Moving Image Fund for Museums

A scheme from Art Fund and Thomas Dane Gallery that helps galleries and museums build their collections of artists’ films to share with the nation.

What is the the Moving Image Fund?

The Moving Image Fund was created in 2015 to address the challenges that UK museums face when building their collections of moving-image works. The first scheme of its kind in the UK, it aims to ensure that the most significant works of contemporary film and video art can be bought for public collections. It is an Art Fund project conceived in partnership with and supported by Thomas Dane Gallery.

It is generously supported by the Ampersand Foundation, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, Thomas Dane Gallery, Gerry Fox, David and Rose Heyman, Pierre Lagrange, Rebecca Marks, the Outset Young Production Fund, the Rothschild Foundation and the Sfumato Foundation.

The first two venues to benefit from the fund were the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne and the Whitworth in Manchester; each was given £200,000 during the first round of the scheme which ran from 2015 to 2017 to help develop their moving-image collections. The second two venues, announced in November 2017, are The Hunterian in Glasgow and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

In addition, November 2017 also saw the beginning of a new partnership with Film and Video Umbrella (FVU) that will enable all four participating museums to commission new moving image works over the next four years. Together, FVU and Art Fund will provide over £40,000 for each museum to commission a new work for their respective collections – supported by FVU’s longstanding curatorial and production expertise.

Acquisitions so far

Elizabeth Price, K, 2015

Acquired by the Whitworth

K is a two-channel video work that brings together disparate elements – text, image, synthetic voice and a stark, percussive soundtrack – in a dense and complex exploration of collective emotion, performance and mechanised production.

Isaac Julien, Ten Thousand Waves, 2010

Co-acquisition between Towner Art Gallery and the Whitworth

Isaac Julien, Film still from Ten Thousand Waves, 2010 Courtesy the artist

Ten Thousand Waves is a film inspired by the 2004 tragedy in Morecambe Bay where more than 20 Chinese cockle pickers drowned on a flooded sandbank. Julien interlaces contemporary Chinese culture with ancient myths; Ten Thousand Waves includes the fable of goddess Mazu, who comes from the Fujian Province where the Morecambe Bay workers originated from. The acquisition marks the first time that a film by Julien has been acquired for a UK public collection outside of London.

Omer Fast, 5,000 Feet is the Best, 2011

Co-acquisition between Towner Art Gallery and IWM

Omer Fast, Film still from 5,000 Feet Is The Best, 2011 Courtesy of the artist and Arratia Beer, Berlin

Fast's 5,000 Feet is the Best is a 30-minute film that weaves together a former drone operator’s account of his life and work with scenes depicting crimes in and around Las Vegas. The film explores why we, as viewers, believe what we see. Fast uses various techniques, such as to-camera delivery and pixellation, to challenge how events are presented and how style can affect how much credibility is attached to unverified sources.