The Arts Council Collection continues to grow through the purchase of new work, 59 works by 25 artists were acquired for the nation in 2018-19.
Recommendations to purchase innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain today are made by a changing group of external advisors to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee. For 2018-19 they were: Anthea Hamilton, artist; Charlotte Keenan, Curator of British Art at Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool; Helen Nisbet, Curator and Artistic Director, Art Night and Fatoş Üstek, Director and Chief Curator at David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF). The chair of the Acquisitions Committee for 2018-19 was Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England. The three permanent members of the acquisitions committee are: Jill Constantine, Director, Arts Council Collection; Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England; and Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery, London.
Imran Perretta’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses sound, performance, poetry and moving image. His video work 15 days, 2018 is inspired by the time that he spent with former inhabitants of the refugee camp near Calais, France that became known as the Jungle. After the camp was destroyed in 2016, its former inhabitants began living rough in the surrounding woods and fields. The title of the piece is not a measure of the length of Perretta’s stay, but rather a salute to the hastily made-up name of one of the people he befriended. The alias ‘15 days’ may allude to the period since this man’s latest temporary camp was demolished, or perhaps reference the time he has been waiting in limbo, in the hope of a new and better life. Perretta’s work realises this state of uncertainty, animating a bleak environment against a backdrop of dank digital trees and muddy scrubland, interspersed with handheld footage shot on location in France. We see a tent flapping in the breeze, its flimsy outline a reminder of all that stands between its occupant and the world. Uncomfortable yet compelling, the work captures the intense emotions of living on the edge, bringing them to the centre of the viewer’s thoughts. 15 days was commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2018: Unintended Consequences, a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Film and Video Umbrella. FVU is supported by Arts Council England.
Two works by Jerwood Arts alumni Flo Brooks and three works by Evan Ifekoya have also been added to the collection. Flo Brooks is an exhibiting artist in Survey, currently showing at Baltic until 23 June; and Evan Ifekoya’s work was shown as part of Jerwood Staging Series in 2016.