The Artists Pavilion: 2013

Past Project 2013


The Artists Pavilion was a place for visual artists to meet each other, plan their visit to the 2013 Venice Biennale and find out about working internationally.

Artquest, in partnership with Axis and engage, created The Artists Pavilion – a social space reserved for visual artists during the Venice Biennale preview days, the art world’s pre-eminent showcase. The Pavilion provided a focus on artists – without whom the Biennale would not exist – during the exhibition preview days (29-31 May 2013), shifting the focus from the glitzy parties and billionaire collectors for which it is increasingly known.

A series of talks and events at the Pavilion provided an alternative to the glamorous and frenetic activity of the Biennale preview days, transforming the building into a humble refuge for visiting artists.

As part of the Pavilion, Artquest commissioned London-based screenprinter Erica Donovan to make a new work. Donovan transformed the window of The Artists Pavilion into the façade of an English beach hut, constructing and photographing a model that was scaled up on Contravision to fill the window. Her humorous intervention drew on the convention of national pavilions representing aspects of their culture, and responded to Venice from a particularly ‘British holiday’ perspective.

Erica Donovan (b. 1979, East Sussex) studied at Bath Spa University College, Bath and Camberwell College of Arts, London and now lives and works in North London. Donovan primarily works within the medium of print with key themes in her practice including the sharing and digesting of information and decision-making processes. She was selected for the Jealous Graduate Print Prize (2009) and the Curwen Gallery’s Hot Off The Press 10 exhibition (2010). Donovan has exhibited across the UK with recent group exhibitions including Loop at The Gallery in Redchurch Street (2011), Small Print at Aspex Gallery (2011) and A House of Colour at Clifford Thames Gallery (2010). Residencies include The Florence Trust in Islington (2009-2010). She has also recently set up a screen print studio where she produces and publishes her own works.

Axis ran its Venice Confessions video booth and collected survival strategies and coping mechanisms for the art world’s most frantic three days of parties, art and networking. You can watch the films Axis produced about how to get the most out of your visit to the Biennale here.


Thursday 30 May,

The artist collective Blauer Hase, founded in Venice in 2007 by Mario Ciaramitaro, Riccardo Giacconi, Giulia Marzin, Daniele Zoico, proposes experimental forms of cultural production and experience. Members will reflected on the guerilla events and exhibitions that take place in Venice when the Biennale is not taking place.

Friday 31 May

Ann Jones, curator of the Arts Council Collection and engage board member, was in conversation with Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, artist representing Macedonia at the 2013 Venice Biennale, about the place of the Biennale in an artists career and where such high-profile opportunities come from.

Friday 31 May,

Drinks reception for Axisengage and Artquest members and friends. UK and international artists mingled to find out the best things to see during their visit, and hear from artist Erica Donovan about her commission for the Pavilion.