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Posted 08.05.18

British Council partners with Plymouth College of Art for Venice Fellowships programme

By Kat Peberdy

Plymouth College of Art is delighted to announce a partnership with the British Council on the 2018 Venice Fellowships Programme which forms part of the British Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The college will support two students to spend a month in Venice, conducting independent research and invigilating the exhibition, Island, curated by Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with artist Marcus Taylor.

The Venice Fellowships Programme offers students, graduates and researchers the opportunity to become actively involved in La Biennale di Venezia and gain first-hand experience of the British Pavilion, and engage with the curators and and their vision.

Two students have been selected and awarded a Fellowship for 2018: Mary Trapp who is studying on the MA Fine Art programme, and Christina Barton who is a year 2 student on the BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking programme. Mary and Christina will travel to Venice and embark on a unique personal and creative experience and be given the opportunity to spend a month in Venice during one of the world’s most significant art and architecture exhibitions organised by La Biennale di Venezia, running from 26 May to 25 November 2018. Both students will be invigilating the British Pavilion and undertaking independent research projects while in the city.

"The Venice Fellowships programme is a fantastic international experience for students and graduates – with bespoke training in London, skills development opportunities at the British Pavilion, and a chance to expand networks across the UK" – Laura Broderick, Venice Fellowships Programme Manager at the British Council

Fine Art student Mary Trapp said “During the fellowship I will conduct an individual site-specific research project exploring the key themes of the biennale - Freespace and the British Pavilion's 'Island'. Through a making-led inquiry my research will examine the act of immersion and the relationship between bodies, water and glass.”

Christy Johnson, Vice Principal at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Freespace is a space for opportunity - a formative period of time for Mary and Christina to engage externally, establish international networks, participate in a cross-disciplinary context, and expand their creative journey. They will be asked to present their research and share their experiences with the College community upon their return. This is Plymouth College of Art’s first year in the scheme, and we are thrilled to be involved.”

Students in the Plymouth College of Art studios

The British Pavilion at Biennale Architettura 2018, commissioned by the British Council, will be represented by the work Island from Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with artist Marcus Taylor, with the construction of a new public space on the roof of the pavilion building.

Laura Broderick, Venice Fellowships Programme Manager at the British Council, said “The Fellows are involved in research and the production of creative responses to the Biennale and Venice itself. This is key for our UK partners engaged in improving outward mobility and employability. For the British Council, it is very important to support emerging artists, architects, curators and researchers – and to place informed stewards at the heart of the British Pavilion.”

Throughout Biennale Architettura 2018 the Pavilion of Great Britain will programme a unique series of events including poetry, performance, film and architectural talks and debates in response to Freespace and ideas raised by Island. The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion in Venice since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK’s artists, architects, designers and curators to an international audience.

The Fellowships programme was initiated in 2014 by the British Council to strengthen the British Pavilion contribution as a platform for ideas and research. This programme aims to educate and enrich the exhibition, making it a reference point for universities and arts institutions. The Fellowships offer a way of viewing and experiencing art and architecture that provides a new outlook on issues of public and private space, artistic process and display.

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