Fabrication Research Season: Online Events

The practicalities of how an artist approaches making a sculpture have often been shrouded in mystery. The relationship between artists and skilled fabricators is rarely acknowledged. Exploring the blurred lines between art, craft and industry, this Research Season will make visible the ways in which sculptors in both historical and contemporary contexts have realised their vision through processes of collaboration and exchange. The impact of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic upon making will also be examined.

This Research Season is organised in collaboration with Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre and the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield.

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Past events in this Research Season:


Roundtable Discussion: Fabrication as a Career

Live discussion on Wednesday 21 April, 6pm

Artists Simeon Barclay & Karin Ruggaber and fabricators Rui Pignatelli & Nigel Schofield join us to discuss the professional relationship between sculpture and fabrication. The speakers explore issues regarding the teaching of fabrication in art schools, access to fabrication facilities and how knowledge of fabrication may inform sculptural practice. This is followed by discussion and questions from the audience.

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In-conversation Series: Thomas J Price

Live in-conversation on Wednesday 28 April 2021, 6pm

Artist Thomas J Price discusses recent examples of his work with fabricators, including the use of bronze foundry processes for sculptures such as Reaching Out 2020, installed at The Line, London and Within the Folds (Dialogue 1) 2020, currently at Sculpture Milwaukee, USA.

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In-conversation Series: Heather Phillipson

Live in-conversation on Wednesday 12 May, 6pm

Heather Phillipson speaks about her experience of working on two recent public commissions: THE END, for the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square 2020-22, and RUPTURE NO 1: blowtorching the bitten peach, commissioned for the Duveen Galleries, Tate Britain (2021).

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Roundtable Discussion: Engaging Technologies / Emerging Technologies

Live discussion on Wednesday 26 May, 6pm

Artists Alice Channer, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and Daniel Steegman Mangrané join us for a live roundtable discussion about the use of new and emerging technologies in sculptural production.

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In-conversation Series: Nicola Ellis

Live discussion on Wednesday 23 June, 6pm

Nicola Ellis discusses the works she has produced as part of Return to Ritherdon, a project based on a two-year artist placement at Ritherdon & Co Ltd, a manufacturer of steel enclosures based in Darwen, Lancashire.

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In-conversation Series: Ivan Clarke and Petra Schmidt

Live discussion on Wednesday 14 July, 6pm

Ivan Clarke, Matt Ridsdale (Directors, millimetre) and Petra Schmidt (Production Manager, Commissions, Tate Modern) discuss their work on Kara Walker’s Fons Americanus, the 2019 Hyundai Turbine Hall Commission at Tate Modern, highlighting practices of sustainability in fabrication.

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Conference: Valuing Sculpture: Contemporary Perspectives on Art, Craft and Industry, 1660-1860

Two-day online conference, 27-28 July

The indeterminate position of sculpture within the arts is a malleable concept which continues to challenge researchers. Categorisations such as art, craft, or industry contrive barriers, separating works from one another and disavowing the cross-fertilisations between sculptors, makers and artisans involved in the formal practices and aesthetics of art production. This conference refocuses attention on how links have been consistently made between media and making processes to categorise and subsequently value sculpture.

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Logos for the Arts and Humanities Research Council; White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities, Universities of Leeds Sheffield & York; Pangaea Sculptors' Centre.

Venue details

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Online event
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