Scotland

Artists put modern sculptures held in storage up for adoption

Mohamed Plays sculpture Image copyright Alan Dimmick
Image caption Many pieces of art end up being "hidden away" after initially going on show

An adoption scheme for modern sculpture is being launched by a group of contemporary artists in Glasgow.

The Sculpture Placement Group will give charities and other organisations the chance to borrow sculptures which are currently in long-term storage.

Organisers say it will provide an opportunity to take artworks to places they would not otherwise be shown.

The scheme will piloted as part of the Glasgow International 2018 series of exhibitions and events from 20 April.

Adoption will be free but "guardians" will take responsibility for care and display of the artwork.

The move follows previous success with the innovative Art Lending Library.

Image copyright Kate V Robertson
Image caption Glasgow artist Rachel Lowther says she struggles to find space in her studio to create new works

Kate V Robertson, one of the three curators behind the project, said there is "loads of enthusiasm" within the art community for the idea.

She said: "All over the country there are superb sculptures by respected artists that are hidden away and have no clear future when they could be seen and enjoyed by new and wider audiences.

"The art market puts a lot of emphasis on new work by sculptors with little provision for what happens to pieces after an exhibition is over. Some is destroyed but the artists put much of it into long-term storage.

"We've been talking to artists about whether they would like to give new life to some of their work by offering it for adoption and the response has been great, loads of enthusiasm."

Image copyright Kate V Robertston
Image caption Artist Nick Evans hopes to find "interesting spaces and ways" to display his work

Glasgow artist Rachel Lowther said she is looking forward to seeing who comes forward to adopt the pieces she is putting forward.

She said: "My studio is full of sculpture now and it can be a problem finding space to create anything new. Sculptors either have to keep work in their studios or pay extra for storage.

"This is a great experiment - it is better to have art out in the world than in boxes. A sculpture is a better place to meet and talk than a water cooler."

Image copyright Kate V Robertson
Image caption Some of Nick Evans' works are currently stored in shipping containers

Fellow artist Nick Evans said: "A few years ago I was invited to do a solo exhibition at Tramway, which was great, I really threw myself into creating the pieces. There were a dozen large plaster sculptures around 1.5m tall and weighing 100kg each.

"I didn't want to destroy them afterwards - it was a significant moment in my career. I swapped one with my landlord for two shipping containers and space in the back yard to store the rest.

"The prospect of finding more interesting spaces and ways to display this work really interests me, as does the whole idea of giving a new sense of value to the work."

Glasgow International 2018 will run from 20 April to 7 May at Glasgow Sculpture Studio.

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