Saturday, 10 March 2018

I'm taking part in an adoption scheme for modern sculpture

An adoption scheme for modern sculpture is being launched by a group of contemporary artists in Glasgow, and I am delighted to be part of it.
Sculpture Placement Group, (L-R) Kate V Robertson, Michelle Emery-Barker and Martin Craig 

The Sculpture Placement Group will give charities and other organisations the chance to borrow sculptures which are currently in long-term storage.

Organisers say it will provide an opportunity to take artworks to places they would not otherwise be shown.

The scheme will be piloted at Glasgow Sculpture Studios as part of Glasgow International 2018, which takes place 20 April to 7 May. A selection of works will be displayed in mock environments designed by the artists, with a larger number of works also available via an accompanying catalogue.

Adoption will be free but "guardians" will take responsibility for care and display of the artwork.

The move follows previous success with the innovative Art Lending Library.

Kate V Robertson, one of the three curators behind the project, said there is "loads of enthusiasm" within the art community for the idea.

She said: "All over the country there are superb sculptures by respected artists that are hidden away and have no clear future when they could be seen and enjoyed by new and wider audiences.

"The art market puts a lot of emphasis on new work by sculptors with little provision for what happens to pieces after an exhibition is over. Some is destroyed but the artists put much of it into long-term storage.

"We've been talking to artists about whether they would like to give new life to some of their work by offering it for adoption and the response has been great, loads of enthusiasm."

Glasgow artist Rachel Lowther said she is looking forward to seeing who comes forward to adopt the pieces she is putting forward.

She said: "My studio is full of sculpture now and it can be a problem finding space to create anything new. Sculptors either have to keep work in their studios or pay extra for storage.

"This is a great experiment - it is better to have art out in the world than in boxes. A sculpture is a better place to meet and talk than a water cooler."

Fellow artist Nick Evans said: "A few years ago I was invited to do a solo exhibition at Tramway, which was great, I really threw myself into creating the pieces. There were a dozen large plaster sculptures around 1.5m tall and weighing 100kg each.

"I didn't want to destroy them afterwards - it was a significant moment in my career. I swapped one with my landlord for two shipping containers and space in the back yard to store the rest.

"The prospect of finding more interesting spaces and ways to display this work really interests me, as does the whole idea of giving a new sense of value to the work."

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