Commissioner: Sarah Mann- Architecture Design Fashion British Council
Curators: Caruso St John Architects, Marcus Taylor
“Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not”. William Shakespeare, The Tempest (3.2)
Commissioned by the British Council, the design for the British pavilion for the 2018 Venice Biennale responds to the theme of FREESPACE through the construction of a new public space on the roof of the original building. The pavilion itself is open to the public but empty, with just the peak of its tiled roof visible in the centre of the public space above, suggesting a sunken world beneath. The two spaces host a programme of events including poetry, performance and film, as well as architectural debate. There are many ways to interpret the experience of visiting Island, the 2018 British pavilion. An island can be a place of both refuge and exile. The state of the building, which is completely covered with scaffolding to support the new platform above, suggests many themes; including climate change, abandonment, colonialism, Brexit, isolation, reconstruction and sanctuary.