Beverley Treasure House Commission for

Contemporary Art

Exhibition Dates: October 2020 - December 2020

East Riding Visual Arts Uplift

The Treasure House, Beverley is proud to be unveiling the first of two contemporary art commissions as part of the East Riding Visual Art Uplift, a commitment to showcasing and integrating contemporary art into the region.

Following a hugely successful open call to artists, both nationally and internationally, it can be revealed that Canadian artist, Ian Kirkpatrick, who is currently based in London, has secured the commission to bring a contemporary twist to the Treasure House this October.

The commissioned artist, Ian Kirkpatrick said: "I'm thrilled to have been selected for the commission at the Treasure House. Beverley has such a deep history - stretching back to at least the seventh century - and I'm keen to explore it as part of this project. My work typically involves a great deal of research into an area's history, which I translate into bright, colourful surface decorations for my large-scale sculptural pieces. The artwork for the Treasure House will be covered in bold, playful iconography that reflects the local area and its heritage - including the ancient beavers that gave Beverley its name. I think there will be something for all ages to discover within the work"

'BLAST' (2015). Funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

About the Artwork

'Beverlac', as the artwork is titled, is set to take the form of a monumental beaver-shaped sculpture standing atop a dam - reflecting the origin of Beverley's name (Beaver + Lake). Ian's style involves designing unique digitally printed modular cardboard to create bold and striking sculptures full of colour and expression, which encapsulates the town's heritage, alongside exploring urgent environmental themes.

The metaphor of the beaver - once abundant in the area until it was hunted to extinction - will act as a symbol of humanity's need to develop new, sustainable habits in order to survive into the future.

Small workshops with the community will be staged alongside to create the 'dam' utilising recycled cardboard and transforming it into meaningful elements of the artwork.

The artwork is set to be installed in the foyer of the Treasure House for two months from October with further details being released here shortly, alongside workshop opportunities for the community and an artist talk once the piece has been installed.

Artist Bio

Ian is a Canadian contemporary artist currently based in London, UK. His work is inspired by the history of art and design, from ancient cave paintings and Greek amphorae, to graffiti and computer graphics. The hieroglyphic surfaces of his 2D and sculptural pieces remix iconographies from the past and present, often in response to current political and social themes. He creates most of his work digitally, then manufactures it out of industrial materials including stainless steel, artificial leather, embroidery, vinyl, corrugated cardboard, Perspex and Dibond.

His art has been exhibited across the UK and internationally, with shows in New York, Chicago, Montreal, Berlin, Rome and London. He has produced commissions for the London 2012 Olympics, the Tour de France, and the Oxford Museum of Natural History - and has completed public art projects in Leeds, Middlesbrough, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Artist's Instagram Page Artist's Website

'Lepus' (2017). Harehills, Leeds. Commissioned by Leeds City Council and East Street Arts

Have Your Say

As part of the East Riding Visual Arts Uplift we are happy to have been able to bring this piece to Beverley Treasure House. Have your say on the artwork and contemporary art in general to help shape the artistic offering in the region going forward. Follow the link below to complete our short online feedback form.

Complete Feedback Form

Introduction to Beverley Treasure House

The treasure house is part of the original town library and art gallery. The iconic building stands tall in the heart of Beverley.

In the late 19th century, public galleries were opening across the country. The trend was growing popular as galleries provided education and a morally uplifting purpose to local residents. In 1902 Beverley, local man John Champney approached the town council and offered to fund a building to house both a public library and museum and art gallery. Another local man, William Spencer donated further funds to the venture, buying the plot of land where the Edwardian building stands today.

The library and a picture gallery, showcasing the proud portraits of its benefactors, opened in 1906. Four years later the museum and art gallery was formally opened. The first exhibitions included an Italian Madonna, a portrait of Archbishop Rokeby by Angelica Kauffman R.A. and works by local artist Fred Elwell. As was customary of the time, museum relics were displayed alongside the densely covered walls of art.

Seeing the popularity of the building, in 1928 Champney once again funded renovations to the building. This added a new wing, housing the reference library on the ground floor, and the second art gallery above it.

In 2007, the heritage lottery funding meant the creation of the East Riding Treasure House. This added the tower, with its spectacular views across the market town, archives and installed disabled access so everybody could enjoy the culture on display. The stores were upgraded with environmentally controlled technology, helping to preserve the collections of East Riding Museums for generations to come.

Visit Beverley Treasure House

How the commission will workBelow is an outline of how the commission will run:

Open call is released
Selection to be staged

Artists to be informed of decision and successful applicant contracted

Successful applicant invited for a site visit with the venue to look at any logistics
July - September
Piece build

Accompanying exhibition/workshops/talk logistics finalised
Piece installed on site

Launch of the commission

Wheres Wally Selfie Prize Draw

Don't forget, if you visit the Treasure House to do the Where's Wally Spooky Museum Search, you can enter our Where's Wally Selfie Competition to win a Day Pass to Sewerby Hall and Gardens.

How to enter:

  • Take a selfie while doing the Museum Search.
  • Follow @ERMuseums on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Share your selfie on your profile and tag us in.
  • The winner will be selected at random on 2 November.

Good luck!

Where's Wally Resources

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