Roundtable Discussion: Fabrication as a Career

  • Online event
  • Wednesday, 21 April 2021
  • Live discussion with artists Simeon Barclay & Karin Ruggaber and fabricators Rui Pignatelli & Nigel Schofield, starting at 6pm. Part of our Fabrication Research Season.

Artists Simeon Barclay, Professor Karin Ruggaber (University College London) and fabricators Rui Pignatelli (Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre) and Nigel Schofield (MDM Props) join us for a live roundtable discussion on 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.

About the speakers

Simeon Barclay (b. 1975, Huddersfield) is an artist whose practice draws upon a rich vein of popular culture to make works that activate complex cultural histories whilst addressing the complexity of memory, inheritance, aspiration and desire. Barclay received his BA from Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds in 2010 and an MFA from Goldsmiths College, London in 2014. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally including at Southbank Centre, London; Tate Britain, London; South London Gallery; Liverpool Biennial; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle; Workplace Foundation, Gateshead; Holden Gallery, Manchester; The Tetley, Leeds; Cubitt Gallery, London; The Bluecoat, Liverpool; Jerwood Space, London; Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna; Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; Arcadia Missa, New York; and W139, Amsterdam. Simeon lives and works in Leeds.                                

Rui Pignatelli graduated with a Licentiate degree in Sculpture from the Fine Arts University of Lisbon. Soon after he started running an artist residency space (IPAI), producing national young artists events and taking part in the production of two editions of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM). He moved to London in 2007 to pursue his studies with an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. His background in sculpture and passion for making led him to start what is now a decade long career as an art fabricator. He works with artists in all stages of their careers, sometimes as a solo fabricatior, and sometimes as part of a fabrication team, always with joy for innovation and experimentation. Rui is now also a videographer and a maverick drone pilot.

Karin Ruggaber is Professor of Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, and Head of Graduate Sculpture. A practicing artist, she makes sculpture as well as producing artist’s books. Coming out of a studio-based practice, her work uses aspects of figuration and ornamentation. She is interested in the translation of pictorial principles into sculpture, and how imaginary space materialises within sculptural language and public space. Karin Ruggaber has held solo exhibitions at greengrassi, London; Walter Knoll, London; PEER, London; Art Now, Tate Britain, London; and group exhibitions at La Casa Encendida, Madrid; CCA, Andratx; MUDAM, Luxembourg; Museo Marino Marini, Florence; Artists Space, New York; Camden Arts Centre, London; and Bloomberg SPACE, London. Her work was included in British Art Show 7 at Nottingham Contemporary and Hayward Gallery, London (2010). She was recently commissioned by Selldorf Architects for a permanent wall relief for 21 E 12 Greenwich Village, New York. She was recipient of an Abbey Fellowship Award at the British School, Rome in 2019.

Nigel Schofield holds a BA degree in 3-Dimensional Design and further qualifications specialising in wood, metal and plastics. Having worked in the creative construction industries for over thirty years, his career began as an artist/model maker/builder working in theatre, film, TV and the art world. After several years’ experience he joined the fledgling company MDM and helped build it into the company it is today. MDM celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2019. In the 1990s he worked with several young British artists to bring their ideas to life; this led to him concentrating on the art world and specifically sculpture as a chosen field. This continues to this day. He has continued to help and develop younger artists as well as working with some of the world’s most established artists. Notable clients include: Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Anish Kapoor, Yayoi Kusama, Marina Abramovic, Tracey Emin and Anthony Gormley. Institutions he has worked with include The British Museum and The National Gallery.

Fabrication Research Season

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, and will examine ways in which making sculpture has changed, particularly in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic.

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

See all Fabrication Research Season events


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