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
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