From the outset, a major objective of GRADCURATE was to deliver an exhibition every season. Following the first exhibition at the Bloc Gallery in March, it was hoped that there would be another exhibition in Edinburgh this summer. However, less than a week after the exhibition finished, it was announced that the UK would be going into lockdown amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, plans for further physical exhibitions have had to be put on hold. Instead, the Summer 2020 Exhibition has taken the form of a series of virtual galleries.
While it is disappointing not to be able to fulfil the original goals of the project, this disappointment surely pales in comparison to that experienced by the graduating class of 2020 – having had their studio time cut short, their final degree shows cancelled and the beginning of their careers stunted by unprecedented uncertainty and adversity. For these reasons, GRADCURATE is proud to include 31 2020 graduates in this exhibition, with many of them choosing to display work that was intended to be part of their degree shows.
These artists join a further 33 recent graduates participating in the exhibition, taking the total number of artists up to 64. Their work spans across painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, film, sculpture, textiles, writing, illustration, mixed media and digital art. Undoubtedly, it would not be possible to include such a high volume and scope of artwork had the exhibition not been delivered digitally.
Another advantage of opting for a digital format is that the open call was able to be extended to artists based outwith Scotland. Consequently, the exhibition also includes artists currently living and working in England, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico – bringing about a sense of community and togetherness in these challenging times.