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University art school to play host to prestigious national exhibition

University art school to play host to prestigious national exhibition

The University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art (Est. 1851) will play host to a prestigious touring art show when it visits the region.

The Hayward Gallery Touring’s British Art Show 9 will open in Manchester in 2020 before going on tour to Wolverhampton, Aberdeen and Plymouth.

British Art Show is the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK. It attracted over 300,000 visitors in its tour to four cities from October 2015 to January 2017.

The Wolverhampton School of Art (Est. 1851) covers a range of art, design and media disciplines including Fine Art, Sculpture, Fashion, Textiles, Graphic Design, Illustration, Games Design, Film, Television, Animation, Product Design, Interior Design, Furniture Design, Glass and Ceramics.

Sam Hope, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We’re delighted that our renowned School of Art has been chosen as one of the touring venues for this prestigious exhibition.

“British Art Show is widely recognised as a significant marker of recent developments in contemporary art, unrivalled in its scope and national reach.

“The opportunity for our art, design and media students, the Friends of the Wolverhampton School of Art and the wider public regionally, nationally and internationally to engage with this exhibition, both at the University of Wolverhampton School of Art and at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, is a real coup for art and culture in Wolverhampton, Black Country and the wider Midlands region.

“The British Art Show is an exciting event for Wolverhampton to host and, alongside the Coventry City of Culture 2021 and Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games 2022, it signifies how the West Midlands is moving into a new era of growth for the cultural and creative sector industries bringing with it the creation of job opportunities for Faculty of Arts graduates.”

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “This is a fantastic honour for the City of Wolverhampton.

“To be chosen as one of just four cities to host this prestigious exhibition shows how highly regarded Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Wolverhampton School of Art are in the world of art.

“It is an excellent opportunity for City of Wolverhampton residents to see world-class contemporary art on their doorstep - and will attract thousands of visitors to our city.”

The exhibition introduces a wide public to a new generation of British artists, or artists practising in Britain, providing a vital overview of the most exciting art produced in this country during the previous five years.

Tour details (exact dates and touring venues to be confirmed):

October 2020 - Jan 2021 - Manchester (The Whitworth, HOME and Manchester Art Gallery)

February - May 2021 - Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the University of Wolverhampton School of Art

June - September 2021 - Aberdeen Art Gallery

October 2021 - January 2022 - Plymouth (The BOX, Plymouth and other venues around the city)

For more information about the exhibition, contact Filipa Mendes, Senior Press Manager (interim), Southbank Centre: / 020 7921 0919 or Clare Callaghan, Press Officer (Visual Arts),  Southbank Centre: / 020 7921 0676



About the Wolverhampton School of Art (est. 1851)

The Wolverhampton School of Art has a heritage that stretches back to the period of the Great Exhibition of 1851 with a vision of shaping the future of the arts and creative industries in contemporary society. The iconic School of Art building on Molineux Street is the home of our expert practitioners, exploring the beauty of form and materials and solving practical challenges in subjects rooted in a contemporary curriculum. Recognised for the quality of their research, both in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework and internationally, staff continually feed the latest research innovations into their teaching, providing both inspiration and practical support to students.

The School is well connected in the arts. From the pioneering vision of George Wallis in the 1830s, the works of world-leading architect Charles Wheeler in the 1960s, to our current associations with Turner Prize nominees Jane and Louise Wilson and the fashion illustrator David Downton, Wolverhampton can rightly claim true international reach.

Students at the School of Art work across a wide range of specialisms in an environment where they benefit from close contact with others researching, teaching and working in sympathetic media. Whether their chosen medium is physical or digital, students are given the freedom to explore and express their craft.

Learning, collaborating and inspiring together in a creative community, students further benefit from the School’s well-established industry links, with live briefs, exhibitions and placement opportunities an integral part of the student journey to becoming independent, talented, successful graduates.

About Hayward Gallery Touring
Hayward Gallery Touring organises contemporary art exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly funded venues throughout Britain. In collaboration with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions, Hayward Gallery Touring develops imaginative exhibitions that are seen by up to half a million people in over 45 cities and towns each year.

About Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 17­ acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as The National Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. For further information please visit


About Irene Aristizábal

Irene Aristizábal is Head of Exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary, where she has curated exhibitions and commissioned projects by Pia Camil, Steffani Jemison, Otobong Nkanga, Simon Starling, Michael Beutler, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Sun Ra, Rana Hamadeh, Danai Anesiadou, Danh Vo, Carol Rama and Asco. Her recent group exhibitions include Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender Resistance (October 2018 – co-curated with Rosie Cooper and Cédric Fauq) and States of America: Photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era (2017 – co-curated with Abi Spinks). She was curator at the FRAC Nord Pas de Calais, Dunkirk in 2010–11, where she organised the group exhibition Revisiting Time and collection displays off-site. In 2010, Irene was the recipient of the H+F Curatorial Grant. In 2005–06 she co-directed the not-for-profit space Bétonsalon in Paris. Irene has also curated exhibitions at the Fundació Miró, Barcelona; Maison Rouge, Paris; Form Content, London and the Museum of Health Sciences, Bogota.

About Hammad Nasar

Hammad Nasar is a curator, writer and researcher based in London. He is Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation and Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. He co-founded the arts organisation Green Cardamom, London (2004–12), and was Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2012–16). Known for collaborative, research-driven and exhibition-led inquiry, he has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions internationally. His recent exhibition projects include: Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2005–13); Excessive Enthusiasm: Ha Bik Chuen and the Archive as Practice (2015); Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play – the UAE’s national pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); and Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition (2018–19). Nasar is a member of the Board of Mophradat (Belgium), and the Editorial Board of Tate’s magazine, Tate Etc. He has also served in juries, boards and advisory roles for numerous organisations internationally, including: the V&A Museum’s Jameel Prize 4 (UK); Art Basel’s crowdfunding partnership with Kickstarter (Switzerland); Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts, UK); Delfina Foundation (UK); Alserkal Avenue (UAE), and the Lahore Biennial Foundation (Pakistan).


About The Whitworth

The Whitworth is part of The University of Manchester. It is home to internationally renowned collections of modern art, wallpaper, textiles, watercolours, prints, drawings and sculpture. Created in 1889 as the first English gallery in a park, the Whitworth has developed a new vision for the role of a university gallery. A creative laboratory within an ambitious university, the Whitworth is a place where good, unusual things happen. The Whitworth re-opened to the public on 14 February 2015 after a major £17 million redevelopment by architects MUMA. The Whitworth has welcomed over one million visitors since re-opening, and more than doubled its previous annual records. The redevelopment has doubled public space and created state-of-the-art new facilities including expanded gallery spaces, a study centre, learning studio, and a collections centre. The gallery was crowned Art Fund Museum of Year 2015, nominated for the prestigious Stirling Prize and named Best Emerging Cultural Destination in Europe. For further information please visit


About HOME

HOME is Manchester’s centre for international contemporary culture. Since opening in 2015, HOME has welcomed over two million visits to its five cinemas, two theatres, art gallery, bookshop and restaurants. HOME collaborates with international partners and curators to develop new commissions by both emerging and established artists. An ethos of talent development enables artists to experiment and evolve new ideas and areas of practice. HOME’s ambition is to push the boundaries of form and technology, to experiment, have fun, take risks and share great new art with the widest possible audience. HOME has welcomed the following artists and more since opening: AL and AL, Rachel Maclean, Phil Collins, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Larry Achiampong, Sophie Al-Maria, Noor Afsan Mirza & Brad Butler, Bruce La Bruce, Linder Sterling. Upcoming major solo exhibitions include John Walter: Capsid (Sat 10 Nov 2018 – Sun 6 Jan 2019) and Judith Barry: Something In Mind (Sat 26 January – Sun 17 March 2019)

The patrons of HOME are artists Rosa Barba and Phil Collins, filmmakers Danny Boyle and Asif Kapadia, theatre director and filmmaker Nicholas Hytner, actor Suranne Jones, playwright and poet Jackie Kay MBE and actor and author Meera Syal CBE. For further information please visit


About Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery dates to 1835. Originally established to showcase the best art and ideas from across the world, today the gallery’s 45,000-strong collection spans six centuries of fine art, design, craft, photography and fashion. It is particularly rich in 19th century art, including an outstanding collection of PreRaphaelite paintings. It also has a reputation for staging new work by some of the most compelling artists working today, among them Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, Joana Vasconcelos, Matthew Darbyshire and Raqib Shaw. Alongside its exhibitions run events that range from feminist ‘takeovers’ to wellbeing sessions, political debate and creative workshops, via award-winning family, community and schools programmes. Part of Manchester City Council, Manchester Art Gallery is one of the country’s most popular, with over half a million visitors every year. For further information please visit


About Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Wolverhampton Art Gallery was purpose built in 1883 to house the city's collections of fine and decorative arts. It has one of the UK's best regional holdings of modern and contemporary art, including the renowned Pop Art collection and art focusing on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Another important area for collecting is that of the British Black Art movement that began in the city in the 1980s. The Art Gallery is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation and attracts around 150,000 visitors annually. For further information please visit


About Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery is the flagship venue operated by Aberdeen City Council’s Museums and Galleries service. Aberdeen Art Gallery is undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime redevelopment project. When it re-opens in 2019 it will be the city’s most visible, welcoming and inspiring public building. The project’s major funders are Aberdeen City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. For further information please visit


About The Box, Plymouth

The Box is a major redevelopment scheme and a symbol for Plymouth's current regeneration and future. Set to open in 2020 as part of the city’s commemorations for the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to the New World, it will bring together the collections of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, the South West Film and Television Archive and the South West Image Bank under one roof. The Box will feature a series of permanent galleries alongside spaces for high profile exhibitions, artistic commissions, events, education and research. For further information please visit

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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