Aberdeen Art Gallery Wins for 2nd Year Running

14 May 2010

The Art Fund and the Crafts Council are delighted to announce that for the second year running, Aberdeen Art Gallery has won an outstanding piece of contemporary craft to add to its permanent collections through nationwide initiative Art Fund Collect.

Aberdeen Art Gallery is one of five museums to win a share of £75,000 to buy their selected object thanks to Art Fund Collect, an initiative aimed at championing contemporary craft and increasing its presence in UK collections. Art Fund Collect is run by membership charity the Art Fund and the Crafts Council, the national development agency for contemporary craft in the UK.

Art Fund Collect took place yesterday, 13 May, the preview day of COLLECT, the Crafts Council's international art fair for contemporary objects at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Ahead of private buyers, short-listed curators had one hour to go around the fair and pick an object to acquire on behalf of their museum or gallery. Final selections were submitted to an expert panel of judges, who decided which curators should win a share of the £75,000 funding pot to acquire their chosen object outright.

Kate Gillespie, Curator, Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, is one of five winners at Art Fund Collect. She selected Spin, 2010 by Japanese maker Ritsue Mishima for £5,850. This hand-blown, spiralling glass piece is characteristic of Mishima's creations which are often concerned with movement and light. Born in 1962 in Kyoto, Ritsue Mishima executes her highly original designs in collaboration with Murano-based craftsmen.

Kate Gillespie said: "I am incredibly excited that Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums' choice has been selected as one of the winners for this high profile prize. To be a successful participant for a second year running is quite unbelievable and I am extremely proud to be bringing another innovative example of contemporary craft to Scotland for the public to view and enjoy. Art Fund Collect is an unparalleled opportunity for curators to fulfil their aspirations of acquiring ambitious work that would normally be beyond the means of their organisation. The unique support that the Art Fund offers not only enhances public collections but also celebrates the talent and vision of contemporary makers working in the UK and internationally."

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: "It's a delight to see fivewinning curators each walking away from Art Fund Collect with an extraordinary new object for their collections. Art Fund Collect is a smart and swift way of boosting public collections with the best of international contemporary craft. It's also frankly fun - offering curators from across the country a chance to mingle, exchange ideas and soak up the atmosphere of the fair, alongside the excitement of the competition itself."

Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, said: "Once again, Art Fund Collect enables museums and galleries to acquire ambitious, bold and innovative contemporary craft. Making it possible for people to see contemporary craft in public collections is at the centre of the Crafts Council's vision and Art Fund Collect is a key way that we make this happen. My congratulations to Aberdeen on their second-time win."

Last year, Kate Gillespie walked away from Art Fund Collect with Neckpiece, a beautiful 18 carat gold, enamel and garnet necklace by Umbria-based British jeweller Jacqueline Ryan, acquired for £26,550.

The other four winners of Art Fund Collect 2010 are: the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter; Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead; and the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Now in its third year, Art Fund Collect was set up by the Art Fund and the Crafts Council in 2008 as a way of championing contemporary craft. Since winners are able to acquire their chosen objects on the spot, Art Fund Collect has proven to be an effective way of boosting public collections with international contemporary craft. Over the past three years, Art Fund Collect has made £200,000 available for contemporary craft acquisitions for public collections.

The Art Fund Collect judging panel comprises Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar, Ex Chairman of the Crafts Council and the Art Fund Sir Nicholas Goodison, Executive Director of the Crafts Council Rosy Greenlees, Art Fund Trustee Jonathan Marsden and renowned ceramic artist Edmund de Waal.

A total of eleven museums and galleries were short-listed to take part in Art Fund Collect this year, out of a total of 21 applications from across the UK.

Last year, 23 institutions applied, ten were short-listed and five won a significant object to add to their public collections.

Each of the eleven objects chosen by short-listed curators can be seen at COLLECT, which runs from 14 - 17 May at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London SW3 4SQ.