Between poles and tides, Kate V Robertson: Object (hood), Michael Barr: HOSTIPITALIDADE and The Torrie Collection, all coming to a close this week, have each used, appropriated and explored various facets of the University of Edinburgh’s art collection.
We spoke to Edinburgh University’s Art Collections Curator Neil Lebeter to understand the process behind building a public facing, contemporary, university collection.
#1 FIND YOUR ARTISTS AT THE DEGREE SHOW
The ECA final year degree show happens every summer, around the beginning of June. This is an opportunity for graduating art and design students to show case their new work, often as an amalgamation of their research and practice throughout their degree.
It is also an opportunity to get their name and practice recognised and to (hopefully) sell a few pieces. Since Edinburgh University began building a contemporary art collection, the degree show has been the first port of a call when purchasing new artworks.
Each year, a group of four to five academics attend the degree show in the hopes of scouting out exactly what they need to build upon and diversify the growing collection. This group of individuals includes both Neil Lebeter and the academic honorary curator, Gordon Brennan ever year, after that a selection of academics from across disciplines are asked to attend to help decide which artists to pick.