Media release: 38 creative projects across Scotland share in over £720,000 of National Lottery funding

OPF December

AN installation about a woman’s experience as a taxi driver, an international theatre project, a moving image work questioning the power dynamics of Western medical practice, and the Talbot Rice Gallery’s 2020 exhibition programme are among the 38 creative projects sharing over £720,000 of National Lottery funding through Creative Scotland in the latest round of Open Project Fund awards.

Artist Annie Crabtree’s Tell me, how do I feel? is a new moving image work for installation in the library of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow as part of Glasgow International 2020.

Grounded in the artist’s own experiences of ill health and informed by interviews with others, the work seeks to foreground testimony and storytelling to dismantle the power dynamics of Western medical practice.

Crabtree said: “I am delighted to have been awarded funding by Creative Scotland to help support this work exploring women’s experiences of being positioned as unreliable narrators and inaccurate witnesses of their own bodies. The project feels vitally important at this moment as we become more socially, culturally and politically aware of the need to listen to patients and their experiences of their own bodies and ill health.”

Laura Aldridge will develop a new body of work, alongside a collaboration with Artlink Edinburgh artist Leanne Ross and an ongoing dialogue with Tate curator Linsey Young. The works will be shown alongside the historical works of Judith Scott, a prolific artist with Downs Syndrome. The exhibition will take place at Koppe Astner gallery to coincide with the opening of Glasgow International 2020.

Effie Samara’s TAXI DRIVER installation will depict her experiences as a woman, driving taxis in Paisley over the course of a year. Co-directed by Basharat Khan, TAXI DRIVER will be live-streamed from Glasgow’s Laurieston Arches, and presented in a series of screenings and events, including the UNESCO Spring School, the BEMIS/GRAMNet Film programme, Sea Change Festival in Tiree, and in Paris as part of the Film de Femmes event. The work’s political focus will be discussed in a series of Q&As around the event at the Scottish Refugee Council Festival 2020 and the UNESCO Summer School 2020.

Samara said: “In my experience, Scotland derives much of its cultural wealth from its readiness to be at the forefront of a diverse and open world. TAXI DRIVER is a collaborative effort brought to life with enormous passion and dedication, made possible with Creative Scotland’s support.”

Pearlfisher theatre company is commissioning Abdullah Al-Kafri (Syria/Lebanon) to work in partnership with the Royal Lyceum Theatre on new project, Shifting Sands. Aiming to bring together a range of international voices and experiences to Scottish theatre audiences, the project will also include Sara Shaarawi (Scotland/Egypt) and Stellar Quines and culminate in a showcase at the Lyceum, Edinburgh in 2020.

The Talbot Rice Gallery’s 2020 exhibition programme will be dedicated to curatorial research through solo exhibitions often enabling artists to access the University of Edinburgh’s collections, as well as group exhibitions.

Niuean artist John Pule will receive his first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom, presenting tapa-cloth inspired contemporary painting, lithography and poetry alongside items he has selected from Scottish museums; the group exhibition Pine’s Eye, will explore the idea of the human form in an age of ecological change; while a second group exhibition in partnership with Collective Gallery, the European Architectural History Network 2020 conference and Edinburgh Art Festival will explore the architectural, post-colonial and academic heritage of iconic William Henry Playfair environments.

Tessa Giblindirector, Talbot Rice Gallery, said: “We are excited to launch these exhibitions in Edinburgh in 2020, based on the strength of partnership that has been developed between the University of Edinburgh and Creative Scotland, and we’re really looking forward to introducing the work of more than 15 international artists to Scotland, many for the first time.”

Iain Munro, chief executive, Creative Scotland, said: “From theatre projects to moving image works, these diverse and varied projects demonstrate the potential of creativity to have a positive and profound impact on the lives of individuals and communities across the breadth of Scotland.

“These 38 awards and the creative work they enable are made possible thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players.”

Details of all of the projects awarded funding in this round are available from the Creative Scotland website.

Photography credit: New Year’s Resurrection by Val McDermid, produced by Pearlfisher for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Message from the Skies strand, January 2018 [©️Murdo MacLeod]

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