Scotland Core Circle

'An Exchange of Method', James N Hutchinson, Petra Bauer & SCOT-PEPConstellations Programme, Collective, Edinburgh, 2015–2017

Outset Scotland is proud to have supported the Constellations Programme at Collective – a series of off-site, research-based commissions that aim to bring people together to develop ideas and partnerships.

Currently, the Constellations Programme consists of three projects: one with the artist Petra Bauer and charity SCOT-PEP; one with the artist James N Hutchinson; and one entitled An Exchange of Method, which is a partnership between Collective, Artlink Scotland, Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica and Norte Colom, Rio De Janeiro.  The series of commissions has included discussions, screenings, and walks, providing opportunities for artists and audiences to engage with Collective’s locality and consider new ways for people to work together.

Petra Bauer has been commissioned by Collective to undertake a research-based project in which she has initiated a collaboration with SCOT-PEP – a charity in Edinburgh dedicated to the promotion of sex workers’ rights.  Bauer has led a series of closed workshops to explore filmmaking strategies and the work, daily challenges and struggles of this sex worker led organisation.  Through an ongoing process of listening and sharing knowledge about labour rights and film production, the group ask: how do you act politically when stigma prevents you from being public?

James N Hutchinson has been engaged in a long-term research project called Rumours of a New Planet as part of the Constellations Programme.  Hutchinson’s research reflects on ideas of scientific study, amateurism and the international trade of goods and knowledge.  Investigating the life, work and travels of historical figures connected to Calton Hill, James has identified three research strands: Margaret Stewart’s botanical drawings made with her husband John Herschel on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, 1834—38; Jessica Duncan’s field notes from her geology excursion through Europe in 1854; and Thomas Henderson, the first Astronomer Royal for Scotland, and Thomas Anderson, prolific amateur astronomer, both of whom were visually impaired.  Hutchinson is working with the Royal National Institute for the Blind to further explore connections between sightedness and these histories.

An Exchange of Method is a collaborative research project based around an exchange between arts organisations and artists in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Edinburgh.  The project is an opportunity to share and progress contemporary art practice, and to enhance knowledge and advocacy in ‘caring’ environments.  Starting in October 2015 with a research visit to Rio, An Exchange of Method was developed through closed workshops and public events held in both Rio and Edinburgh.

Petra Bauer is an artist and filmmaker based in Sweden.  Petra’s practice explores film as a space where political negotiations take place.  She has exhibited internationally, most recently at the 56th Venice Biennale, 2015 and A Voice of One’s Own: On Women’s Fight for Suffrage and Human Recognition, Malmö Konstmuseum, 2014.

SCOT-PEP is a charity dedicated to the promotion of sex worker’s rights, health and dignity.  They are members of the Global Network of Sex Work Project, International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe, and the UK Network of Sex Work Projects.  Although primarily focussed on Scotland, SCOT-PEP is an active member of a global movement calling for sex work to be recognised as work.

James N Hutchinson is an artist based in Glasgow and currently undertaking a PhD at the Glasgow School of Art.  Exhibitions and curatorial projects include: Voices from the Archive, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, 2016/17; All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, with Jeremy Deller, Hayward Touring, London, 2013; Proposal For A Warehouse or Towards A Museum Of Reorganisation (Skye/Istanbul/Beijing), part of How to Turn the World by Hand, Collective, Edinburgh, and PiST, Istanbul, 2011.  He ran the self-initiated curatorial agency The Salford Restoration Office from 2006 to 2010, and is a member of Chapter Thirteen.

Collective is a contemporary visual arts organisation that brings people together around the production and presentation of new work.  Established in 1984, Collective has been fundamental to the cultural vitality of Scotland by supporting new work by artists who are at a pivotal stage in their development.  They provide artists with the opportunity to make new work and audiences the chance to see it first at Collective.  Their programme of exhibitions, walks, events and off-site projects presents contemporary art in all its diversity.  They create opportunities for participation, mutual learning and dialogue by opening out processes of art production, connecting with other fields and encouraging new developments.