Doing It In Public

Katherine Clarke, Partner at muf architecture/art | Andrew Ranville, Artist & Executive Director of the Rabbit Island Foundation | Hayley Skipper, Curator of Arts and Development for Forestry Commission England
Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre Project Space, London Fields, E8 3QA
Perch, Rabbit Island Residency. Photo courtesy of the artist, Andrew Ranville.

Public sculpture’ might just as easily be described these days as ‘sculpting public space’ or ‘sculpting the public’ or even ‘sculpting in public’. When the event or experience is valued in equal measure with the object or outcome produced, what challenges does this shift result in for practitioners? What are the demands as well as possibilities of this public-centric way of working? Has site-specificity been replaced by audience-specificity or do these remain distinct things? The invited speakers will reference specific projects and share insights into their own experiences and approaches of working in this field.

In line with Pangaea’s belief in making the making visible, this talk will take place in the studio/workshop space of the artists on our residency.

Born in Michigan in 1981, Andrew Ranville has lived and worked in London since 2006. The artist received his MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2008.

From 2010-2013 Ranville co-founded and developed the Rabbit Island Artist Residency programme, periodically living and working on the remote, 90-acre island located in Lake Superior. As the residency’s founding artist, he created work for the programme’s inaugural exhibition, No Island is a Man, in partnership with the DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University. In 2014, Ranville was invited to be a TBA21 Academy Fellow and take part in the Treasure of Lima Buried Exhibition. After travelling to the remote Cocos Island, Ranville donated an artwork to a contemporary treasure chest, which he then helped bury on the island. A duplicate chest with an encrypted map was sold at auction to raise money for conservation and the study of pelagic species around island, which is a National Park of Costa Rica and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2011 Ranville received a commission from the UK’s Forestry Commission to propose a large-scale sculptural installation for the Lake District’s Grizedale Forest in England. In addition to the explorations, research and workshops carried out in the forest itself, Ranville has participated in a group exhibition and several symposia hosted by the Forestry Commission.

Ranville’s art has been exhibited internationally and installations of his work can be found – or have been shown in – countries including Australia, China, Finland, Morocco, Spain, Costa Rica, UK and the USA. His work has also been published in various art magazines and journals.

Hayley Skipper is Curator of Arts Development for Forestry Commission England, leading the national Forest Art Works programme across art forms and throughout England. Passionate about the environment and public engagement with high quality arts practice, she is responsible for developing and commissioning new public programmes and initiatives for forest environments and audiences. Hayley also directs the sculpture programme in Grizedale Forest – The UK’s First Forest for Sculpture.

Founding Co-Chair of North by North West, established to support and promote visual arts in Cumbria and Lancashire, part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network; in 2012 Hayley joined the Board of Trustees for innovative artist-led company Art Gene to further champion their critical and ground-breaking work in diverse public landscapes. As both a regular Selector and Judge for the Royal Horticultural Society’s shows, she has judged and championed Conceptual Gardens for a decade.

Hayley has initiated and delivered numerous collaborative and public projects as both a curator and as an independent artist. She has also worked as part of the artist collective SpRoUt, and formerly worked with The Engine Room, an international research centre for knowledge transfer at the University of the Arts, London. She is firmly committed to all forms of collaboration, engagement and education, holding a Double First in Fine Art Sculpture, Masters with Distinction in Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design and a PG Cert in Teaching and Learning in Art and Design in Higher Education, University of the Arts London.


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