FIELDWORK International Summer School – Summer Festival

12:00am-12:00am, 28–30 June 2017

FIELDWORK is a 2.5 day discursive, residential summer school at Hospitalfield in Arbroath on the East Coast of Scotland. Between 50 and 80 participants stay at Hospitalfield, camping in the grounds, for a programme of presentations, workshops, discussions and outings. It is an intensive experience, which brings people together to think about the central theme or question. The programme is connected with visual art practice and theory including how this intersects with other disciplines.

More information and booking links below.


Gordon Douglas and Cicely Farrer have been selected through an open call to co-programme the summer school with Hospitalfield in 2017.

This year’s Hospitalfield International Summer School, titled Shoulder-to-Shoulder, brings together art and performance practices to reflect on, test out and rehearse effective political action from within an ‘artistic multitude’.

In recognition of the heightened and urgent responsibility of what it means to create art and culture, we ask:

If art can be a vehicle for self-reflection on individual politics, what is art’s position during this current political moment which appears to be defined by populism and division?

Should our art perform our politics or should we be channelling our political ideas through action?

Drawing from contemporary theories of the ‘multitude’ by the likes of Pascal Gielen, Chantal Mouffe and Paolo Virno (a coexistent, pluralistic grouping of people comprised of divergent opinions, morals, practices and ways of life), the programme invites contributors and participants to reflect on the vernacular of performance and how it could be applied to political modes of artistic action. The programme foregrounds the performance of artistic, collective, political, and active organisation, and how these strategies might implement, what Gielen refers to as a fizz of the artistic multitude.

Set in motion by a pictorial score, Shoulder-to-Shoulder is framed through the device of a scratch night: a theatrical format where performers come together to experiment, try new approaches and rehearse material for an audience of peers. Using scratch as a metaphor to navigate our individual and collective subjective experiences, the 2017 summer school invites active audiences to attend an intensive two and a half day programme of artist talks, performance workshops, reading groups, performances and exhibitions. In a layered arrangement of performative gestures, in a time when generosity in public encounter and the subjective experience of art feel more precious than ever, we hope to experience the fizz of multitudes and offer this as an invitation to be a participant in Shoulder-to-Shoulder.

Images: Performance Score diagram created by Gordon Douglas and Cicely Farrer with original image by Ross Fraser McLean; Cicley Farrer and Gordon Douglas clearning up after a performance at Cooper Gallery, photo by Ross Fraser McLean; Maltings at Arbroath; documentation of previous FIELDWORK events.


Tickets for the summer school cost £75 (includes all meals and camping space).

Please book online…


Gordon Douglas is a performance artist and organiser based in Edinburgh.

He works in close partnership with groups and organisations towards deconstructing the acts of performance and collaboration. He graduated from the Environmental Art department at Glasgow School of Art in 2013, and attended an exchange semester at CalArts, California. From 2013-15, he served on the Transmission committee, co-instigating a series of workshops aimed at interrogating the governing documents of the institution. Since then he has jointly conceived of projects and events with a diverse array of practitioners including: anthropologists, dermatologists, curators, fanfiction writers, jewellers, journalists, physicists, post-punk musicians and theatre-makers.

His most recent project Habits of the Coexistent, a curatorial-residential dialogue with The NewBridge Project, Newcastle; Edinburgh College; and Platform, Easterhouse; researches the performativity, values, and ideologies that we inherit through close quarters. In February 2017, Gordon concluded Introduction to Performance, an elective course he devised for HND Contemporary Art Practice students from Edinburgh College. 

In 2016, Gordon was a participant in Curatorial Studio, a year-long programme of weekend workshops and public events for early career curatorial practitioners. Gordon will act as a co-host on the 2017 Curatorial Studio programme. 


Cicely Farrer is a curator and writer based in Dundee. 

In her practice, she explores forms of artistic practice that encompass and provoke an ethical subjectivity, questioning the position of art as a mechanism for political action. Recent archival research has led Cicely to consider the practical forms of feminist collective administration and consciousness raising to help inform contemporary practice. 

Between 2014-17 she worked at Cooper Gallery DJCAD as Curatorial Assistant where she was part of the curatorial team for major projects including Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? and CURRENT in Shanghai as well as working on new commissions with artists such as Anne Bean, Anouchka Oler, Oliver Braid and Gordon Douglas. Alongside delivering curatorial projects, Cicely consistently worked closely with art students in the practical and curatorial enabling of projects within DJCAD. 

She holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Leeds and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London. Independent curatorial projects include Objective Considerations of Contemporary Phenomena at MOT International Projects London (2014/15) and To Be or To Do, To Work and Not To Make? Telfer Gallery/Kinning Park Complex (2015).

In 2016, Cicely was a participant in Curatorial Studio, a year-long programme of weekend workshops and public events for early career curatorial practitioners. Cicely will act as a co-host on the 2017 Curatorial Studio programme. 

Other Events