Robert Louis Stevenson refers to travel as the wish to be ‘Below another sky’, considering it an important means to sharpen creative intelligence and understanding. The ‘Below another sky’ project aligns itself with this view of travel, an approach also fostered by the British Council’s Visual Arts programme.
‘Below another sky’ was a set of international residencies, resulting in a collection of prints by twenty artists. Curated by Alexia Holt, on behalf of the Scottish Print Network, the project was supported by Creative Scotland and included within the Glasgow 2014 programme at the time of the Commonwealth Games. Exhibited across Scotland in 2014-15, the prints have now been acquired by the British Council Collection, and following this display of selected works, will become part of the British Council’s international touring exhibition programme.
At its outset, ‘Below another sky’ enabled Scottish artists to undertake residencies in any Commonwealth country of their choice, while international artists were invited to come to Scotland. All artists then worked alongside experienced printmaking staff at the Scottish Print Network’s studios: Dundee Contemporary Arts, Edinburgh Printmakers, Glasgow Print Studio, Highland Print Studio in Inverness and Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen. This gave the opportunity to artists, even those who frequently work in print, to explore unfamiliar techniques or materials, and investigate anew how printmaking traditions can be made contemporary.
The resulting exhibition of 28 works including prints by Turner Prize nominees Jim Lambie (2005), David Shrigley (2013), and Janice Kerbel (2015), showcases a rich, varied and original selection of works in the field of printmaking. By touring the exhibition internationally, the British Council hopes to continue the international exchanges started by the ‘Below another sky’ project.