Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop opens a new world class Sculpture Centre (28/06/2012)
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s new building will be the first of its kind in the UK – purpose-built for the needs of artists and a publicly accessible facility for anyone interested in making or learning about contemporary sculpture. The new Sculpture Centre has been developed to support ambitious, high level artist-led projects and to enable ESW to bring visitors closer to the art being produced here.
It has been designed by award winning architects Sutherland Hussey, an Edinburgh-based architectural practice who have established an international reputation and who have produced a wonderful design from a challenging brief.
On offer will be studios, apartments for visiting artists, fully-equipped workshops and a mix of public working and meeting spaces.
ESW will be able to forge international partnerships and significantly expand our education and professional development activities - ranging from programmes with local schools to research programmes with an international reach co-ordinated in partnership with Edinburgh College of Art.
The new Centre will provide a dynamic, creative environment in which artists can meet, produce work and develop their careers with the support of a committed staff team.
As well as being fortunate enough to have raised over £3.5M, for the Sculpture Centre in such a difficult funding climate which included £2.3m of National Lottery funding from Creative Scotland, in 2010 ESW was awarded the £3M Arts Funding Prize for Edinburgh allowing the organisation to develop a second building - the Creative Laboratories - and expand its vision for a world class research and production facility. Work begins on the second phase of development in September of this year and the end result will be a world class sculpture complex.
Irene Kernan, Director of ESW said: “There is a tremendous sense of excitement building in the arts community as we prepare to open our doors and the project continues to attract funding. ESW was recently selected for the Edward Marshall Trust Award – a prestigious national design award and has been given a large grant for workshop equipment from Edinburgh’s Telford College, both of which are illustrative of the interesting partnerships and collaborations we will be able to establish in the new centre”.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, who opened the building said:
"This ambitious and remarkable space is the product of more than 10 years of collaboration, vision, planning and dedication.
"The centre will nurture and promote exceptional artistic talents on an international level, bringing together a diverse mix of artists, thinkers, creative minds and innovators from across cultural, academic, public and private sectors.
"Through Creative Scotland’s investment, the Scottish Government is pleased to support this valuable project."
Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland commented:
‘Creative Scotland is delighted to have invested in this project with our National Lottery funds. It’s one of the most significant investments made in visual arts in Edinburgh to date and recognises that the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop is a vital part of Scotland’s sculpture network. This wonderful new facility will provide our talented artists with the space to develop their practice and promote the work of ESW internationally. It’s yet another exciting project coming to fruition in this, the Year of Creative Scotland.’
Councillor Richard Lewis, Convener of Culture and Leisure for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The City of Edinburgh Council has been a longstanding champion of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s ambition to create a world class sculpture centre in Scotland’s Capital and we were delighted to contribute towards its creation. Edinburgh is justly proud of its reputation as a ‘Cultural Capital’ and this exciting new facility is a very important addition to the City’s cultural infrastructure.”
Colin Harris of Sutherland Hussey said: “Our collaboration has been very rewarding and it is fantastic to see ESW finally take possession and the building start to take on a life of its own. ESW has ambitions to create a centre of excellence that will see them compete on a world stage and will almost certainly develop the City of Edinburgh into one of Europe’s sculpture capitals.”
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