Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the University of Wolverhampton School of Art are raring to go with just over a week to go until the opening of the prestigious British Art Show 9.
British Art Show 9 (BAS9) will be in the city from Saturday, January 22 to Sunday, April 10, providing a major boost to the recognition of arts and culture in Wolverhampton – the first English city to host the ninth edition of the show.
Over the course of BAS9 each venue will be hosting events as well as working with creative partners and schools, colleges, and community groups to get them involved with the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK.
In Wolverhampton, the exhibition will focus on how we live with and give voice to difference, showcasing 34 artists whose works investigate identity from an intersectional perspective. By exploring coexisting identities such as class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, these works will be presented in critical dialogue with Wolverhampton’s cultural history which has been shaped by the diverse populations that came to work and live there during the post-war period.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery houses one of the most significant collections of art on ‘The Troubles’ outside Northern Ireland. It also collects works linked to the British Black Arts movement which has its roots in the city as many of its members studied at Wolverhampton School of Art. As part of the BAS9 exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery there will be a capsule display of selected works from its collection.
Councillor Stephen Simkins, City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “This is a really exciting partnership with the University, and we are really delighted to be hosting British Art Show 9. The prestigious exhibition will generate enormous benefits for the region, not just for the local economy, and will make a huge contribution to the local arts community and creative industries across the West Midlands.”
Senior Curator, Hayward Gallery Touring, Brian Cass, added: “We are delighted to be working with Wolverhampton Art Gallery and University of Wolverhampton School of Art on British Art Show 9. The collections and histories of these two iconic institutions provides an important context for BAS9. We hope the extraordinary range and variety of outstanding work in BAS9 will give everyone who lives and visits Wolverhampton an opportunity to engage with the most exciting contemporary art being produced in the UK today.”
Head of the Wolverhampton School of Art at the University of Wolverhampton, Maggie Ayliffe, said: “We’re really thrilled that BAS9 is coming to Wolverhampton and the really exciting thing about the show is that it’s the most diverse group of artists ever represented in the exhibition to date.
“That’s really important in relation to it coming to Wolverhampton because it’s such a diverse city. I hope that people will come to this show and actually see their lives and their issues represented through art in meaningful ways. What we want is for people who wouldn’t normally come into the Art School or the Art Gallery, to come along and see how artists are showcasing ordinary, everyday issues that people can relate to.”
There will be over 60 events to get involved in and an Offsite 9 Project in partnership with Creative Black Country.