A while ago, three of our musicians were involved in a rather exciting and intriguing recording which involved renowned composer Sally Beamish, reggae artist Ghetto Priest, London-based music producer Adrian Sherwood, and the celebrated Robert Burns poem The Slave’s Lament.
Today, the full details of the project were announced: as part of the Scotland + Venice partnership, Glasgow-based artist and Glasgow School of Art graduate Graham Fagen will be presenting an entirely new body of work at this year’s La Biennale di Venezia (or, the Venice Biennale, to give it its less romantic-sounding English title).
Featuring Jonathan Morton on violin, Alison Lawrence on cello and Diane Manson on double bass, the recording is part of a five channel audio-visual installation which will be presented alongside new sculptures and drawings, all specifically curated for the Palazzo Fontana – a 16th century Venetian palace on the banks of the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio district. It’s the first time the building has been used for a visual art exhibition, and the work will be choreographed across four rooms, creating a path along which audience members effectively become performers within the piece.
The recording also honours Graham’s long-term commitment to collaborating across multiple art forms and disciplines. Bringing together us, Sally Beamish, reggae singer Ghetto Priest (from Asian Dub Foundation) and producer Adrian Sherwood, Graham uses Robert Burns’ text to create something that is at once melancholy and powerfully ambiguous, drawing on the very different musical traditions of Scottish folk, classical and reggae.
This is the seventh time that Scotland + Venice (a partnership between Creative Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and the British Council) have presented at probably the largest and most prestigious visual art exhibition in the world, and as such we were thrilled to be involved and wish Graham the best of luck for his preview on Tue 5 May. The exhibition then runs from 9 May to 22 November.