Throughout 2023 Towner Eastbourne is partnering with iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) for the third and final year of Future Collect, a project that will reimagine the future of public collections to better reflect our culturally diverse society.
Each year this partnership project commissions a new work by an artist of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern or Asian heritage living and working in the UK. The work will be collected and exhibited by three major British institutions (previously Manchester City Art Gallery and Hepworth Wakefield). The exhibition will be supported with a public programme of events and engagement activities contributing to a wider public debate on collections and whose heritage is being preserved.
We are delighted to announce that the third and final Future Collect commission has been awarded to artist Maria Amidu. Maria Amidu’s artistic concerns are influenced by the complexities of the relational – between people, and between people and place. Through writing, printmaking, artist’s books, audio-visual works and sometimes glassmaking she tries to substantiate what might be going on in collective situations, paying specific attention to what is hidden, obscured or unspoken.
The selection panel, composed of curatorial teams from iniva and Towner Eastbourne, chose the artist because of her open and generous exploration of place both personally and as an invitation to others, her questioning approach to processes of archiving and collecting, and her sensitive considerations of care, temporality and memory.
The project also supports significant curatorial development in the form of a paid Curatorial Trainee, Hollie Douglas, who will have opportunities to develop essential skills needed for her career during their time working between Towner and iniva. Hollie graduated from the University of Manchester in 2020, and has worked in arts and engagement projects across the UK, and written for arts journals including Art UK. In 2022, she took part in the British Council’s Biennials Connect programme for early to mid-career curators. Hollie’s role 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.
In early summer 2023 there will also be a sector conference that aims to reflect on the learning gained from all three strands of the Future Collect programme.
A showcase exhibition of work by Maria Amidu, curated by Hollie Douglas opens on the 14 February at iniva’s Stuart Hall Library in London.
Future Collect is generously supported by Art Fund, Arts Council England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.