DMU will host part of a UK-wide art marathon


De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is to host four week-long visual arts projects which will leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

The Gallery at DMU is one of just four institutions across the UK selected to host an ambitious 16 art shows in just 16 weeks.


'Six Lovely People' (2015) by Annika Ström

The art space in the Vijay Patel Building will dedicate the entire month of November to the year-long arts programme, called fig-futures.

Its aim is to inspire new audiences through unique relationships between artists and institutions in nationwide collaborations. This in turn will foster conversations and engagement about the current artistic landscape.

The university beat off competition from 26 venues across the UK to host the rapid-fire exhibitions of Anna Barham, Kathryn Elkin, Ben Judd and Annika Ström.

Works by each exhibiting artist will also be gifted to DMU’s permanent collection so they can be enjoyed by art-lovers for many years.

This year’s project follows the success of fig-2’s programme of 50 exhibitions in 50 weeks at the ICA Studio in London in 2015.


Ben Judd's fig-2 opening performance

Hugo Worthy, DMU’s Art Curator, said they would be hosting four exhibitions in four consecutive weeks by fig-2 alumni artists.

The shows will give each artist the chance to explore new ideas and spaces, with artists being encouraged to use their week as a time for experimentation and play. They could present pieces directly relating to the host gallery and university location.

Hugo said: “We are delighted to have been selected to host such a prestigious and long-lasting art project.

“For the whole month of November we will showcase the artists’ work in a new and different environment.

“We hope it will be a statement-producing exhibition that brings together a wide range of practices.”


'The Elephants in the Room' (2015) by Kathryn Elkin

Anna’s art incorporates video, drawing, sculpture and performance, while Kathryn has a particular interest in modern culture, using performance and videos to focus on role-playing and improvising.

Ben uses moving image work to examine his relationships to specific individuals and groups, and Annika works mainly with performance, art and films, using her own soundtracks.

Exhibiting artists will also ‘engage in meaningful conversations’ with the community through a series of talks, workshops and performances.

Fig-futures starts in May at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool, before moving on to Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge in September. It will be at The Gallery, DMU, in November, then it will finish at Plymouth Arts Centre with The Box, in Plymouth, in March, 2019.

It is the first time the project has taken place outside of London as organisers wanted to ‘capture the aesthetic and critical currency of our times’ in four new venues, cities and regions.

Fig-futures is supported by Art Fund, Arts Council England and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.


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International artists gather at exhibition of DMU photo academic’s artworks

Robert Dingle, Contemporary Projects Manager at Art Fund said: “Art Fund is proud to support fig-futures and its ambitious programme.

“It’s a wonderful concept – 16 exhibitions for one week only at four venues across the country - a real art marathon, and we challenge everyone to see as many shows as possible.

“The great legacy of this is that each museum gets to choose an artist's work from the exhibition to join their permanent collection to be enjoyed for years to come.”

For more information about fig-futures at DMU, visit the website.

Posted on Monday 12th March 2018

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