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From Venice to the V&A: Role for Loch Ness in successful international exhibition

By Philip Murray

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Part of the Loch Ness section of the ‘A Fragile Correspondence’ exhibition pictured in Venice. Picture: Daniele Sambo.
Part of the Loch Ness section of the ‘A Fragile Correspondence’ exhibition pictured in Venice. Picture: Daniele Sambo.

The Loch Ness landscape is set to swap a role in a Venice exhibition for a new showcase at a world-famous museum on home soil when the project travels back to Scotland next year.

A Fragile Correspondence, which includes exhibits about the Loch Ness landscape, will return to Scotland in November next year following the showcase's successful run in Venice from May until this month.

When its run in the world-famous Italian city ends on November 26 the exhibition will transfer to Dundee's V&A.

Commissioned by the Scotland + Venice partnership, A Fragile Correspondence welcomed 15,000 visitors during it time at docksCantieri Cucchini, situated between the Giardini and Arsenale as part of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

The exhibition has been praised by visitors for its poetic expansion of what architecture can be, highlighting how we can better understand the landscapes of Scotland by paying closer attention to the natural world through various different languages such as Gaelic, Norn, Scots and English.

From the forests around Loch Ness, the seashore of the Orkney archipelago, and the industrialised remnants of the Ravenscraig steelworks, the project took visitors on a journey through three Scottish landscapes across the Highlands, Islands and Lowlands.

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts for Creative Scotland and Chair of the Scotland + Venice partnership said: “The Scotland + Venice partners are delighted that our contribution to this year’s Biennale Architettura has been so positively received by visitors from across the world. A Fragile Correspondence has enabled us to strengthen Scotland’s reputation as an ambitious and innovative centre that is internationally open to new ideas and partnerships.

"With plans confirmed with V&A Dundee, we’re looking forward to sharing this important and thought-provoking work with audiences from across Scotland, and further afield. Our thanks go to the creative team and their collaborators for bringing such a breadth of vision and depth of research to the project.”

Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said: “This year we have seen Scotland’s design talent shine on the world stage again, with A Fragile Correspondence delivering a truly fantastic exhibition at the Venice architecture biennale.

"I’m delighted that audiences in Scotland will have the opportunity to enjoy the work next year at V&A Dundee and to engage with inspirational and stimulating dialogue on our architecture and identity.”

Caroline Grewar, Director of Programme at V&A Dundee, said: "It is a great pleasure to welcome the Scotland + Venice partnership back to V&A Dundee, to bring this latest exhibition home to Scotland.

"A Fragile Correspondence looks closely at the architecture and landscape of Scotland, encouraging us all to reconsider our beautiful country, and how we all design, build and live in it. There has never been a more important time to explore how architecture and the natural environment interact, and no better place to have these conversations than within Scotland’s design museum.”

This was the 20th commission by the Scotland + Venice partnership (Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Architecture and Design Scotland, V&A Dundee and the Scottish Government). Scotland + Venice provides artists and architects based in Scotland with a platform to showcase their work on the international stage at the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia.

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