June 17, 2007 - Scotland at the Venice Biennale - Palazzo Zenobio Collegio Armeno Moorat Raphael
June 17, 2007

Palazzo Zenobio Collegio Armeno Moorat Raphael

Louise Hopkins, Aurora 13 (detail), Image courtesy of the artist, doggerfisher, Edinburgh and Andrew Mummery, London.

Palazzo Zenobio
Collegio Armeno Moorat Raphael 
Fondamenta del Soccorso, Dorsoduro 2596, Venezia 30123 
(Vaporetto stops: S. Basilio and Ca Rezzonico)

Sunday 10 June – Friday 2 November
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 to 19:00
(closed Mondays)



This exhibition of new work by six of Scotlands most exciting and innovative artists is hosted by the Scottish Arts Council, National Galleries of Scotland and British Council Scotland.

Curator, Philip Long says: ‘Scotland is recognised as a centre of excellence for the visual arts nationally and internationally and we hope to reflect this through the six highly individual talents, selected for this exhibition. Some on occasion use invented worlds to investigate their concerns; others make use of comparisons, real situations or look back into history. What is clear is that each artist works with such ability and often with such surprising and new means that they have the power to alter perceptions.’

Working across a range of media, Charles Avery’s artwork is characterised by formal beauty, humour and a spirit of philosophical enquiry. This approach to his work is illustrated in the ongoing Islanders project, in which, over a ten-year period, he has described in drawing, painting and sculpture the topology and cosmology of an imaginary island, inspired by his childhood living in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

Henry Coombes’ work investigates the entrenched political, cultural and class connotations of the traditional media in which he works. Film, oil paint and watercolour are used to seduce the viewer into familiar images, which on inspection, reveal a subversive subtext.

Using a variety of materials such as furnishing fabric, newspapers, song sheets, maps and comic strips as the basis for her works, Louise Hopkins’ art work can at first appear playful and sensuous. Her primary intention, however, is not one of embellishment, but of disruption and her use of paint to alter the meaning of the original material on which she works is disorientating and at times disturbing.

Rosalind Nashashibi became the first woman to win a Beck’s Future’s award in 2003 for her film The State of Things, which featured images of elderly women rummaging through piles of old clothes at a Salvation Army jumble sale, over the soundtrack of a traditional Egyptian love song. Using primarily film and video, but also photography and printmaking, this work exemplifies Nashashibis practice, demonstrating her interest in social ritual and group interaction, shot on 16mm film from an observant standpoint.

Lucy Skaer works conceptually and in three and two dimensions. Her drawings utilise found imagery sourced from photojournalistic reportage, by merging photo-orientated images with different forms of patterning in enamel paint, ink and gold leaf. She also creates public interventions, and was shortlisted for Beck’s Futures in 2003 with a set of give-away posters advertising the fugitive actions she claimed to have performed in public places.

A sheet or cut section of newsprint provides the basis for Tony Swains paintings of complex and surreal private worlds. Randomly selected newspaper pages are painted over with considered delicacy, distorting perspectives and entwining abstract motifs with the landscapes and figures of the original print.

Scotland and Venice 2007 will take place within the ground floor rooms of the Palazzo Zenobio and will complement separate presentations taking place within the venue by other countries and organisations including Armenia, Australia, England and South America.

In its broader context, La Biennale di Venezia will see one of the largest British offerings to be staged in recent years with leading artists representing Great Britain, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in four separate exhibitions across the city.

Scotland at the Venice Biennale
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