks and to gain first-hand experience of the international context in which they are making their work”. 3

Stefano Pia (b. 1986, Glasgow; lives in Glasgow), studies on the Sculpture and Environmental Art course at The Glasgow School of Art, said: 

“To be working at the Biennale is an incredible opportunity to meet and work with my peers from other Scottish art schools and to better understand the intricacies and mechanics of helping our Scotland representative at the Biennale, Graham Fagen, to fully realise his work”.

Kitty Anderson, Curator at The Common Guild, and part of the Scotland + Venice team in 2003, said: 

“The six weeks I spent living and working in Venice provided a wonderful introduction to what’s involved in presenting an exhibition on an international platform. The people, places and ideas I came into contact with at that time have been hugely influential throughout my career, not least 10 years later when I was part of the curatorial team for Scotland + Venice 2013”.

Gina Wall, Curriculum Leader, Moray School of Art, University of the Highlands and Islands, said: 

“Moray School of Art is delighted to be participating in the Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme which offers a unique opportunity for our students to acquire and share key professional skills gained at the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious international art shows in the world.”