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Future Collect

01 Sep 2019-31 Mar 2023
Image: Emii Alrai, Passing of the Lilies, Jerwood Arts. 2021. Photographs by Anna Arca

Future Collect is a three-year programme designed to create a dynamic new model to transform the culture of commissioning and collecting within museums to reflect the diversity of Britain.

Each year the project will partner with a national/ regional museum and gallery to commission artists of African and/or Asian descent, British born or based. Crucially these commissions give an opportunity for an artist to be collected and exhibited by a major British institution – as well as contributing to a wider public debate on collections and whose heritage is being preserved.

In addition to the commissions and public programme, the project also supports significant curatorial development. Each year a curatorial traineeship will be based primarily at the partner organisation and a curatorial secondment from the partner organisation ensures a unique professional development research opportunity. Further professional development and sector learning opportunities stem from a curatorial network, Future Collective.

Future Collect provides a vital long-term platform to ask questions about power, representation and the civic role of public museums and galleries in the 21st century. This initiative will be pivotal in shaping the future direction of the way public collections, displays and acquisitions are used for maximum public benefit.

The project is funded by Art Fund, Arts Council England & the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


Future Collect, Commission 2 (2021-22): Iniva / The Hepworth Wakefield & Emii Alrai

Iniva is pleased to announce that it has selected The Hepworth Wakefield in West Yorkshire as its partner for the second year of Future Collect.

The partnership will commission a major new work of art by artist Emii Alrai for display at The Hepworth Wakefield in 2022. It will be supported with a wide public engagement programme and new research into Wakefield’s growing art collection. A paid, year-long Curatorial Trainee, jointly appointed by Iniva and The Hepworth Wakefield will be predominantly based in Wakefield, where they will be given an outstanding opportunity to develop a range of essential skills needed for the curatorial workforce today, including working with the commissioned artist, collection research, care and display, and audience engagement. The partnership also offers an opportunity for The Hepworth Wakefield’s Assistant Curator to spend time on secondment at Iniva, utilising the unique resource of the Stuart Hall Library as a space for critical enquiry and creative exchange.

For more information on our partnership with The Hepworth Wakefield see Press Release here.

For more information on commissioning Emii Alrai see Press Release iniva_hepworth_Emii Alrai_press release.


Future Collect, Commission 1 (2020-21): Iniva / Manchester Art Gallery & Jade Montserrat

Iniva and Manchester Art Gallery name Jade Montserrat as the first artist to be commissioned for Future Collect – a dynamic new partnership to transform the culture of collecting to better reflect contemporary British society.

Jade Montserrat is an artist based in the North of England whose research-led work explores the interplay of art and activism through performance, drawing, painting, film, installation, sculpture, print and text. Her Future Collect commission will go on display at Manchester Art Gallery in autumn 2020, and will investigate the existing collection at the gallery to open up conversation with other practitioners.

A public education programme will run alongside the exhibited commission, including conversations, study days, workshops and a major conference. The conference  will revisit the urgent call that Professor Stuart Hall, founding chair of Iniva, made in his keynote speech at a national conference, Whose Heritage? The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Britain’s Living, held in Manchester in November 1999. Hall called for a re-imagined Britain, reinvented for all who refuse to become ‘other’ in order to belong, and the Future Collect conference will ask whether these questions are still relevant to raise when thinking about today’s museums.

As well as wide-ranging events for the general public, the inaugural Future Collect will also feature a number of professional network opportunities for curators and artists, organised by Future Collect Project Manager, Rohini Malik Okon and Curatorial Trainee Nikita Gill.

Curator, writer and researcher Rohini Malik Okon has worked with a number of prominent UK collections and museums and cultural institutions including Southbank Centre, Goldsmiths College, Arts Council England, Horniman Museum and Autograph ABP.

See full press release here.

Image: Jade Montserrat, Love, The Rural Assembly, Wysing Arts Centre, 2019.
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