Charity helps Leicester buy artwork

Two self-portraits satirising a British Asian woman's life are now part of Leicester's New Walk Museum & Art Gallery's collection, following help from The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity.

The Art Fund, which is funded entirely by its 80,000 members and public donations, gave £550 through its small grants programme to help the Gallery acquire Chila Burman’s Autoportraits, Fly Girl Series 1993 and Fly Girl in Harlem 1996-2003, which were bought for £1,300.

The works are digital prints made using photomontage and hand-applied marks and colours. They are influenced by both Indian and Western culture – from Bollywood to Pop Art, from Hinduism to Surrealism – and challenge stereotypes about Asian women and cultural identity.

Born in 1962, Burman graduated in 1981 from Leeds Polytechnic with a 1st class honours degree in Fine Art and Graphic Design. She also has a masters degree in printmaking from the prestigious Slade School of Art in London. Her work is in various public and private art collections including those of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Sir Richard Branson.

David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: “These two prints by Chila Burman are important additions to New Walk Museum & Art Gallery’s collection of satirical work and increase its representation of artists from British Asian backgrounds. I am delighted that The Art Fund was able to help the Gallery acquire these striking prints.”

Simon Lake, Senior Curator of Art, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery said:

“Acquiring these prints from Chila Burman is great for us. Chila produces fantastic art which mixes up her roots, contemporary politics and family experiences in a rich visual collage. She revisits her look from the 1980s in these colourful and funky works which add some fizz and fun to Leicester’s art collections.”

Chila Burman’s Autoportraits, Fly Girl Series 1993 and Fly Girl in Harlem 1996- 2003 will go on show at the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery in the autumn.


Notes to editors

1. The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art.

2. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.

3. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.

4. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit

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