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Decolonising British Art

The Decolonising Arts Institute led a British Art Network seminar series in November 2020 on Decentering, Resituating and Reviewing Artworks and Collections.

The series of 4 events looked at recent and historical exhibition practices and curatorial strategies with partners including Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Birmingham Museums Trust, and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Art).

The British Art Network is a Subject Specialist Network supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Tate, with additional public funding provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Seminar series

Objects of Attention

3 November 2020: Our first seminar focused on a collaboration between the AHRC-funded Black Artists & Modernism research project and MIMA.

It explored how higher education institutions and public galleries and museums can work together to tell new stories about art with an object-centred approach to collections and exhibitions.

Speakers include:

  • Ashleigh M. Barice, Institute Research Assistant
  • Professor Sonia Boyce, UAL Chair in Black Art and Design
  • Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton, Research Fellow at UAL Decolonising Arts Institute
  • Elinor Morgan, Head of Programmes at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Objects of Attention

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Decentering Three Collections

5 November 2020: In partnership with Arts Council Collection, British Council Collection and Government Art Collection, we explored approaches to confronting and challenging colonialism embedded in collections.

Presentations and discussions considered collection histories, practices and narratives, including artists’ reflections and provocations towards a radically restructured cultural landscape.

Speakers include:

  • Natalie Rudd and Beth Hughes, Arts Council Collection
  • Emma Dexter and Moira Lindsay, British Council Collection
  • Eliza Gluckman and Penny Johnson, Government Art Collection
  • Erika Tan, artist, UAL lecturer and Institute Research Associate
  • Shiraz Bayjoo, artist

Decentering Three Collections

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The Past is Now

11 November 2020: In partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust, we explored experimental approaches towards decolonising museum practice.

Focusing on the formative 2017 exhibition, The Past is Now: Birmingham and the British Empire, this event reflected on curatorial strategies, artistic interventions, and practical possibilities for institutional change.

Speakers include:

  • Janine Eason, Director of Engagement at Birmingham Museums Trust
  • Rebecca Bridgman, Curatorial and Exhibitions Manager at Birmingham Museums Trust
  • Rachael Minott, independent researcher and curator
  • Sarah Maple, artist
  • Farwa Moledina, artist
  • Keith Piper, artist and Associate Professor at Middlesex University

The Past is Now

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Revisiting Veil, Reviewing Revisions

12 November 2020: In partnership with Iniva, we revisit the 2003 exhibition, Veil (curated by Iniva in association with Modern Art Oxford), to reconsider artistic and curatorial strategies, critical responses, and the impact of exhibition histories and practices on collections.

Speakers include:

  • Gilane Tawadros, curator, writer, founding Director of Iniva and Chief Executive at DACS
  • Jananne Al-Ani, artist and UAL lecturer
  • Maria Kheirkhah, artist
  • Yara El-Sherbini, artist
  • Sepake Angiama, Artistic Director, Iniva
  • susan pui san lok, Director, Decolonising Arts Institute

Revisiting Veil, Reviewing Revisions

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More to explore

  • Gallery with placards made out of magazines
    Sonia Boyce, Devotional Wallpaper and Placards, 2008-2020. Acquired by the Contemporary Art Society for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) through the Rapid Response Fund, 2020.
    Projects

    Learn about Decolonising Arts Institute activities.

  • Pamphlets and booklets on a table.
    Image: Daniel Day, AHRC Black Artists and Modernism project, David Medalla Study Day. Image: Daniel Day
    About us

    Find out more about our vision and ambitions for decolonising arts.

  • People looking at artworks in an exhibition
    Image: Andrew Brooks, AHRC Black Artists & Modernism project, Speech Acts exhibition opening, Manchester Art Gallery. Image: Andrew Brooks
    Events

    Explore our upcoming and past events.