'After ISLAND' at RIBA North, Liverpool
15.03.19 - 20.05.19
Haziq Ariffin, Lizzie Atherton , Christina Barton, Hannah Berrisford, Jessica Bishopp, Blair Boyle, Alice Bufton, Gustavo Fijalkow, Jack Foster, Uli Gamper, Adeola Gay, Catalina Ionita, Nansi Jones, Vicki Jones, Jordan Keaney, Daniel Kelly, Ari Khoshnaw, Cameron Lintott, Hugo Lopes, Jas Lucas, Rhea McCarthy, Karly McGinty, Ella Merriman, Phuong-Trâm Nguyen, Sandhya Parekh, Tarn Philipp, Calvin Po, Shemol Rahman, Mandalika Roberts, Charlotte Robinson, Madeleine Sinclair, Eniola Sonusi, Fraser Streatfield, Mary Trapp, Nathaniel Welham, Augustus Wray
After ISLAND celebrates the many outputs produced from the unique opportunity afforded to 70 students, researchers, early-career artists and cultural professionals from across the UK, who participated as Fellows in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Supported by the British Council and 29 universities and cultural organisations, the Programme enabled the Fellows to spend a month in Venice at one of the world’s most significant architecture exhibitions, dividing their time between stewarding and mediating the British Pavilion, and conducting their own independent research.
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition, titled Freespace, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamaraIn, sought an exploration into the nature and quality of open and free space, retaining a sense of humanity at the core of architecture's agenda. The British Council was proud to present ISLAND at the British Pavilion. The curatorial team, Caruso St John Architects and artist Marcus Taylor, responded to Freespace with the construction of a new public space on the roof of the British Pavilion. At the centre, the peak of the pavilion’s roof protruded up through the floor, suggesting both an island and a sunken world beneath.
The doors of the pavilion were open to visitors, but significantly, the building was empty of exhibits. Instead, the interior provided a platform for a vibrant programme of events, allowing space for multiple voices and interpretations of ISLAND. This intervention to the building suggested ideas around isolation, voids, climate change, migration and decolonisation. These topics have been further scrutinised and reflected upon in the Fellows’ research and work exhibited.
In 2018, the successful Fellows came from a range of areas of research and expertise, which included Architecture but also wider fields of Fine Art, Product Design, Curation, Anthropology and Museum Studies. This interdisciplinary approach, and the experience of living in a new city and environment for a month, enabled a valuable opportunity to develop their skills, think critically and position themselves among the concerns and themes instigated by ISLAND. Through a diverse set of practices including painting, sculpture, video, audio and writing, the work presented in After ISLAND takes inspiration from their experiences of Freespace, ISLAND, and the city of Venice to explore wider questions through the development of their own practice.
Curated by Zoe Watson