The British Museum comes to Hartlepool

Published Thursday, 9th May 2024

In an exciting and important ‘first’ for the town, Hartlepool Art Gallery is to host British Museum Touring Exhibition ‘Drawing attention: emerging artists in dialogue’.

The exhibition – which opens on Saturday 18th May and runs until Saturday 24th August – gives visitors the chance to discover some of the most compelling up-and-coming names in the field of contemporary drawing, displayed alongside highlights from the British Museum collection.

These new acquisitions include some of the youngest artists to be collected by the British Museum, presented alongside works by celebrated artists from Mary Delany, Andy Warhol and Barbara Hepworth to Édouard Manet.

In this surprising and thought-provoking selection, emerging artists are taking the medium of drawing in new directions. A wide range of techniques and practices are represented, including drawings using make-up on facial wipes by Sin Wai Kin and a drawing made with chalk collected from the White Cliffs of Dover by Josephine Baker.

Sin Wai Kin - what you have gained along the way, 2017

Sin Wai Kin - what you have gained along the way. 2017

© 2024 The Trustees of the British Museum

To highlight emerging talent in our own region, the British Museum works will be complemented by newly-created artistic responses from students at the Northern School of Art. Works by this next generation of artists will explore the themes of the exhibition, including questions of identity, memory and materiality.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to see a compelling selection of works from Hartlepool’s own fine art collection. Chosen by the Hartlepool Young Producers – a group of young people working with the Gallery - a range of pieces dating from the eighteenth century up to the present day have been reinterpreted through a contemporary lens, to show their continuing relevance.

Jill Harrison, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Executive Director of Adult & Community Based Services, said: “We are thrilled that Hartlepool Art Gallery is one of only three locations in the country chosen by the British Museum to host this groundbreaking exhibition.

“It is a marvellous and unique opportunity to view an outstanding selection of drawings from the British Museum collection together with items from Hartlepool’s own collection and works by our own young talent.” 

Hans Burgkmair the Elder - Head of Christ crowned with thorns, 1508-15

Hans Burgkmair the Elder - Head of Christ crowned with thorns. 1508-15

© 2024 The Trustees of the British Museum

Mark Jones, Interim Director of the British Museum, said: “The British Museum prints and drawings collection is one of the best in the world.

“But it is vitally important for future generations that it continues to develop, so we are grateful to Art Fund’s New Collecting Award for allowing us to strengthen our holdings with exciting new artists who have lived or worked in Britain.”

‘Drawing attention: emerging artists in dialogue’ is supported by the Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe.

Hartlepool Art Gallery is located in Church Square, Hartlepool, TS24 7EQ. It is open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am – 5pm and entry is FREE.

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