The team is now gathering content from the artists, their studios, previous Modern Art Oxford staff, and a range of other friends of the gallery past and present. We wanted to share some of these first contributions with you and will continue to keep you updated as the book takes shape. We expect it to be finished in September when copies will be sent to the Art Happens supporters, along with the other great rewards.
Here is former Director Andrew Nairne, and acclaimed author Mark Haddon talking about what Modern Art Oxford means to them personally, and to the city of Oxford as a whole.
Andrew Nairne, Director, 2000–2008 said: 'I think the history of Modern Art Oxford is a story of artists and curators with the ambition to reimagine what art can be and what it can do. During my time as director we loved the tradition of inviting artists to respond to the unique spaces, with their differing scales, brick walls and metal pillars recalling the former brewery. The artists who I had the privilege to work with at Modern Art Oxford have hugely enriched my life.'
Mark Haddon, author said: 'It was at Modern Art Oxford (or the Museum of Modern Art Oxford as it then was) that I first saw an exhibition by a living artist. In some small way it changed my life [and] I’ve been visiting the museum regularly ever since. Not just for the exhibitions – but often just to sit in the cafe. Like many people in Oxford I think of Modern Art Oxford as one of our most important public spaces, for experiencing art, yes, but also for meeting, for talking, for just being still ...quietly we think it belongs to us. It’s part of the fabric of Oxford and it’s hard to imagine the city without it.'
We are very excited about the finished product, which will mark an important landmark in the history of Modern Art Oxford in a unique and creative way. Thank you for helping to make it happen.