Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art acquires spectacular installation piece

  • 23 September 2009

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has acquired the striking contemporary installation We Are Pro Choice, by 2008 Turner Prize-shortlisted artist Cathy Wilkes. The acquisition of this £44,000 work was made possible by a £19,000 grant from the independent charity The Art Fund.

We Are Pro Choice is a thought-provoking piece which comments on the limiting conventions of female domesticity. A female mannequin sits perched on a toilet with ornamental bells juxtaposed against two fizzy drinks cans dangling from wire around her face. The mannequin sits surrounded by domestic ephemera including a ladder, a broken clock, a plastic child’s tennis racquet and an oil stained canvas. We Are Pro Choice offers a cryptic, deliberately enigmatic meditation on the pertinent issues in a woman’s life of motherhood, domestication and the passing of time.

Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund, said: "Through the strategic placing of commonplace objects, Cathy Wilkes draws on familiar themes but in an unusual and arresting way. The Art Fund is thrilled to be able to help with this acquisition."

Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland, said: "We are Pro Choice is a major work by a major artist. The support of The Art Fund has enabled us to fill a significant gap within the collection, and to enable the gallery to continue to bring the best of modern and contemporary art to the public."

Wilkes was born in Belfast in 1966, and moved to Glasgow at the age of 19 where she attended Glasgow School of Art. We Are Pro Choice went on temporary display at the SNGMA and featured as part of the New Art from Scotland exhibition in 2008. Wilkes is one of the most prominent artists in Scotland at the moment and was nominated and shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize in 2008 for her solo exhibition at the Milton Keynes Gallery. Wilkes also represented Scotland in the 2005 Venice Biennale.

We Are Pro Choice joins other works acquired by the SNGMA with the help of The Art Fund, including Ron Mueck’s A Girl, Tracey Emin’s Family Suite and Francesca Woodman’s Photographs from the 'Self Deceit' series.

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For further information contact: Willow Williams, press@artfund.org, 020 7225 4888

Notes to editors:

1. The National Galleries of Scotland contributed £25,000 towards the purchase of this work.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Recent achievements include: helping secure Titian’s Diana and Actaeon for the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London in February 2009 with a grant of £1 million; helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.

5. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org

The Art Fund is a Registered Charity No. 209174