In the summer of 2011 Dan Brown & Neil Mulholland initiated a Research Programme which was to form Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s contribution to the annual Edinburgh Art Festival.
The idea grew out of a series of learning experiments that Neil had been conducting with MFA students at Edinburgh College of Art that began with some informal discussions around art education and Dan’s desire to create a programme focussed on research, production and learning that accurately reflected Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s specific status as a workshop and studio complex supporting he devlopment of visual art and artists.
“The sites in which art is made and the myriad ways in which it is supported are increasingly overlooked, festival culture being fixated with the quantifiable outcomes of homo economicus: the tourist spectacle, the brand, the product. Workshops and studios such as Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop are more often concerned with non-economic work, work that can’t be easily quantified, with the process of learning through action. To make art and money involves a combination of shadow work and shiftwork, the patterns of which largely remain invisible. The expansion of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s facilities and studios should encourage us to reconsider the ways in which publicly funded arts organisations might best facilitate comprehensive approaches to production rather than novel ways of fetishising consumption.”
The aim was to establish a curriculum that could be experienced collectively and could be later transferred, translated and restaged in different contexts.