LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
This programme forms part of the British Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia). The exhibition, called Island, is curated by Caruso St John Architects in collaboration with the artist Marcus Taylor, and runs from 26th May to 25th November 2018.
The Venice Fellowship Programme is a chance for students, graduates and researchers to get involved in La Biennale di Venezia and experience the British Pavilion for themselves. This year, sixty-nine people from thirty-six institutions are taking part in the programme.
AUB students, Brittany Sutcliffe and Ryan Snook, were both selected for this year’s fellowship. This invaluable opportunity will involve spending an exciting month in Venice conducting independent research, while co-managing the exhibition and learning from its curators.
With the exhibition only weeks away, we caught up with Brittany and Ryan to find out what they hope to gain from entering the Venice Fellowship Programme, and more about the unique exhibition they are both involved with.
BRITTANY SUTCLIFFE, BA (HONS) FINE ART
Brittany is currently in the second year of her BA (Hons) Fine Art degree. She is pleased to be working on the programme and eager to see how Island will be received. There are six groups of stewards in all, and Brittany is part of the first group.
In addition to playing a key role in the public’s engagement, Brittany had this to say about her role as steward: “We will be the first point of contact for those wanting to discuss the work at the British Pavilion. The fact we have an artist, Marcus Taylor, who has put together the proposal and seen it through, means the intention for the work is as conceptually driven as it gets. This Fine Art-Architecture collaboration also gives me a gateway into understanding how my thinking would apply in a spatial design context.”
Besides gaining access to the archives and receiving continual research project support from the British Council, there were several surprise elements Brittany didn’t expect: “We didn’t know that we will be getting educational support from the European Cultural Academy – we can attend their lectures and get one-to-one support from their professional links. I welcome the insight that will provide me with over the month I’m there… We can [also] be as involved in communications as we want to be, [which is] great news for somebody considering a comms-related grad scheme at the end of their studies.”
RYAN SNOOK, MARCH ARCHITECTURE
Currently in his first year of the MArch Architecture course, Ryan Snook is also attending the 2018 Venice Fellowship Programme. Ryan applied for the programme because of the opportunity it presented to explore examples of architecture from numerous parts of the globe, represented within La Biennale di Venezia.
Working with the British Council within this year’s Pavilion only added to the fellowship’s appeal for Ryan. He is also anticipating the Venice setting: “The most exciting thing for myself is that I’ve been given the opportunity to explore a historically renowned city for a month… filled to the brim with examples of art and architecture… whilst working alongside other fellows who practice within the art and design themes.”
Both candidates will gain ‘hands-on experience’ with the public, with the added responsibility of maintaining and overseeing the exhibition. Ryan also hopes to attain valuable knowledge and resources, made available to him through the British Council, numerous pavilions, and the library.
He went on to say: “Also, it’s a great privilege to be able to say I was a member of the team that participated in the British Council’s exhibition for the 2018 La Biennale di Venezia.”
Ryan advises anyone who has the opportunity to apply for the Venice Fellowship Programme to – “grab it with both hands and go for it”, as it has so many beneficial outcomes.
The exhibition itself is a response to the Architettura 2018 theme of ‘Freespace’. Island will exhibit on an elevated public piazza on the roof of the British Pavilion, where the peak of the Pavilion’s roof protrudes up through the floor. This unique vantage point can be envisioned as an island above a sunken world.
The exhibition’s curators, Adam Caruso, Peter St John and Marcus Taylor, said in their statement – “There will be many ways to interpret the experience of visiting the 2018 British Pavilion. An island can be a place of both refuge and exile. The state of the building, which will be completely covered with scaffolding to support the new platform above, suggests many themes; including abandonment, reconstruction, sanctuary, Brexit, isolation, colonialism and climate change.”
Find out more about the Venice Fellowship Programme.
Read about the 2016 Venice Fellowship Programme event.