New­lyn Art Gallery marks its birth­day with a spe­cial show

New­lyn Art Gallery marks its land­mark birth­day with a unique ex­hi­bi­tion of work from the Arts Coun­cil cu­rated by a lo­cal school art col­lec­tive

Cornwall Life - - CONTENTS - Go on Be­ing So An Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion Na­tional Part­ner Pro­gramme Ex­hi­bi­tion New­lyn Art Gallery 14 Fe­bru­ary – 30 May 2020 new­ly­nart­gallery.co.uk artscoun­cil­col­lec­tion.org.uk

Newyln Art Gallery has teamed up with the Arts Coun­cil to brighten up our win­ter with an in­cred­i­ble smor­gas­board of art­works by emerg­ing post-war UK artists.

If I tell you the ex­hi­bi­tion cherry picks from the Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion of ore than 8,000 works span­ning 70 years and al­most as many fine art medi­ums, you’ll prob­a­bly find your­self pop­ping into this favourite gallery more than once dur­ing this ten week ex­hi­bi­tion that opened on 14 Fe­bru­ary.

The Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion in­cludes paint­ings, sculp­ture, orig­i­nal works on pa­per, prints and mov­ing im­age.

The col­lec­tion sup­ports artists in the UK through the pur­chase and dis­play of their work, and safe­guards it for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, us­ing the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards of col­lec­tion care. The col­lec­tion also lends to nu­mer­ous pub­lic build­ings across the UK, in­clud­ing schools, uni­ver­si­ties, hos­pi­tals and char­i­ta­ble as­so­ci­a­tions.

New­lyn Art Gallery marks its 125th birth­day this year and continues to de­velop its aim to bring the best in con­tem­po­rary art to au­di­ences in the south west – reach­ing beyond the gallery set­ting into care homes, schools and pub­lic spa­ces. New­lyn Art Gallery was founded in 1895 by John Pass­more Ed­wards the

‘The ex­hi­bi­tion cherry picks from the Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion of ore than 8,000 works span­ning 70 years and al­most as many medi­ums’

phi­lan­thropist and so­cial re­former. He was com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing peo­ple’s lives and felt that art had an im­por­tant role to play.

Ex­pect a fresh ap­proach to cu­rat­ing as the ex­hi­bi­tion has been put to­gether by the MBA Col­lec­tive, a group of teenage art, pho­tog­ra­phy and graph­ics stu­dents from Mounts Bay Academy. The idea be­gan with a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the stu­dents around what it means to be a

global cit­i­zen. The group used this theme to bring to­gether an in­trigu­ing se­lec­tion of works that say some­thing about the world to­day and their place in it. With that in mind, the MBA Col­lec­tive looked for works which res­onated with them, while also con­sid­er­ing pieces that il­lus­trated is­sues other young peo­ple in dif­fer­ent parts of the world may be fac­ing. Artists in­clude Larry Achi­ampong & David Blandy, Claudette John­son, Young In Hong, and Ross Sin­clair.

“We chose works that said some­thing about big is­sues for us per­son­ally, and are uni­ver­sal to peo­ple of our age, such as men­tal health and equal­ity,” the col­lec­tive states.

The ti­tle Go On Be­ing So refers to their quest for strength and re­silience; “things might not be too good but there’s still life, you’re still liv­ing, there’s still beauty in it”, as demon­strated in works such as Karl

Ohiri’s How to Mend A Bro­ken Heart, and Rod Dick­in­son’s Egg Bag. The ti­tle also acts as a provo­ca­tion, re­flected in works such as Gavin Jan­t­jes’ Free­dom Hunters and Don­ald Rod­ney’s Self Por­trait: Black Men Pub­lic Enemy; it then be­comes a chal­lenge: Go On Be­ing So – Can we? Should we?

Gallery di­rec­tor James Green ex­plains that the gallery’s in­volve­ment with the

Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion Na­tional Part­ners Pro­gramme of­fer the chance to rede­fine the con­cept of cu­ra­tion, it “This ex­hi­bi­tion is the first in that mould,” he ex­plains.

“We have been de­lighted by the ideas and in­sights of the MBA Col­lec­tive. We have learnt a huge amount from them about the works they’ve se­lected and the is­sues faced by their gen­er­a­tion.”

Jill Con­stan­tine, Di­rec­tor, Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion has said, “We are de­lighted

‘The idea be­gan with a con­ver­sa­tion about what it means to be a global cit­i­zen’

that the stu­dents of Mounts Bay Academy have been given this op­por­tu­nity to work di­rectly with the Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion and take real own­er­ship of their project. In a time when there is so much tur­moil in the world, the op­por­tu­nity to hear the voices of a younger gen­er­a­tion has never been more im­por­tant.”

TOP: Karl Ohiri, How to Mend a Bro­ken Heart, 2013 Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion, South­bank Cen­tre, London © the artist LEFT: Young In Hong, Burn­ing Love, 2014 Arts Coun­cil Col­lec­tion, South­bank Cen­tre, London © the artist

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