The artist Graham Fagen is to represent Scotland at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Chosen by the Scotland + Venice partnership, Fagen in a solo presentation commissioned and curated by Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath, will now create the pavilion for the 56th International Art Exhibition, which is running from 9 May to 22 November 2015.
Graham Fagen is one of the UK’s foremost contemporary artists. His work mixes media and crosses continents; combining video, performance, photography, and sculpture with text, live music and even, plants. His recurring artistic themes, which include flowers, journeys and popular song, are used as attempts to understand and talk clear-sightedly about the powerful forces that shape our lives. Hospitalfield Arts is based in the early arts and crafts house and grounds of the 19th century artist and collector, Patrick Allan-Fraser.
Located just to the south of Arbroath, the house, collections and estate were left in trust on Allan-Fraser’s death and in 1901 Hospitalfield was established as a place of work and learning for artists and students, making a significant contribution to 20th century Scottish art. Today a series of nationally and internationally significant residency programmes for artists, curators and writers, continue to be accommodated within the house and purpose built studios. The selection Panel included: Amanda Catto, Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts at Creative Scotland and Chair of the Scotland + Venice partnership;
Francis McKee, Director of the CCA and co-curator of Zenomap for Scotland + Venice in 2003; Richard Riley, Head of Exhibitions, Visual Arts Department, British Council; Dana MacLeod, Head of Arts, British Council Scotland; David Watt, Director of Arts and Business Scotland and Board member of SCAN – the Scottish Contemporary Art Network. The Venice Biennale is the largest and most prestigious visual arts exhibition in the world. This will be the seventh presentation from Scotland + Venice, a partnership between Creative Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and British Council Scotland. For the partners, Venice is an important project that helps to build Scotland’s profile and reputation as an international centre for the visual arts.
Amanda Catto, Chair of the Scotland + Venice Partnership and Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said: ‘We are very excited to be working with the artist Graham Fagen and Hospitalfield Arts to stage a new commission for Scotland and Venice 2015. The project provides Graham with an unprecedented opportunity to develop new work in an exceptional context. We look forward to welcoming people to the exhibition when Biennale opens in May next year.’ Graham Fagen said: ‘It is a fantastic honour to have been invited to represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2015. The Biennale is one of the most important events in the international calendar for the visual arts and I hope that I can do justice to its history and Scotland’s participation in it.’ Last week Sarah Lucas was announced as the artist to represent England at the international event, which attracts millions of visitors every two years.
Photo: Graham Fagen The Making of Us, © 2012 Installation, performance and film 48mins, variable, with theatre director Graham Eatough