iniva has selected Towner Eastbourne as its partner for the third year of Future Collect. Future Collect is iniva’s national partnership programme designed to diversify who is collected by, who works at, and who goes to national museums and galleries, with the aim of better reflecting the breadth of contemporary British society.
The partnership will commission a major new work of art by an artist of African and/or Asian descent, born or based in Britain, for exhibition and acquisition at Towner Eastbourne in 2024, following an artist open call later this year. The project also supports significant curatorial development in the form of a curatorial traineeship. The exhibition will be supported with an education and engagement programme, and new research into Towner’s growing art collection. Previous Future Collect artists have included Jade Montserrat with curator Nikita Gill at Manchester Art Gallery; and Emii Alrai with curator Amber Li at The Hepworth Wakefield. There will be a sector conference in 2023 that reflects on the learning gained from all three years of the Future Collect programme.
The Curatorial Trainee, jointly appointed by iniva and Towner Eastbourne, will be predominantly based in Eastbourne where they will be given an outstanding opportunity to develop a range of skills needed for the curatorial workforce today. This includes assisting with the selection of the commissioned artist; working alongside them to develop the new work and subsequent exhibition at the gallery; collection research, care and display; and audience engagement. The partnership also offers an opportunity for members of Towner Eastbourne’s curatorial team 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
Sepake Angiama, Artistic Director of iniva, said:
"We are thrilled to be working with the team at Towner Eastbourne on the final iteration of Future Collect. The Towner Eastbourne is a warm, unique, and dynamic cultural organisation that welcomes artists and the wider community through its doors. We are excited to be joining forces with Towner to transform the way in which institutions collect art. In the coming months, we will be jointly recruiting a curatorial trainee and commissioning an artist who may have not been collected by a public institution before. We believe that our national collections should better reflect the contemporary society they serve.”
Joe Hill, Director of Towner Eastbourne, said:
“We are excited to be partnering on this vital initiative with iniva. A commitment to ensuring we tackle institutional inequality and racism is at the core of what we do and it is a priority for us to diversify our Collection, in order to help better reflect the society we live in, and encourage people from all backgrounds to engage with the artworks we take care of. We are therefore delighted to have been chosen for this opportunity to collaborate with and acquire work by an artist of African or Asian descent, and to also be able to help nurture the career of an exceptional, emerging, curator from a diverse background. We are excited to welcome both to Towner Eastbourne and to engage with the critical dialogue they will undoubtedly bring to the role.”
The Curatorial Trainee post will be advertised widely from June and the selection process for the artist commission will begin in July.