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Left to right: Sofia Mitsola, Chariot, 2019. Commissioned for Jerwood Solo Presentations 2019. Installation view at Jerwood Space. Photo: Hydar Dewachi. Emii Alrai, Passing of the Lilies, 2021. Commissioned for Jerwood Solo Presentations 2021. Installation view at Jerwood Space. Photo: Anna Arca. Keiken and George Jasper Stone, Feel My Metaverse, 2019. Commissioned for Jerwood Collaborate!. Photo: Anna Arca.

Refocusing our support for the visual arts: an update from Lilli Geissendorfer, Director

27 April 2022

Since 2004, our exhibition and events programme at Jerwood Space has supported over 1,700 visual artists, curators, and writers to develop their practice, make and show new work. The roll call of individuals, working in practices from sculpture to drawing, photography to moving-image, is exceptional, and it is humbling to observe all they have gone on to achieve bringing insight and joy to people across the UK.

But change and innovation are the lifeblood of the arts, and the pandemic has given my team and I the opportunity to reflect on our impact, considering how we can make the greatest difference to early-career artists, curators, and writers over the coming years.

We believe that directing our resources towards other galleries and visual arts organisations in London and across the UK will best allow us to strengthen the artist development infrastructure nationally. We have therefore decided to bring the exhibition and events programme at Jerwood Space to a close at the end of the year, allowing us to redirect over £1m to early-career artists and curators, galleries, and visual arts organisations in the UK over three years from 2023. Refocusing our funding in the visual arts will increase opportunities for the most outstanding early-career artists and curators to develop their imaginations and pursue their passions at a pivotal moment in their careers.

See HERE for the full press release.

 

What next?

We have learnt so much through running the exhibitions and events programme for the past 18 years. I can promise that the approach and values that we have established will continue to be embedded in how we work with artists and organisations throughout the UK from now on, amplifying the care, integrity and curiosity for bold practices and new work. The importance of independent funding to support artistic development and freedom of expression feels as urgent as ever. We will continue to create and fund awards and programmes that listen to artists and provide time and space away from commercial and commissioning pressures.

We are committed to continuing many of our flagship awards such as Survey, Jerwood Photoworks Awards and Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open with new partners and old. We are excited to start new relationships and explore new ideas for opportunities to support the next generation of visual artists to thrive, especially in places and practices currently under supported across the UK.

I am grateful to every artist and curator, technician and fabricator, designer, photographer, project manager, partner and funder who has been part of the past 18 years of realising extraordinary things in our galleries at Jerwood Space. From one-off performance art to large-scale ceramic installations, digital innovations to one-on-one experiences, the new works that have been realised here have supported early-career artists to experiment and take risks. Their onwards successes speak for themselves.

The team, Trustees and I have given much thought to this transition over recent months. Emotions are, of course, mixed – we all love nothing more than supporting artists to realise their ambitions on site and will miss the programme hugely. We also believe in going out on a high and are excited about the potential for the future. We will be working hard to make the most of the final two exhibitions over the next eight months and celebrate the programme, as well as supporting our outstanding departing team members onto their next adventures.

 

Join us in celebrating 18 years of exhibitions & events at Jerwood Space 

After 18 years, over 250 commissions for new work, and exhibiting 1700 artists, there is much to celebrate before the curtain comes down on this extraordinary chapter.

Our exhibitions programme evolved over the years under the unique vision and guidance first and foremost of Directors Roanne Dodds (1999 to 2009) and Shonagh Manson (2009-2017), and through the exceptional commitment and artist-centred approach of curators Sarah Williams (2012-2019) and now Harriet Cooper (2018-2022). Alongside them, hundreds of brilliant people helped realise impossible ideas and make concrete artists’ visions on their own terms, free from many of the usual institutional parameters.

If you have been involved in the exhibitions and events at Jerwood Space over the past 18 years and would like to find out more about how we plan to celebrate the programme this autumn, please email info@jerwoodarts.org – we would love to hear from you.

If you are a gallery or visual arts organisations and would be interested to talk about working with us on one of our current awards as a lead partner or touring venue, or have a new idea for supporting early-career visual artists’ development, please email info@jerwoodarts.org.

 

Find out more

Download a full press release here.

Details of our next exhibition, the Jerwood/FVU Awards, here.

Details of our final exhibition at Jerwood Space, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, here.