April Lannigan - Scottish Emerging Sculptor Award Finalist

April Lannigan - Scottish Emerging Sculptor Award Finalist


Where are you from and where did you study?

My name is April, I am from a small town in South Lanarkshire and found my creative community through both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study at The Glasgow School of Art.

How did you start making art?

My route into sculpture and art making stems from a desire to explore the liveliness of the landscape which surrounds me, both in my hometown in rural Lanarkshire and through the built city of Glasgow. I began with and continue to make art through a love for colour and the practices of drawing/ painting.

Which art trends or ideas inspire your current work?

My practice engages with current debates regarding our understanding of and interaction alongside the material world in which we live. I am intrigued by the notion of not knowing in creative research, this space of artistic mad hattery- this entanglement of interdisciplinarity.

My practice situates itself amidst New Materialist Theory, which emerged in the late 1990’s, challenging the distinction between mind and material. I am exploring how the dynamics between things become prevalent through sculpture, this entanglement between the human and non-human discourse. Allowing the materiality of the work and the making process to foreground the subjecthood of the work, instead of being prescriptive with what viewers should or can take from it.


Tell me about your recent work?

My work over the past few years has been rooted in the materiality of paint as substance, its ability to mask conceal or alter objects. I am working within the confides of my surrounding environments(s), exploring Post Industrialism and local histories through processes of the undone, decay or transitional.

Colour has always been a huge part of art making for me, for life in general actually- My love for colour bleeds into everything, from my fashion, making and design choices.

Tell us about your favourite medium?

Paint is undoubtably my favourite medium- To work with paint, means to acknowledge its constant transition in the world, from the flat pictorial onto the materiality of things in space. I often work with the action of painting across a variety of disciplines, I enjoy bringing colour into architectural temporal space, painting walled surfaces of the galleries I exhibit in.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration through walking and exploring, often capturing photographs of intriguing materials, textures, text or colours as I move from rural landscape into the built environment of the city. I find inspiration through conversations surrounding Scottish social class, environmentalism, and craft. Translating this inspiration into the artwork is the challenge!


Is Scotland a supportive place for new artists?

Yes and no, resources like Creative Scotland are fantastic compendium sites of opportunities for all artists, but the demand and competition for such opportunities is growing. I guess that it is about putting yourself out there and getting your name known, making connections, which is what I seek to do. I am constantly applying for things, I love to make art, it’s what I do, and I want to exhibit/ take on exciting new projects, whether that is in Scotland or abroad.

How do you develop your skills?

I am a big believer in lifelong learning, in every aspect of my life but particularly through my artistic practice. I am a multidisciplinary creative, who is driven by desire and process- making the acquisition of new skills and the honing of old ones second nature to me. I believe that I am constantly growing and changing as an artist, something which I can see to continue moving forward.

How do you define success as an artist?

As an artist, I believe success lies in the ability to continuously inspire and excite through my work, while remaining grounded in the pursuit of growth and connection. It's about humbly acknowledging achievements while ambitiously striving to push boundaries and make a lasting impact on the world.


Why did you apply for the Scottish Sculpture Award?

I applied to the Scottish Sculpture Award as it presented a unique opportunity to contribute to the cultural landscape of Edinburgh Park through environmental art. Creating a public sculpture in such an up-and-coming space allows me to merge my artistic vision with a commitment to sustainability, fostering connection and dialogue within the community through the power of art.

Tell me what your reaction was to visiting Edinburgh Park?

I was quite shocked when visiting Edinburgh Park for the first time, the place has a great energy to it, even at the stage of construction. I have enjoyed a few weekend runs here and a coffee at Patina Bakery- It is a unique site, with many sculptural curiosities tucked between buildings and landscaping. There is a real sense of exploration and adventure, respect, and community, I think this is what keeps drawing me back.

What impact would you like your art piece to have on Edinburgh Park – If you win.

Through this artwork, the public space becomes a dynamic reflection of the community's diverse lifestyles and shared values. The sculpture for the public realm aims to engage with the community by reflecting the lifestyle balance found within restaurants, sports facilities, and social housing. It integrates elements such as the dynamics of physical activity, communal dining, and the comfort of home to symbolize unity and promote this importance of balance in people's lives.

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