Contemporary Art Commission


At Beverley Guildhall 2021

East Riding Visual Arts Uplift

Following the display at The Treasure House, we're happy to announce our first contemporary art commission as part of the East Riding Visual Art Uplift is relocating to Beverley Guildhall for an extended exhibition.

After a hugely successful open call to artists, both nationally and internationally, Canadian artist, Ian Kirkpatrick, who is currently based in London, secured the commission to bring a contemporary twist to Beverley in the form of 'Beverlac'.

The commissioned artist, Ian Kirkpatrick said: "I'm thrilled to have been selected for the commission. 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 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, takes 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.

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

Artist Talk

The Visual Arts Uplift is happy to be announcing a free artist talk on Friday 17 September at 4.30pm, Beverley Guildhall.

The talk will take a look at Ian's background as an artist, exploring past pieces and how working as a graphic designer at archaeological sites in Egypt and Turkey have influenced his artistic style. An insight into the concept to creation process of Beverlac, from approaching the brief and creating the concepts to the physical construction of the piece and the meanings hidden behind the iconographic design.

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance.

Book tickets online

The Venue

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