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Scotland’s Workshops are fortunate to have received long-term funding for providing open access to first-class facilities for production, research and practice.
On taking the opportunity to run one of these workshops 20 years ago, I had a vision of a place where we could say ‘yes‘ to anyone who wanted to use print processes. Those who had never made a print nor even a drawing would be welcome, and we would equip them to learn and experiment.
At the other end of the spectrum, I wanted to push the boundaries of my chosen field. I was always interested in the multiplicity of processes and diversity of techniques that falls under the auspices of print, and its value for research.
Since its opening in 1999, Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) has brought an ambitious, world-class exhibition programme to Dundee and Scotland. This means that the Studio—an uniquely integral part of the organisation and housed within the same building—had the opportunity to work with some of the most critically thoughtful artists of our time from many disciplines. From our first project with Anya Gallaccio, it has been clear that we would be challenged to undertake serious technical research to achieve artists’ visions. Over the years, this research has been augmented by the introduction of new, digital and CNC technologies, which again required steep learning and innovative thinking on the part of our staff to make the most of these possibilities.
Building on this history, we have attained funding to host three doctoral research internships, two full PhD Studentships and several artist research residencies. This talk provides an overview of these, examining the benefits—to regular users of the space, the staff team and the field of print-based art—of encouraging academic and technical research in a public environment.