Italian job will help Catrina get to art of matter

Borders College student Catrina Barquist, 24, has been selected for the Professional Development Programme by Scotland + Venice at this year's Venice Biennale.
Borders College student Catrina Barquist, 24, has been selected for the Professional Development Programme by Scotland + Venice at this year's Venice Biennale.
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A Borders art student is hoping to add to her ever-expanding body of work while taking part in a world-renowned Italian festival this year.

Catrina Barquist, 24, of Peebles, is one of 11 students and three graduates representing Scotland at this year’s Venice Biennale.

The group are taking part in a professional development programme set up by the Scotland and Venice Partnership together with Hawick’s Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival and Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery and university.

They will act as exhibition assistants for a solo show by Glasgow-based artist Rachel Maclean.

Catrina, a fine art student at the Borders College in Galashiels, said: “It feels amazing to be selected, and I feel very lucky to have been given this amazing opportunity.

“A call was put out to borders college as Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival was keen to have an art student from the Borders involved.

“I jumped at the chance and applied before Christmas the year before last.

“I am excited about this opportunity as it is a chance to connect with other artists, experience a different culture and improve my own work.

“I plan to share my experience with my fellow students at Borders College by documenting my time there, artists that I meet and films that I see and by creating a presentation for class, as well as on my online blog.”

Catrina’s work uses the human body as a canvas to express inner feelings which she then photographs before applying paint to the image.

The festival begins in May and will continue until November, during which time the students will travel in pairs for four weeks each.

The students will be involved in welcoming visitors, assisting with events and screenings, informing visitors about Maclean and her new work and maintaining the project’s online presence.

Catrina added: “After college, I plan to further my education. I have always had an interest in art, but it wasn’t until I started looking at body-painting and special effects make-up that I found a true interest in painting and decided to go to college to learn more.

“This is a huge opportunity for me because not only is it a chance to work closely with Rachel Maclean’s process, but it is also a chance for me to study a different culture and take my own work to another level.”

Borders College art and design lecturer Niall Campbell said: “We are delighted to have one of our students selected to take part in what is a very prestigious event in the art world.

“The experience that Catrina will have will have a lasting impact on her, and we are looking forward to reading her live reports from the venue.

“I have no doubts that her fellow students will be inspired by her presentation of her experiences on her return.

“This is such a positive result for Catrina and all the students studying on the art and design course.”

A fundraising event to help pay for Catrina’s trip to Venice will be held Friday, February 17, at the Heart of Hawick, in Kirkstile, starting at 7pm.

Tickets for a screening of Mclean’s film Feed Me cost £9, including a glass of wine or a soft drink, and all proceeds will go towards Catrina’s travel costs.

For further details, go to www.alchemyfilmfestival.org.uk/2017/fundraiser-rachel-maclean-17th-february