The Venice Questionnaire #9: Hayley Tompkins

By ArtReview

Hayley Tompkins, Tele, 2009, found objects, gouache. Courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute, Glasgow Hayley Tompkins, A Piece Of Eight (installation view, The Modern Institute, Glasgow) 2011. Photo: Ruth Clark. Courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute, Glasgow Hayley Tompkins, No Title, 2011, watercolour on paper. Photo: Ruth Clark. Courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute, Glasgow

ArtReview sent a questionnaire to a selection of the artists exhibiting in various national pavilions of the Venice Biennale, the responses to which will be published over the coming days. Corin Sworn, Duncan Campbell and Hayley Tompkins are representing Scotland as part of the Scotland + Venice project. The pavilion is at Palazzo Pisani (Sta. Marina), Calle delle Erbe, 6103 Cannaregio. We caught up with Hayley Tompkins

What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?

I’ll be making a new installation across two rooms of the Palazzo Pisani, using photographic prints and acrylic paintings made on plastic trays with some other readymade objects.

 Are you approaching the show in a different way to how you would with a ‘normal’ exhibition?

I wouldn't say so. It's a great opportunity to make new work and show it in front of a wide public audience.

What does it mean to ‘represent’ your Scotland? Do you find it an honour or problematic?

It's a gift, I value it, primarily, as it gives me the chance show an audience what I am currently producing at this point in time in my career. It's a spectacle, the Biennale itself and I am happy to be part of that and in good company with Duncan and Corin.

What audience are you addressing with the work? The masses of artist peers, gallerists, curators and critics concentrated around the opening or the general public who come through over the following months?

Anyone who sees it. I don't have an 'ideal' audience', this doesn't exist.

What are your earliest or best memories of the biennale?

I have never been to one, so it's a first.

You’ll no doubt be very busy, but what else are you looking forward to seeing?

Seeing works by Phyllida Barlow and Sarah Lucas particularly, and also more of Venice itself. I have only been there once before for a site visit and loved the sound of the lapping water and the smell of the sea that surprises you.