In March Hospitalfield opened a major exhibition of the work of Graham Fagen.

Fagen has reinterpreted the body of work he made for his exhibition for Scotland + Venice 2015. The original exhibition was made for the four noble rooms of Palazzo Fontana, on the Grand Canal, here in Arbroath the exhibition of sculpture, drawing and moving image will be installed, with some changes and additions, in to the lovely and various historic Arts & Crafts rooms of Hospitalfield House.

He is an artist who forms close collaborations in the making of his work and for his four screen moving image work, The Slave’s Lament, a pivotal work within the exhibition, he brings together reggae singer and musician Ghetto Priest, music producer Adrian Sherwood, classical composer Sally Beamish and musicians from Scottish Ensemble. Inspired by the Burns’ poem of the same name written in 1792, the lamenting musical interpretation will draw viewers through the exhibition in its new location.

Graham Fagen’s exhibition opened on our Spring Season open weekend 19 – 20 March with a series of events programmed to accompany the show including an in-conversation event with writer Dan Kidner, a workshop devised by artist Laura Aldridge, heritage tours of the house and a talk about the library by Alasdair Sutherland. There’s more information about the open weekend events here…

Image: Ruth Clark.

GRAHAM FAGEN (b. 1966 Glasgow)

Graham Fagen works with video, performance, photography, sculpture and text, making works that explore how identity is both created by, and is a response to, its cultural context.

Fagen studied at Glasgow School of Art (1984 -1988,BA) and the Kent Institute of Art & Design (1989-1990,MA). He is a Senior Lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.

In 1999 Fagen was invited by the Imperial War Museum, London to work as Official War Artist in Kosovo. Since then he has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad.

In 2011 Fagen was International Artist in Residence at Artpace, San Antonio, concluding with a solo exhibition, Heavy Manners. In the same year the Scottish Portrait Gallery commissioned a video work entitled Missing, a mediation on Andrew O’Hagan’s book,Missing. With the theatre director Graham Eatough he created The Making of Us, a performance, installation and film, staged in Tramway for Glasgow International 2012.

Recent solo exhibitions include Cabbages in an Orchard, Glasgow School of Art and In Camera, with Graham Eatough at Panorama, La Friche, Marseille.

In 2014 Fagen was selected by Scotland + Venice to work with Hospitalfield to make a new exhibition and to represent Scotland at the 56th Venice Biennale. This exhibition will tour from Hospitalfield to CGP in London in May 2016.

Graham Fagen is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin.


Graham Fagen and Hospitalfield have made a special clear vinyl edition 2 of The Slave’s Lament to celebrate the exhibition opening at Hospitalfield. The previous edition, made for the Palazzo Fontana exhibition in Venice sold out during the exhibition run. The Slave’s Lament edition 2 is a limited edition 10 inch vinyl record which is a double A-side featuring two mixes of the audio work made in collaboration with composer Sally Beamish, producer Adrian Sherwood, singer Ghetto Priest and musicians from Scottish Ensemble. The lyrics are from the Robert Burns poem of the same name written in 1792.

Purchase The Slave’s Lament



Alongside Graham Fagen’s exhibition Hospitalfield and Scotland + Venice have published a book with extensive photographs chosen by Fagen to represent his past projects and to document the new body of work made for Venice.

The publication also features new texts by Katrina Brown and Penelope Curtis; an interview between Graham Fagen and Louise Welsh; and an introduction by Lucy Byatt, Director of Hospitalfield.

The book has been designed by Richy Lamb.

Excerpts from the introduction:

The title of Curtis’s essay, Palazzo Fontana / Fountain Palace: Hospitalfield / Campo Ospedale, reminds us immediately of how important site is for Fagen and how many of his works draw from, or are formed by their situation… Formers and Forms, Casts and Casting, the title of the essay authored by Katrina Brown references a very early yet influential work, Former and Form (1993).

… In their conversation Welsh compares her working process, ‘Writers are often thinking about what to leave out, in order to enable the reader to invest imaginatively in the experience. Are you doing something similar…?’ She is specifically referring to Fagen’s use of theatre scripts but it is an important question to ask more generally. Fagen replies ‘The artwork is neither the form nor the text … the artwork gets made in the mind of the person who has viewed and read the form and the text’.

The publication has been supported by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, where Graham Fagen is a Senior Lecturer.

The Graham Fagen book will be available to buy in the exhibition and can be purchased online below.

Purchase Graham Fagen Publication



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