UK institutions acquire new work through fig-futures programme

  • Published 3 April 2019

Following the fig-futures exhibition series, 26 works of art by participating artists join the collections of museums and galleries across the UK.

Oreet Ashery, Passing through Metal, 2018

Oreet Ashery, Passing through Metal, 2018

A series of performance works, films, large-scale sculptures, paintings and durational dance pieces will join collections nationwide thanks to the fig-futures programme, which saw 16 quick-fire exhibitions take place across the UK in 2018-19.

Work by artists included in these exhibitions now enters collections from Lancashire to Cornwall, East Anglia to the Midlands.

Initiated by Art Fund and Outset Contemporary Art Fund to develop a new collecting scheme for the acquisition of contemporary artworks into public collections, as well as artist and curatorial development opportunities for galleries and practitioners outside London, fig-futures saw 16 week-long exhibitions across four venues.

As the series progressed, 20,000 people visited and engaged with the works in the four locations, seeing work as varied as an installation with knitters and a metal band, a large-scale photography presentation, a maritime-inspired sculpture, film projections and projects engaging with students and local communities.

Among the acquisitions, some highlights include:

  • Norwich Castle Museum has acquired its first sound and performance art works, Passing through Metal (2018) by Oreet Ashery and Singular (2011), a durational dance work, by Joe Moran. Norwich has also acquired a new site-specific work by Broomberg and Chanarin and work by artist Eva Rothschild.
  • The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, has acquired two prints and a ceramic work by Allison Katz, and an interactive library installation by Ruth Beale.
  • The Box, Plymouth, has acquired a painting by Eva Grubinger and by Suzanne Treister, and a slide projector installation by Charlotte Moth about post-war Plymouth.
  • The Gallery at De Montfort University, Leicester, has acquired a performance work by Swedish artist Annika Strom and a second by British artist Ben Judd. The Gallery will also acquire a video work by Kathryn Elkin filmed during her fig-futures exhibition, a collaboration with the students of the university.

In the case of exhibiting partners Kettle’s Yard and KARST, the organisations worked with collecting partners Norwich Castle Museum and The Box, Plymouth to acquire work.

Robert Dingle, programme partnerships manager at Art Fund, commented: 'Fig-futures has been an incredibly exciting series of exhibitions that have been experienced by audiences across the UK. We are delighted so many people have engaged with the project and will continue to benefit from these artworks entering public collections.

'This ambitious series of acquisitions is a testament to the museums and galleries who have delivered the project, as well as the extraordinary generosity of all the artists involved.'