University of Derby partners with the British Council on Venice Fellowships programme

14 May 2018

The University of Derby has announced a partnership with the British Council on the 2018 Venice Fellowships Programme, which forms part of the British Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Venice Trip

The University will support three students from the Architecture department and School of Art to spend a month in Venice, conducting independent research and invigilating the exhibition, Island, curated by Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with artist Marcus Taylor. Organised by La Biennale di Venezia, the exhibition will run from 26 May to 25 November 2018.

The Venice Fellowships Programme offers students, graduates and researchers the opportunity to become actively involved in La Biennale di Venezia and gain first-hand experience of the British Pavilion, this year’s curators and their vision.

As partners in the Venice Fellowship Programme, the University will use the students’ experience in its research and teaching, with students presenting their findings in architecture research seminars and as part of their Urban Design module learning outcomes. There is also the possibility to use some of the material gathered as part of their final dissertation research module.

Bethany Gascoigne and Georgina Common are both interior architecture students. Bethany said: “I am thrilled to have such an amazing opportunity so early on in my career. Not only will living in Venice for a month provide me with a wonderful experience but working alongside the British Council at the Biennale will allow me to enhance my skills for the future and gain knowledge that will only help further my career.”

Georgina said: “As a world-recognised event, the Fellowship will be an invaluable experience and an amazing opportunity to work alongside some of the most passionate people from the UK. The rare and unique chance to engage with award-winning artists and architects is a networking opportunity you can’t afford to miss. What I like about the research program is it encourages you to explore your interests as an individual without boundaries, which could take you in any direction while exploring the city of Venice.” 

Art student Jas Lucas added: "I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to both research and work in Venice, especially as the Biennale’s focus this year is on architecture and the theme of ‘Free-Space’. As my practice is primarily live performance, space is a crucial element to consider when making my work and I’m hoping this once-in-a-lifetime experience will enable me to experiment further. Some of the themes around the notion of ‘Free-Space’ share links with my own artistic practice: notions of utopia/dystopia, regeneration, abandonment and isolation, Brexit and the political landscape."

Laura Broderick, Venice Fellowships Programme Manager from the British Council, said: “The Venice Fellowships programme is a fantastic international experience for students and graduates – with bespoke training in London, skills development opportunities at the British Pavilion, and a chance to expand networks across the UK.

“The Fellows are involved in research and the production of creative responses to the Biennale and Venice itself. This is key for our UK partners engaged in improving outward mobility and employability. For the British Council, it is very important to support emerging artists, architects, curators and researchers – and to place informed stewards at the heart of the British Pavilion.”

The British Pavilion at Biennale Architettura 2018, commissioned by the British Council, will be represented by the work Island from Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with artist Marcus Taylor, with the construction of a new public space on the roof of the pavilion building.

Throughout Biennale Architettura 2018, the Pavilion of Great Britain will programme a unique series of events including poetry, performance, film and architectural talks and debates in response to Freespace and ideas raised by Island. The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion in Venice since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK’s artists, architects, designers and curators to an international audience.