Walker Art Gallery Shortlisted for 60K Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2011

Walker Art Gallery shortlisted for 60K Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2011

The Annual Award was set up three years ago, and is an initiative to support UK museums to commission new work that, once completed, will remain within the museum’s permanent collection.

Museums across the country have teamed up with emerging artists to enter proposals for work they would like to have commissioned for their galleries.  The winning museum is then awarded £60,000 to commission the work so local communities have the opportunity to see new and exciting contemporary art – a much needed resource in the age of government cuts, especially with museums being hit the hardest.

From the entries, the Contemporary Art Society judging panel, which includes Adam Chodzko (Artist), Maurice Davies (Head of Policy, Museums Association),  Rosy Greenlees (Director, Crafts Council), Michael Stanley (Director, Modern Art Oxford), have now selected five regional museums for the shortlist, these are:

National Museum Wales (Cardiff) with artist Andrea Büttner
Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery with artist Christina Mackie
Shipley Art Gallery with artist Matthew Darbyshire
Walker Art Gallery (National Museums Liverpool) with Wael Shawky
University Of Warwick Art Collection with Katie Patterson

On 14th November, one winning museum and artist will be announced at a ceremony at the German Gymnasium, London, and  awarded the £60k to create the work.

Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool is proposing to commission Egyptian artist Wael Shawky.  Wael Shawky is concerned with the complex relationship between politics and religion, fundamentalism and capitalism, religious ritual and the role of the media. He examines transitional events in the medieval ancient and modern history of the Arab world. Cabaret Crusades, is a recent body of work that explores the crusades of 1096-1099 from the perspective of Arab historians.

This work is emblematic of Shawky’s interest in working with museums and their collections and it is this that has ignited the proposal. The diversity of the Walker’s holdings of predominantly
European fine and decorative arts, spanning the middle ages to the present day, will form the starting point for Shawky’s proposed commission. The commission will be a partnership between Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival (LAAF), Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) and the Liverpool Biennial.

Wael Shawky (born in 1971), lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. Last year he launched MASS Alexandria, the city’s first independent studio and study programme for young artists. Shawky is acclaimed for his work as an artist and filmmaker. He has exhibited internationally, including at the Venice and Istanbul Biennales. In February 2011 he won the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award. A forthcoming exhibition at KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin is part of his prize.