Hannah Imlach: Life as an Information Assistant

During my two month stay I became intimately acquainted with Karla Black’s Venetian sculptures…

Hovering between energy and mass in the eight rooms of the Palazzo Pisani (S. Marina) is a solo exhibition of brand new ‘almost objects’ by the Scottish artist Karla Black. Intimately and painstakingly worked in situ into exquisitely detailed aesthetic forms, a still raw vastness of pure material and colour fills this 15th-century Venetian palace. These abstract sculptures – pulverised, atomised, piled, layered, supported, suspended and spilled out onto the floor – offer a visceral experience of absorption in the material world.’  Scotland + Venice

From the end of May until the end of July this summer I had the opportunity to work as an Information Assistant at the Karla Black exhibition, representing Scotland at this years Venice Biennale.  Scotland + Venice was curated by The Fruitmarket Gallery and is a partnership between Creative Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and British Council Scotland.  I made up one part of the four-man team looking after the exhibition for the first two months of its six month duration.  This involved a quick dash from my Degree Show in Dundee to the Palazzo Pisani in Venice to take up residence in time for the madness of press week.  It was a hugely exciting project to be involved with and one that I feel epitomises the strength of Contemporary Scottish Art.  The buzz around Scotland + Venice particularly intensified by the nomination of Karla Black and Martin Boyce (who represented Scotland + Venice in 2009) for this year’s Turner Prize.

During my two month stay I became intimately acquainted with Karla Black’s Venetian sculptures; conditioning the work daily with sieves of plasters powder and glue spray, experiencing the work from every angle as time passed and the light changed and discussing it’s qualities with a wealth of visitors from all around the world.  In addition to this I was also able to soak up Venetian life becoming a regular on the waterbus, gelateria and our favourite prosecco bar!