Outer Spaces

Curator In Residence ABERDEEN

Rachel Grant was selected as Curator in Residence in Aberdeen for the pilot MORE THAN SPACE project supported by Creative Scotland and Aberdeen City Council. Rachel operates through Fertile Ground, a critical platform for her practice. Fertile Ground develops curatorial projects that take a context-specific, interdisciplinary approach and primarily focus on new commissions of work. The More Than Space project offered an opportunity to work with artists on new commissions of work, develop context specific approaches to working in a commercial business park and develop Fertile Ground’s experimental model of practice.

The commissioned artists all work in different mediums, some had a very clear approach to final outcomes and audiences, others were using the space for development and experimentation with work at a provisional stage. When selecting the artists, the depth of practice and ability to take risk were elements that stood out.

During the residency, Rachel has been meeting with artists to discuss their work, supporting conceptual development as well as project management. This has been tailored to their individual needs and for some has explored aspects of professional development beyond the work itself, for example; feedback on artist statements, funding opportunities and local communities and networks they may want to explore in the future. Rachel has also been developing her own curatorial research through exploring the locality of Dyce. Dyce is one place of many in Aberdeen that has seen rapid commercial and industrial development through the oil industry. As a consequence of the industry contracting, and perhaps more flexible approaches to work post-covid – more buildings are slowly become vacant. The research is attached to broader critical debates on artists entering temporary spaces, the utilisation of arts practice as economic catalyst and the implications for cultural workers and audiences.

Rachel has been working as a curator since 2015. She is currently part of the ‘Intersecting EnergyCultures Working Group’ a transdisciplinary, international research group convened by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities. Recent projects include Paradigms an exhibition ofwork by emerging artists in Aberdeen and Plymouth [2021]. This includes the public programme Where do we go from here? a conversational series by and for those working in the visual arts sector of Aberdeen. Recent projects include CRUDE an exhibition and public programme [2021]Imagining St Fittick’s[2021] and Speculative Fiction: Practising Collectively[2020].