Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW) has launched its new £3 million Creative Laboratories building, designed by Sutherland Hussey Architects.

The purpose-built sculpture facility includes making and viewing spaces that will enable the development of large-scale work. Incorporating sculpture bays, project spaces and a bronze foundry, the new building is situated on old railway sidings in Newhaven, north Edinburgh.

A distinctive feature of the building is a 22.5m high triangular tower, which in the new year will be home to Concrete Antenna, a specially commissioned sound installation by Tommy Perman, Professor Simon Kirby and Rob St. John.

The building project has been fully funded by the Arts Funding Prize for Edinburgh, administered by Foundation Scotland by means of an anonymous donation. As a sister-building to ESW’s Sutherland Hussey Architects-designed Bill Scott Sculpture Centre, which opened in 2012, the facility will continue the organisation’s long-term commitment to artists. Founded in 1987, ESW has supported more than 3000 artists during its 27-year existence.

Speaking about the new building, ESW director Irene Kernan said: “This is an amazing opportunity for Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop which will enable us to fulfil our ambitions to create a world-class sculpture centre in the city. The Arts Funding Prize represents a major investment in future generations of artists and will be a major resource for our local community in Newhaven as well as the city as a whole.”

Opening exhibits

The Creative Laboratories building opens with a number of exhibits and commissioned editions from artists Jessica Harrison, Miranda Blennerhassett and Kate Ive. Designer Catherine Aitken and sculptor David Murphy have received the Edward Marshall Trust commission to design furniture, conceived and built on site, for the new premises.

Harrison’s series of carved Kilkenny Limestone sculptures, titled 00:09:34, are exhibited in the specialist stone-working space, while Blennerhassett takes architects drawings as a starting point in her specially commissioned print edition, ESW.  Ive’s artist’s edition of a life-size nail, Dressed, will be cast by the artist in bronze onsite.

Inaugurating ESW’s new international programme, Swedish artist Johanna Billing will begin work on a new project that explores the collective knowledge of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s community through a range of activities. A mini-retrospective of her film work will open in January 2015.


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