Irene Kernan, director of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop announces a big step forward for the organisation
"For the last seven years, ESW has been fundraising for a new sculpture centre on its site at Newhaven, Edinburgh to provide a range of purpose-built spaces for production and research. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2011 and we move into the completed building by January 2012.
In addition to 26 artist studios, there will be specialist workshops for wood, metal, mixed-media and residency apartments available to artists in Edinburgh and from elsewhere. Dedicated spaces will support research programmes and project working with education and meeting areas, also open to the public.
In the week we closed the funding gap for the sculpture centre, ESW was awarded the Arts Funding Prize for Edinburgh—£3million donated by an anonymous donor, providing the organisation with an opportunity to create an inspiring new arts space, the Creative Laboratories, alongside the sculpture centre.
The primary aim of the prize is to fund a building of exceptional architectural and cultural merit within the city. Designed by Sutherland Hussey, the Leith-based architects who designed the sculpture centre, The Creative Laboratories will offer a mix of outdoor and indoor working spaces positioned around a central courtyard, supporting innovative and ambitious artist projects and enhancing the work of the sculpture centre next door. It will also include viewing areas, information points and a café making it easier for the local community and the wider public to engage with organised activities, while the flexible workspace and vibrant environment will allow ESW to open up the specialist facilities to a far wider range of disciplines, and to many more partners across the city and within the international arts community.
A world first, the Creative Laboratories will support new ways of thinking, learning and relating to the arts, and together with the purpose-built facilities in the sculpture centre, will establish Edinburgh as an international destination for sculpture."