New Expressions


This event, hosted by Upton House and Gardens  – one of New Expressions 3’s 15 museum partners, is the first of 3 field visit events they have organized this summer.

The overall purpose of the field visit programme was to enable a broad cross-section of people from the worlds of museums, historic properties and contemporary arts, who share an interest in collaborative working to come together to:

  • see and experience newly commissioned art work first hand
  • understand more about the New Expressions programme and its 2015 LIVE season
  • hear direct from the project team about the thinking behind their commission and the challenges and rewards of its realization
  • share their own ideas and experiences with other participants
  • contribute to the discussion and debate about the setting up of a new Subject Specialist Network (such as is it a good idea? if so, how might it best work?)

The day included :The Collector’s Case
Yelena Popova, artist, Rachael O’Connor Boyd and representatives of Upton’s volunteer team shared insights into how they have worked together on this major commission for Upton House.  Popova’s paintings involve reduction and dilution, forcing viewers to slow down and heighten their visual capacities, as if to learn anew how to look.

Site visits: We enjoyed site visits to experience both  “The Collector’s Case’ and ‘Banking for Victory, A Country House at War’. The latter is Upton’s immersive installation evoking a remarkable time in the history of the house, when the staff of Samuel’s Bank, Lord Bearsted’s family firm, moved out of London for the duration – while some of the most valuable items in his remarkable collection of paintings joined work from the National Gallery in the safety of the Welsh slate mines.

Fllowed finally by a lively and interesting round table discussion – led by Sheila McGregor. Sheila is leading the work New Expressions is undertaking to explore the potential to establish a new national Subject Specialist  Network to support future innovative collaborations between artists, museums and communities.

A thought provoking day in a fabulous setting.

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A B O U T   N E W   E X P R E S S I O N S

New Expressions 3 establishes a national approach to collaboration between contemporary artists and museums. It explores how partnership working can be structured in the future to provide fresh approaches to collections and engaging visitor experiences across England. It builds upon the regional foundations developed by New Expressions 1 and 2 in South West England.

From spring through to autumn 2015, some 19 artists are presenting specially commissioned work in partnership with 15 museums across the South West, Midlands and North of England. Taking museum collections as their starting point, the projects range from long-term interventions to one-off performances.

The shortest, creatively -risky project, takes place in the course of just one day – timed following careful consultation of the tide tables for Plymouth Sound.

There are three strands of activity during 2014 and 2015.

  • Nine major artist-museum collaborations across the South West, the Midlands and the North of England: six at Arts Council Major Partner Museums and three at National Trust properties
  • Six experimental projects developed by artists and museums new to working together – part of a New Opportunities Awards (NOA) scheme
  • A national programme of events and evaluation to share experiences and build knowledge; as part of ambition to create a country-wide network of artists, museums and partners ambitious about collaborating.

New Expressions 3 is a national pathfinder programme delivered with its partners: the network of Arts Council Major Partner Museums, the National Trust and the Contemporary Visual Art Network (CVAN). Visual Arts South West is leading the partnership between New Expressions and CVAN for their counterpart organisations; Visual Arts North by North West in the North and East Midlands Visual Arts Network in the Midlands.

New Expressions’ activity and legacy are managed by the New Expressions programme board.