Announcing our 2023-24 programme

Scottish Sculpture Workshop, photo by Felicity Crawshaw

Announcing our new programme, drawing together local and global communities and developing SSW as place of possibility.

Summer 2023 marks the launch of a new series of programmes, residencies, community events and cultural opportunities here at Scottish Sculpture Workshop.

We’re an organisation committed to the transformational power of bringing people together through making and to opening up opportunities for artists and local people to access their facilities and plans for this year reflect this ambition. 

The summer programme at Scottish Sculpture Workshop kicks off with the Rural School of Economics Summer Camp led by artist collective MyVillages taking place from 12 – 16 July. The Camp is set up to explore material and immaterial ENERGY and how it shapes cultural work. 

‘Zooming in on a range of apparent and less apparent energy sources in Aberdeen and the Shire, the Camp addresses the connections between; the economics of oil and everyday culture, rural practices and cultural desires, and social energy in a caring multispecies world. A feminist approach to energy systems puts care and dependency relations at the centre of energy redistribution schemes, aiming to provide sufficient energy for well-being rather than profit or productivity.’ Artist Kathrin Böhm of artist collective MyVillages says.

The four days will bring together local, national and international artists and will include contributions from Kathrin Böhm and Wapke Feenstra from the Rural School of Economics (Myvillages), members from ruangrupa, and the Lumbung network which continues the practice of documenta fifteen, the Be Part network and Rachel Grant (Fertile Ground). A call out for artists to join the Camp who are based in or strongly connected to the North East of Scotland is currently open.

Community Making Space opening. Photo by Felicity Crawshaw

Interweaving throughout the Rural School of Economics Summer Camp will be a public programme made up of community events that start the next phase of community led programming at SSW. This will focus on the exploration of local, regenerative materials and their collective gathering, processing and production. The new community programme will start on 25th June and throughout the Summer Camp there will also be a range of practical workshops, evening dinners in the Lumsden village hall and a Makers Gathering set up to create spaces for folks to meet, make, share and connect.

Also open for application now is SSW’s new Residencies in Clay programme which seeks to support three artists exploring the transformational potential of clay within society and contemporary arts practice. The residency will provide artists with time, space, funding, facilities and technical support to engage in their clay work within the mutually supportive and nurturing environment of SSW’s ceramics studio with no expectation for final outcomes. The residencies want to support and celebrate artists who are pushing clay as a medium; whether this is pinching at its pedagogical properties, digging into its dialogic potential or using it to craft community.

Also in its third year is the collaborative residency Ecologies In The Making with Cove Park and Uni Arts Helsinki. This unique programme, which will be open for application this autumn, offers a Finnish Graduate the opportunity to spend 4 months in Scotland developing new work that pushes ecological approaches to sculptural practice. 

November will see SSW host Building the Clay Commons facilitated by artist and researcher Eva Masterman. This weeklong immersive co-learning and research event that will bring together artists, makers and educators from across Scotland to collectively ‘build the Clay Commons’: a co-created set of pedagogical values and actions that aim to reach beyond the clay studio and instead imagine an alternative to the increasing neoliberalisation of the arts and education systems in the UK. 

Throughout the year SSW will continue to deliver a range of community making events, a new programme of weekend and week long ceramics courses and opening up its ceramics studio to local artists through its regular practice offer.

Oren Shoesmith during his SSW X Counterflows Caregivers Residency photo by Rabindranath X Bhose

‘This year we continue to grow SSW as a place that brings people together through making and builds deep connections with our material world. We look forward to launching a number of opportunities for artists and to growing our community making space through working with local makers and materials. Following the successful completion of Phase 1 of our capital plans we are also excited to fully activate our building with a programme of residencies, courses and co-learning initiatives that will see us Camping with artists collective MyVillages during the height of summer and Commoning with artist and researcher Eva Masterman deep into the Winter.’
Sam Trotman, Director SSW

This year’s programme is only possible thanks to the commitment of the artists mentioned above, our dedicated staff team and Board, supportive partners, local community and generous funders; Creative Scotland, Creative Europe, William Grant Foundation, Saastamoinen Foundation and Aberdeenshire Council. 

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