Leith-based contemporary visual arts facility Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW) has been awarded a major boost towards the development of a purpose built facility in the recent funding round of Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Capital Awards.
Iain Munro Head of Capital at the Scottish Arts Council, said: ‘When we decided to consolidate our funding for the next three years into one funding round, we wanted to support exciting and ambitious projects that will contribute to the development of Scottish artistic and public life for many years to come. Providing development funding for this project will now allow Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop to examine its proposals in more detail, looking at things such as business plans and sustainability as well as its architectural ambitions to develop a leading international centre for sculpture and contemporary art that will excite, inspire and transform the lives of both artists and the local communities.’
The new facility will provide up to 30 studios and 3 purpose-built workshops as well as a dedicated education area and accommodation for visiting artists. A general project space will allow for experimentation and artists’ professional development as well offering a programme of public events and exhibitions throughout the year. At present the building has 15 studios, a single workshop and one general public space and the organisation is struggling to cope with demand.
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW) Director, Irene Kernan said ‘This is a marvellous opportunity not only for Edinburgh but for the visual arts sector throughout Scotland. This will be the first building of its kind in the UK – a purpose-built sculpture facility supporting young and established artists which also will be open to anyone interested in learning about or making visual art. Our aim is to create a centre of excellence for sculpture and contemporary visual art which will attract artists working in Scotland and throughout the UK as well as internationally.’
ESW has been working with award-winning Edinburgh architects, Sutherland Hussey to develop the first stage of the project and will continue consulting with artists and the local community as the project develops.
All the staff and students here at Contemporary Art ETC.. are delighted by the news and we look forward to our continued collaboration with ESW.