Scotland Foundation Circle

Corin Sworn, Duncan Campbell, Hayley TompkinsScotland + Venice, 2013

Outset Scotland supported the commission of new work by the three artists featured in Scotland’s national presentation at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, curated by The Common Guild. Sworn / Campbell / Tompkins was displayed at Palazzo Pisani (S. Marina), Venice, from 1st June to 24th November 2013, and returned to The Common Guild in Glasgow in summer 2014.

Scotland + Venice is a partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland.


Duncan Campbell

It for Others, 2013, (16mm film transferred to digital video, 54 minutes)

Duncan Campbell produces films that look at representations of the people and events at the heart of very particular histories – figures such as John Delorean and Bernadette Devlin. Combining archive material with his own footage, his work questions the authority, integrity and intentions of the information presented.

For Scotland + Venice 2013, Campbell took Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ 1953 film Les statues meurent aussi (Statues Also Die) as both source and artefact, to pursue a meditation on the life, death and value of objects. In the exhibition, Campbell presented the older film alongside his new work, a social and historical examination of cultural imperialism and commodity that combined filmed footage, animation and archive footage. It for others includes a performance made in collaboration with Michael Clark Company that seeks to illustrate the basic principle of commodities and their exchange. In 2014, It for Others won the Turner Prize.


Corin Sworn

Untitled, 2013 (Ceramic)
The Foxes, 2013 (HD video 18 minutes)
Hacienda Tucle, 2013 (Gicleé print)
Girl with Horses, 2013 (Gicleé print)
Huancayo, 2013 (Gicleé print)

Corin Sworn creates installations that explore the ways objects can disseminate stories and histories. Often combining images with spoken narrative, her work examines the cultural and personal significance attributed to things and how they in turn narrate us as social subjects.

The starting point for Sworn’s work for Scotland + Venice 2013 was a recently re-discovered collection of slides taken by her father during his fieldwork as a social anthropologist in the 1970s. In returning a selection of the images to the Peruvian village where they were taken, Sworn used the photographs to explore aspects of imaging, memory, place and oral history. A selection of these found photographs were intertwined with recent images of the same location and re-presented in three gicleé print works, alongside a new video work that includes footage from the village of Huasicancha, as well as Glasgow, Vancouver and Huancayo. These works were accompanied by a tiled floor – a style found in both Glasgow and Peru – setting up a discourse around location and dislocation, in a subtle evocation of diverse places and the interactions between them.


Hayley Tompkins

Digital Light Pool (Orange), 2013 (Acrylic on plastic trays, stock photographs, wooden boxes, glass, plastic bottles, watercolour)

Digital Light Pool (Stone), 2013 (Acrylic on plastic trays, stock photographs, wooden boxes, glass, plastic bottles, watercolour)

Stick, 2013 (Acrylic paint on found object)

Hayley Tompkins creates delicately painted objects from commonplace things – such as knives, hammers, mobile phones or furniture. In de-familiarising the original object, her work articulates the relationship between the form, feel and function of an object.

In sharp contrast with the conventional display of painting, Tompkins’ new works for Scotland + Venice 2013 were almost entirely floor-based. Boxed photographic prints of images found online were juxtaposed with water bottles and ready-made plastic trays containing evaporating pigment. Digital Light Pool (Orange) and Digital Light Pool (Stone) were full of painterly plays on colour, tone, texture and composition. Tompkins says: ‘I remind myself how immersed within life the activity of making something can be. It’s not an interruption within life, it comes from it, so any subject has to feel close, like-life. It’s about seeing, choosing, mixing, stirring, pouring, laying, selecting, turning, putting.’