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This display reveals new narratives within the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art’s collection.

Through a collaboration with research group Black Artists & Modernism, the collection is audited for all contributions by artists of African, Asian and Middle East and North Africa Region descent in the UK in the 20th and 21st centuries.

In 1987, the Cleveland Gallery acquired a self-portrait by the artist Sonia Boyce (then 25 years old) She Ain’t Holdin’ Them Up, She’s Holdin’ On: Some English Rose (1986). This significant work has become a cornerstone of what is now the Middlesbrough Collection, held at MIMA. Thirty-two years later, we follow up on the conversation with Boyce, now a leading figure in British contemporary art, via the project Black Artists & Modernism.

The display is structured around questions that are key for any collection, explored through the perspective of the artwork: Where am I? Why am I here? Who am I? What am I doing? What’s next?. The results of this research are unveiled as they are uncovered, making new material available to the institution and its publics. They also join an important national database which currently holds information on significant collections including: National Galleries Scotland, Arts Council Collection, British Museum and National Museums Wales.

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Centre Square, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, TS1 2AZ

01642 931232


Opening times

Tue – Sat, 10am – 4.30pm (Thu until 7pm) Sun, 12 – 4pm Closed Bank Holidays

Free to all

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