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Autumn Art Lectures Art in the Time of COVID-19: Museums and Collections

Festival of Ideas

Crowdcast  |  Cancelled

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Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled as a result of industrial action taking place at the University this week. The University of Bristol hopes to be able to put on more events in the future.

This series of lectures brings together contemporary artists, scholars and museum professionals to reflect on the impact of pandemics – both in the past and in the present – on the ways in which we create, engage with, and think about art and art-making. During the series, we will consider the longer history of art and diseases, the ways in which contemporary artists have reckoned with and worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the implications and new possibilities that opened up as we were forced to reimagine the form and function of our public collections amid lockdowns and enforced closures. We will look to the past – from the Black Death to the Third Plague – to provide context to our present as we begin to imagine what the future might look like for artists, collections and the publics that they serve.

In this session, leaders of major galleries and institutions – including the Royal West of England Academy, Tate Liverpool and Art UK – will join us to discuss the implications and possibilities opened up by the COVID-19 pandemic for the ways in which their organisations think about and engage with their publics.

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Alison Bevan is Director of the Royal West of England Academy (RWA), Bristol. She is a Fellow of and Mentor for the Museums Association, an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Bristol and was Chair of the South Western Federation of Museums and Galleries from 2009-12. She was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List for services to Cultural Heritage in Cornwall.

Andrew Ellis has been Director of Art UK since 2003. He has responsibility for the management and strategic direction of the organisation and plays a major role in fundraising for the charity. He was instrumental in transforming the organisation from being a publisher of hardcopy catalogues of oil paintings in public ownership to being the digital platform of the nation’s art collection. Developing partnership relationships has been a major focus including successful collaborations with the BBC, Oxford University Press, the Paul Mellon Centre, the Guardian and most recently Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Andrew sits on the AHRC’s Towards a National Collection Steering Panel and until recently he was a Trustee of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. Previously he worked at investment bank Robert Fleming, subsequently part of JP Morgan Chase, in various equity research and management roles in London and Tokyo. In his last position he was Managing Director responsible for Asia-Pacific Equity Research.

Helen Legg was appointed director of Tate Liverpool in June 2018. Prior to that she was director for 7 years of Spike Island, Bristol, a gallery and studio complex where she focused on giving opportunities to emerging and under recognised artists. Previously she was curator at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005 -2010), where she was heavily involved in the development of Ikon Eastside, a second gallery and events space based in a former factory building in Digbeth, an industrial area of the city.

In 2018 Helen was a judge for the second Hepworth Prize for Sculpture and part of the selection panel for Scotland in Venice 2019. She was an external advisor to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee from 2015-17, a member of the Arts Council England South West Area Council, Chair of Visual Arts South West and is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University West of England. She was part of the selection committee for the British representation at the Venice Biennale 2017 and a judge for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in the same year. In 2014 she was a judge for the Turner Prize and the Contemporary Art Society’s Museums Award and in 2013 was a selector for the Paul Hamlyn Artist’s Awards. She served on the acquisition committee for Frac Midi-Pyrénées 2012-15. Helen has written about contemporary art for a wide range of publications and journals, most recently catalogue essays for British artists Emma Hart and Lubaina Himid, and South Korean artist Kim Yong-Ik.

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