Government Art Collection, curating art displays

  • Northumbria University

In a Masterclass with Government Art Collection, Club members from Northumbria University Art&Design Club explored the fundamental principles of curating a 2D visual art display. 

The Government Art Collection exhibits art in over 365 UK government buildings worldwide, promoting British art, history and culture on a global scale. Shasti Lowton, a curator, and Oliver Smith, a technician, presented the work of the Government Art Collection, showcasing various artworks and explaining their significance. The presentation also included discussions on different creative career paths. For example, Oliver shared his journey from being an illustrator to becoming an art technician. 

Club members were then tasked with curating a mini display that included original artwork from the Government Art Collection. Prior to the Masterclass, they selected an image or chose one of their own creations that responded to a specific theme such as identity, climate change or migration. During the Masterclass, they discussed their chosen images and collectively identified connections among them to create a mock display. They were given guidance on how to write a descriptive object label for their image and collaboratively wrote an introduction panel for the display. 

To conclude the Masterclass, Club members presented their work and discussed how their selected images reflected the chosen theme. Some of the object labels included: 

“I chose this piece because I love travelling and have always wanted to learn about different cultures. My goal is to visit at least 15 different places.” 

“I chose this artwork because it is one of my favourite Taylor Swift albums because of the meanings behind the songs.” 


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