The Gallery to host renowned artists in four week exhibition


A programme of rapid-fire exhibitions – each lasting just one week – will bring The Gallery at DMU to life for visitors.

fig-futures brings short, sharp showings of new art to Leicester for the first time as the art space in De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Vijay Patel Building dedicates the entire month of November to this exciting series of exhibitions.

Anna Barham fig futures

Its aim is to inspire new audiences to discover new artists and encourage the artists to use their week to experiment, play and interact with visitors. Work by each artist will be gifted to DMU’s permanent collection.   The programme is:

Week 1 – Anna Barham 6 – 10 November (preview November 5)
Week 2 – Ben Judd 13 – 17 November (preview November 12)
Week 3 – Annika Ström 20-24 November (preview November 19)
Week 4 – Kathryn Elkin 27 November – 1 December (preview November 26)

This year is the first time the fig-futures exhibitions have been held outside of London. Previous shows have been held in Blackpool and Cambridge and after Leicester it will travel to Plymouth.  
fig-futures is supported by Art Fund, Arts Council England and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

Hugo Worthy, Curator at The Gallery, said: “fig-futures has an extraordinary resonance for The Gallery to work with some of the most insightful artists in the United Kingdom exploring issues around language and performativity that reflect existing strengths in our collection.

“The project is a huge opportunity for us, not only to build outstanding events and exhibitions but also to extend our collections in really exciting and challenging new ways.”  
fig-futures at DMU begins with Anna Barham’s exploration of text. Anna is building huge structures onto which large-scale animations will be projected, spelling out words. As visitors move around The Gallery they will become another character in this immersive performance.

On week two, Ben Judd will create a fictional Leicester community living in different areas in The Gallery, using collections held at DMU and by Leicester City Council’s New Walk Museum. Positioning himself and the audience as both participant and observer, he engages the grey area between ritual and performance, searching for an unreachable and idealised state of community.

Annika Strom will perform eight pieces of work – including two specifically made for Leicester, one of which will be a painting performance – at launch night and edit these together for a film to be screened throughout her week.

Finally Kathryn Elkin will create a film from tutorials with DMU Fine Art students, cutting them into excerpts for her exhibition. The exhibitions will be open Monday to Saturday 12 to 5pm at The Gallery.

Yves Blais, Project Manager, fig-futures says: "It has been incredibly exciting to see a momentum build through the week-long fig-futures exhibitions so far in both Blackpool and Cambridge. The next four iterations of the project in Leicester have both performative and community-orientated elements that will no doubt create a fantastic space for dialogue with audiences, as well as with the institution’s existing collection.”

* Visit The Gallery on campus
* Prisoner art on display at New Walk Museum
* DMU artist featured in world-leading gallery

Robert Dingle, Contemporary Projects Manager, Art Fund says: “Art Fund is proud to support fig-futures and its ambitious programme. It’s a wonderful concept – sixteen, one week exhibitions 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 each exhibition to join their permanent collection to be enjoyed for years to come.”

Candida Gertler OBE, Co-founder and Director, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, says: “One of Outset’s main missions is to engage new audiences with contemporary art, and we are delighted that through supporting fig-futures we are helping to bring new art to new audiences, not just in London, but across the UK. We are thrilled to continue our regional support at De Montfort University’s The Gallery. Where there is art there is imagination, and with this platform, new ideas and ways of imagining the world are explored for artists and visitors alike.”  

Posted on Friday 12th October 2018

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