A scheme to diversify public art collections has announced that Jade Montserrat has become the first artist to be commissioned under the initiative.
Future Collect is a three-year programme to support museums and galleries to commission artists of African and/or Asian descent, who are British-born or based in the UK. The scheme is funded by the Art Fund and Arts Council England and is managed by the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), whose artistic programme focuses on the social and political impact of globalisation.
Montserrat is based in the north of England and her work explores 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.
“The Gallery has been at the heart of the development of the city from its beginnings in the early 19th century and our collections have always reflected the complexities of Manchester’s involvement in industrialisation, modernisation, colonialism and capital,” said Alistair Hudson, the director of the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery.
“At the same time, our story is also one of people striving for equity and human rights locally and globally, through diplomacy and protest alike. It is with this history in mind that we want to continue to interrogate our inherited culture with artists, and to propose positive action for the future,” he said.
Sepake Angiama, the artistic director of Iniva, said: “Commissioning artists is a rare and yet such a vital part of the livelihood for artists. This commission creates the space for artists to engage with the collection but also to bring the public along with them and create a meaningful context to engage with the commission and to create new relations with collections.”