BBC announces six artists chosen to be part of Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC

The BBC has chosen the six Scottish moving image artists who will be given access to explore the BBC archives in order to create their own artworks inspired by classic and lesser-known BBC programmes from throughout its history. The selected artists are Kate Davis, Kathryn Elkin, Turner Prize-nominated Luke Fowler, Torsten Lauschmann, Alia Sayed and Stephen Sutcliffe.

BBC Scotland, Creative Scotland and LUX arts agency have partnered to create Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC, a unique and unparalleled initiative that for the first time will create six new moving image works to be hosted online at and around the country. This initiative marks the start of the BBC’s on-going commitment to allow artists access to archives.

Jonty Claypole, Head of Arts for BBC Productions, says: “We were bowled over by the quality of moving image artists in Scotland and are looking forward to seeing what the chosen six are able to produce. The BBC Archive is a rich and unrivalled resource so this is a unique opportunity for some of Scotland’s most interesting artists to create an eclectic mix of new works. We want to learn from these artists and see the archive used in new ways.”

Leonie Bell, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, says: “Creative Scotland is delighted to be supporting LUX to deliver these residencies in partnership with BBC Scotland through the Creative Futures Programme. The BBC archive is a rich resource that will offer these artists significant source material and access to production facilities, allowing them to develop their practice and create wonderful new works.”

The six artists are:

Kate Davis

Born in New Zealand, Kate Davis lives and works in Glasgow. Questioning how to bear witness to the complexities of the past, Davis’s artwork is an attempt to reconsider, reclaim and reinvent what certain histories could look, sound and feel like. Informed by successive waves of feminist art and theory, Davis works across a range of media, including drawing, installation, bookworks and film/video.

Kathryn Elkin

Kathryn Elkin works predominantly in performance, video and writing. She is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, Goldsmiths College and participated in the LUX Associate Artists Programme 2012/13. Her work concerns a comparison of the way in which we experience art to the ways and means it is understood culturally.

Luke Fowler

Luke Fowler (born 1978) is an artist, filmmaker, and musician based in Glasgow. He collaborates regularly with Richard Youngs, Eric La Casa, Toshiya Tsunoda and Lee Patterson. Fowler was awarded the inaugural Derek Jarman Award in 2008 and, in 2012, he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. His latest film, The Poor Stockinger, The Luddite Cropper And The Deluded Followers Of Joanna Southcott won awards at the Mexico and Lima film festivals.

Torsten Lauschmann

Torsten Lauschmann’s diverse practice continually shifts and plays with expectations of images and the interpretation of meaning. He is concerned with both the aesthetic content of images and the ‘decoding’ of meaning and narrative. Since moving to Glasgow in 1993 to study Fine Art Photography at Glasgow School of Art, Lauschmann has been exhibiting, screening and performing his work throughout the UK and internationally.

Alia Syed

Alia Syed is an experimental filmmaker and artist. She grew up in Glasgow, moving to London at 17. She earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts from University of East London in 1987 and a Postgraduate degree in Mixed Media from Slade School of Fine Art in 1992. Syed’s work has been screened and exhibited in museums, galleries, and festivals worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA) in London, and the Talwar Gallery, which has represented her for over a decade, in New York and in New Delhi.

Stephen Sutcliffe

Stephen Sutcliffe (born 1968, Harrogate) lives and works in Glasgow. Recent solo exhibitions include Tramway, Glasgow (2013) Rob Tufnell, London (2012), Stills, Edinburgh (2011), Whitechapel Auditorium (2010), Cubitt, London (2009), Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin (2008) and Art Now, Light Box, Tate Britain (2005). Group exhibitions include: Frieze Projects, ‘Project 35’, Independent Curators International, touring to various venues in the United States (2010), ‘The Associates’, Dundee Contemporary Arts (2009) and ‘Nought to Sixty’ and ‘Talk Show’ at the ICA, London (2008 and 2009 respectively).

Some interesting resources about interventions in libraries and archives


Student intervention in the library. Photo © Sarah Ainslie, 2011

Student intervention in the library. Photo © Sarah Ainslie, 2011

The Artist in the Library blog documents a project that reflected on the relationships between artists and libraries; how their spaces, systems and structures provide inspirational possibilities for artists, and how artists’ involvement, working processes and interventions can be fruitful and inspiring for libraries.

A key component of the project was the collaboration between the Institute for Performing Arts Development and Library and Learning Services at the University of East LondonIn spring 2011 a group of 1st year undergraduate students worked for a period of 12 weeks developing individual projects that came from, and were to be sited in, UEL’s Docklands library. These were realised as part of ‘Mayfest’ 2011, UEL’s annual festival of Performing Arts.

In June 2011 a half-day symposium brought together more than 80 artists, librarians and researchers from around the UK with presentations and discussions exploring a range of projects that intervene in, respond to, or collaborate with all kinds of libraries.

cropped-100_1154Meanwhile, Archive Interventions is a project run by a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Studies at The University of Manchester.

Until quite recently, slides were the mainstay of teaching in art history. The department’s collection contains many unique images built up by members of staff over many years. This resource was also extensively used by staff teaching visual culture in other subject areas. In the space of less than ten years, slide technology has become rapidly and completely obsolete. As of next year, no centrally timetabled teaching rooms will be equipped with slide projectors. Currently, the slides are almost completely unused, depriving students of an invaluable resource, so they are presently sorting through the collection to identify slides for possible digitisation and preservation. They are also developing a programme of events with a focus upon how arts and visual culture resources can be used for teaching and research; the role of old and new technologies; issues around archiving.

The blog showcases some of the material held in their collection, and also offers some interesting thoughts on visual culture archives and shares finds from other blogs about how artists are using, interacting with and intervening in archives and libraries.

BACS Meet the Archivists workshop for artists, architects and designers


The Business Archives Council of Scotland is holding its 2nd Meet the Archivists day on Friday 20th September at the Edinburgh College of Art.

The aim of the Meet the Archivists event is to bring together academics and archivists to discuss and explore with students how business archive collections can be used for their research. This year they are focusing on creative and design use of business archives, so the event is primarily aimed at college of art students, architectural and design students.

working-archive-logo-transparent-largeThe workshop is part of the current Working Archive campaign to increase awareness of the importance of business archives. You can find out more in our previous blog post about the campaign and the coinciding Scotland at Work exhibition, and on the Working Archive blog.

Further details will be available soon on the Scottish Council on Archives website. We’ll keep you posted!

Inspirational images from the Institute of Mechanical Engineering

Japanese designer Yuya Ushida uses mechanical engineering to generate his XXXX furniture range for Dutch brand Ahrend.

Japanese designer Yuya Ushida uses mechanical engineering to generate his XXXX furniture range for Dutch brand Ahrend.

Showcasing archive and current images and videos of engineers, projects, inventions, designs and innovations (old and new), the Institute of Mechanical Engineering’s new Pinterest page aims to educate and inspire people about mechanical engineering through visuals. And as it’s so visual, we thought this site would be of particular interest to artists and other creative practitioners.

It also contains useful examples of how various creative practitioners have been using mechanical engineering as inspiration for their work. For example, Japanese designer Yuya Ushida has used mechanical engineering to generate his XXXX furniture range for Dutch brand Ahrend (see image above).

You can view the Pinterest page here. For more information about the Institute of Mechanical Engineering see their website or their Archives page.

Etienne Oehmichen's experimental helicopter, 1921 (PHO-NC-3)

Etienne Oehmichen’s experimental helicopter, 1921 (PHO-NC-3)

The Hatchery, where ideas are born

GSA Library have launched a new creative research mini-site called The Hatchery.

Discover how artists, writers and creatives have used the collections of Glasgow School of Art Library to inspire, challenge or expand their practice. From interventions into our spaces, to installations amongst our shelves, our collections can be used to explore and challenge artistic, cultural and philosophical themes and preoccupations.

The site is full of useful and interesting case studies about how GSA students and other creative practitioners have been using GSA Library and its holdings.

You can visit the site here. Get cracking!

Artists using Archives: Seamus Nolan, more adventurous thinking…

The National College of Art and Design Gallery (NCAD Gallery) and The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) are delighted to present the exhibition ‘more adventurous thinking…’ from the archive of Dorothy Walker, with artist response from Seamus Nolan.

Dorothy Walker with a work by Patrick Ireland c.1990

Dorothy Walker (1929 – 2002) was a dynamic and influential art critic and author who played a central role in many of the most significant events in Irish visual art in the second half of the 20th century. During her active life she kept an archive, recently bequeathed to the National Irish Visual Arts Library, Dublin. The archive charts the scope and diversity of her interests and is essential information for the understanding of Modernism in the context of the visual arts in Ireland.

Earlier this year NIVAL were fortunate to be awarded a grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the recently launched Philanthropy Initiative specifically to create an online catalogue devoted to the Dorothy Walker Archive. Without this funding it would not be possible for the Library to dedicate time in cataloguing this wonderful resource and subsequently could not celebrate her archive through exhibition at NCAD Gallery.

NIVAL has begun the development of this online catalogue of the collection that will provide an overview of the material, identifying key events and personalities, and establish a chronology of the documentation. The collection documents her involvement with institutions and projects such as Rosc, Guinness-Peat Aviation Awards, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the International Association of Art Critics (IACA), and with artists such as Brian O’Doherty, Patrick Scott, Sean Scully, Ciaran Lennon James Coleman, Eileen Gray, Joseph Beuys and poet Seamus Heaney.

In response to the Dorothy Walker archive, visual artist Seamus Nolan engages select works of art of the early modernist period in the context of NCAD Gallery. Private collectors and museums are approached by way of written invitation to consider the compatibility of these works of art within this contemporary gallery structure. The Gallery is subjected to the standards and processes applicable to the exhibition and handling of museum objects through detailed measurement of the environmental conditions; specifically humidity, temperature, light and ultra violet levels.

The National Irish Visual Arts Library is a partnership project of the National College of Art and Design and the Arts Council of Ireland.

For further information see the event website, or contact:
Anne Kelly, Curatorial Coordinator, NCAD Gallery, 01.636.4390
Donna Romano, Acting Head Librarian, NCAD Library, 01.636.4347

The National College of Art and Design Gallery, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8. 

NCAD Gallery opening hours are 1pm-5pm, Monday-Friday. The exhibition continues until Friday, 20th September 2013.

Artists using Archives: University for the Creative Arts

Fine Art student Faith Cannon's collage using images from the Maidstone Archive

UCA Fine Art student Faith Cannon’s collage using images from the Maidstone Archive

Archivists at the University for the Creative Arts have been busy collating examples of how students and other artists have been using their archives and special collections for creative practice.

An exhibition by five UCA students. The images in the far right and on the screen are still shots from the Maidstone Oral History Project, put up by Fine Art student Joanna Robinson, recording memories of ex staff and students from the Maidstone College of Art.

An exhibition by five UCA students. The images in the far right and on the screen are still shots from the Maidstone Oral History Project, put up by Fine Art student Joanna Robinson, recording memories of ex staff and students from the Maidstone College of Art.

They have collated these case studies to form a Pinterest site. At the moment the site features an exhibition by five art students which uses still shots from the Maidstone Oral History Project recording memories of ex staff and students from the Maidstone College of Art. There are also images of UCA Fine Art student Faith Cannon’s collages using images from the Maidstone Archive (above).

See also UCA’s Archives and Special Collections blog. For more information about UCA’s holdings and contact details see their Archives and Special Collections website.

Artists using archives: Nicola Naismith (Part II)

Nicola Naismith Administrative Processes + Events = Documents 2013.  Image reproduced by permission of the Parliamentary Archives

Nicola Naismith, Administrative Processes + Events = Documents 2013. Image reproduced by permission of the Parliamentary Archives

A few months ago we blogged about artist Nicola Naismith‘s use of archives in her creative practice in a project based at the Norfolk Record Office (NRO) in Norwich and the Parliamentary Archives (PA) in London.

The project was a commission to make a digital artwork from documents in both the Parliamentary Archives and Norfolk Record Office focused on the 1821 Land Tax Act.

Well the project is now completed and is live on Youtube. You can also find more information on the following blog posts here and here.

Artists using archives: Nicola Naismith

Nicola Naismith, 'Render Doodle', Pencil on Paper, February 2013

Nicola Naismith, Render Doodle, pencil on paper, February 2013

Nicola Naismith is a visual artist who uses analogue and digital technologies to make connections between historical and contemporary contexts. She is currently involved in a project based at the Norfolk Record Office (NRO) in Norwich and the Parliamentary Archives (PA) in London.

The project links the parliamentary outreach project People and Parliament: Connecting with Communities with the Arts In Parliament programme. The outcome of the commission will be shown on the Parliamentary website in 2013.

Nicola’s blog tracks the development of the project. You can also visit her personal website for more information about the artist.

Gerard Byrne Exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery

A man and a woman make love

A man and a woman make love, 2012

Renowned for his film installations which re-enact conversations from specific historic moments, Irish artist Gerard Byrne’s work explores the way we understand the present through revisiting the past. Byrne has spoken about the diverse material that informs his wider practice, from popular magazines and late night TV interviews to academic text, archive material and theatre dialogue. His subjects have included the Loch Ness monster, the possible location of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot and the history of Minimalist art. For this exhibition, Byrne’s investigations range from the politics around sexuality to the production and display of the art object. Premiering in the UK is A man and a woman make love (2012). This multi-screen installation reinterprets discussions about sexuality and eroticism held in the 1920s by the Surrealist group of artists and writers, including André Breton, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy. A thing is a hole in a thing it is not (2010) borrows its title from a statement by sculptor Carl Andre and re-examines seminal moments from 1960s debates around Minimalism.

A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not, installation image from Lismore Castle, 2010

A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not, installation image from Lismore Castle, 2010