Phyllida Barlow's exhibition, 'folly'

Loughborough graduates among the first to take up Venice Fellowships at the Biennale Arte exhibition

Fine Art graduates Conor Doyle and Joe Philpott have rounded off their degrees with artistic flourish by earning fellowships at one of the world’s most prestigious exhibitions.

For the first time, Loughborough University has partnered with the British Council to give two graduates the opportunity to spend a month in Venice at the British Pavilion during the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Conor and Joe will divide their time between invigilating the British Pavilion exhibition and conducting independent research, focused either on the Biennale or within Venice itself. If their submissions are selected, they will be published online and will contribute to a cumulative body of research.

Launched this year by the British Council for the Biennale Arte, the programme is an education-focused initiative which also provides a grant to cover Fellows’ travel, accommodation and living costs while in Venice.

Both graduates were selected after an interview process and are looking forward to taking up their Fellowships

Joe said: “Being awarded the fellowship is a fantastic opportunity, enabling me to not only steward and learn at one of the most prestigious art events in the world, but to continue to develop my own practice and research interests.”

For Conor, the Fellowship will offer “exposure to the most future-facing, thought-provoking art by the world's leading artists. A fantastic immersive and influential experience - perfectly timed as I take my first steps as an artist after graduation.”

Professor Craig Richardson, Strategic Subject Lead for Fine Art at Loughborough University, added: “The School of the Arts, English and Drama is delighted to be partnering with the British Council’s Visual Arts team on this new scheme.

“The fellowships will centre on the British Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, which this year has a critically-acclaimed exhibition by Phyllida Barlow.

“Joe and Conor will have the opportunity to develop their own response to the artist’s work and more generally to the Biennale as a world-leading collection of contemporary art. We consider it to be an important professional opportunity for the students who have been selected.”

You can see Joe’s and Conor’s work on the Loughborough University Arts Degree Show 2017 website.

Image: Installation view, folly, Phyllida Barlow, British Pavilion, Venice, 2017. Photo: Ruth Clark © British Council. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.