With the announcement in late October that Glasgow Sculpture Studios would be suspending its exhibition programme from the end of 2016 for the foreseeable future we wanted to take some time to celebrate what we have accomplished to date and thank everyone we have worked with over the years for making it all possible and for supporting our vision.
In 2016 we hosted another year of excellent exhibitions showcasing work by incredible international artists as well as nurturing new talent through our graduate fellowship exhibition. We continued to support artists by providing the space and facilities in which to develop and make work, as well as delivering an exciting learning and engagement programme, residencies and activities.
In January Louise Briggs (Glasgow Sculpture Studios Programme Curator) curated the exhibition The Transparent Tortoiseshell and the Unripe Umbrella featuring the work of five artists – Eva Berendes, Stephanie Mann, Rallou Panagiotou, Vanessa Safavi and Samara Scott.
In April we participated in Glasgow International 2016 by presenting the exhibition You be Frank, and I’ll be Earnest, a two-person exhibition of new works by international artists Alisa Baremboym (b.1982, Soviet Union) and Liz Magor (b. 1948, Canada). This was the first presentation in a UK institution of either artist, for which both produced new works on site at GSS, taking advantage of the first-class sculptural facilities and workshops.
Our Graduate Fellow for 2016 – Katie Schwab – had the opportunity to showcase the works and ideas she had been developing throughout her year-long fellowship in the gallery space from July – September. Schwab chose to open up her exhibition to a number of other artists that she often collaborates with and presented the group exhibition – Making the Bed, Laying the Table. The exhibition took its title from new work made collectively by Florence Dwyer, Katie Schwab and Simon Worthington. The exhibition also contained a new video work by Schwab and Ed Emery; a commissioned text by Rosanna Mclaughlin; a mural by Schwab; and a screening event in July, organised by Jamie George. Our Graduate Fellow for 2017 Catalina Barroso-Luque has recently taken up residence in her studio at GSS, we look forward to seeing the fruits of her labour throughout the year.
Our final exhibition of the year, opened in late September, and welcomed Polish artist Zofia Kulik to present her significant—yet relatively unknown—project Instead of Sculpture 1968–71. This was the first time that GSS has presented a historic work as part of its programme and was the first time this work had been shown in its entirety since it was first produced.
Our international exchange programme continued to flourish as we welcomed Antoine Nessi from Marseille in April for three months as part of our emerging artist exchange with Triangle France. The outcome of which was presented in a solo exhibition, Uncertain Soldier, at The Pipe Factory at the end of July. In September, Glasgow-based Hannah James headed off to Marseille to spend 3 months at Triangle. From August to September SWG3 gallery and Glasgow Sculpture Studios played host to the Sao Paulo based, Brazilian artist, Gustavo Ferro, as part of an international exchange with Phosphorus (SP) supported by Creative Scotland and the British Council’s TRANSFORM project. Ferro presented work produced while using the facilities at GSS at SWG3 Gallery in an exhibition entitled Grinding Series in September. In August we also hosted Isabel Cordeiro, a Portuguese artist living and working in Amsterdam, who undertook a month-long residency with us.
2016 was bookended with events celebrating our first ever public art commission with Scottish Waterways and Scottish Canals under the umbrella of ‘Unlocking the Story’ by artists Minty Donald, Neil McGuire and Nick Millar. THEN/NOW was launched with much success in January and in December they rounded off the project by holding a symposium on public art, place-making, heritage and ecology in the GSS gallery, bringing together artists, curators, commissioners, heritage and environment professionals, architects, thinkers and the publics to ask, what can public art do?
All the artists, curators, partners, organisations and funders that we have worked with this year, and in previous years, have been absolutely crucial in helping us to realise the programme and without them nothing would have been possible.