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Photo courtesy of BBC Scotland

One of the ways in which BBC Arts is looking to make the most of the BBC Archive is by opening it up to artists. Artists and Archive is a six month artists’ residency project which places six Scottish artists, who work with the moving image, at the heart of BBC Production. The project is delivered in partnership between BBC Arts, LUX: Artists’ Moving Image and Creative Scotland.

The six selected artists are, Kate Davis, Kathryn Elkin, Turner Prize-nominated Luke Fowler, Torsten Lauschmann, Alia Syed and Stephen Sutcliffe, who were selected from a long list of talent from across the country. They will create six new moving image works.

Alia Syed, Photo courtesy of BBC Scotland

Jonty Claypole, the BBC’s Director of Arts, said: We were bowled over by the quality of moving image artists in Scotland and are looking forward to seeing what the chosen six are able to produce. The BBC Archive is a rich and unrivalled resource so this is a unique opportunity for some of Scotland’s most interesting artists to create an eclectic mix of new works. We want to learn from these artists and see the archive used in new ways.

The archive stretches back to the founding of the corporation by royal charter in 1927. It contains a myriad of content, stored on different formats, from wax cylinders to pages from ceefax, 16mm film to video tape. The BBC archive is vast and packed with untapped potential, it is one of the largest archives of any broadcaster in the world.

Kate Davis, Photo courtesy of BBC Scotland

One of the artists in residence, Kate Davis, was born in New Zealand, but lives and works in Glasgow. Kate’s work is concerned with questioning how we bear witness to the complexities of the past. Her work is an attempt to reconsider, reclaim and reinvent what certain histories could look, sound and feel like. Informed by successive waves of feminist art and theory, Davis works across a range of media, including drawing, installation, bookworks and film/video.

“Normally I work on my own in the studio so it’s been wonderful to work in such a supported group environment where we are learning new skills, gaining special access to the archives and engaging with what the other artists on the residency are interested in and working on. The BBC archive is unique; it is a way of understanding how Britain saw itself and saw the world. The support has been tremendous from the BBC, LUX and Creative Scotland.”

Photo courtesy of BBC Scotland

This initiative marks the start of the BBC’s on-going commitment to allow artists access to archives. This is a truly exciting project and one which places artists and art making at the heart of the BBC.

The work will initially be exhibited through BBC Arts reinvigorated online platform, when it re-launches in June and then subsequently at different galleries around the UK.

For even more about the BBC archive and to catch a glimpse of some of its content be sure to check out Arts in the Archive at Art Screen, a new festival celebrating arts documentary running from 10 – 13 April at the GFT and CCA as part of Glasgow International.