BP Art Exchange

September 2013 – March 2017

Young woman posing as an artwork

Zhanna Bobrakova Room 1540, Performative Portrait inspired by A Young Lady Aged 21, Possibly Helena Snakenborg, Later Marchioness of Northampton 1569 British School 16th Century, at Tate Britain 2014

Students on a Skype conference call

Danish students at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, with artist Albert Potrony, sharing their art and ideas over Skype with their peers in the UK working at Tate Britain with artist Michelle Williams Gamaker on Figure Ground Time Acts

Collage of artworks

Tate Yourself self-portrait by Oliver from St Pauls Catholic College, based on paintings by William Dobson, Marmaduke Cradock,Marcus Gheeraerts II, John Martin, Johan Zoffany and Sir Peter Lely. The idea behind the Tate Yourself activity devised by artist Luca M. Damiani was to make historic Old Master collections relevant for young people and families today

Two photographs of trees

In April 2015 Photographer Marysa Dowling worked with artists, teachers and students in Mexico and UK to create photographic portraits to conceal and reveal something about themselves, constructing playful portraits using the body, gesture, space, light and objects that have a cultural or local relevance to the environment. Left: Marysa Dowling, Conceal, Mexico #2, 2015. Right: Conceal/Reveal portrait by participants in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico
© Marysa Dowling

Four photographs of fishermen

Local fishermen with their favourite fish in Kochi photographed by Shubham Sharma, Samika Daga, Harsha Kejriwal, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, India 2015. The series of photographs was taken as part of the Belonging, Co-existence, Community project led by artist Albert Potrony

Four photographic portraits

Snehal Kanodia, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology Framing the Unseen 2014, Kochi-Muziris Biennale. In her photographs Kanodia responded to the Performative Portraits generator devised by CSM graduate Zhanna Bobrakova

BP Art Exchange was a four year learning programme about international collaboration and exchange. Between September 2013 and March 2017, it connected 425 schools, 105 cultural organisations and galleries and 339 artists worldwide through an offline workshop programme delivered by practising artists and an online community platform. The project provided a sustainable digital platform, learning resources and programme which deepened knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of Art.

The underpinning research question for the BP Art Exchange programme was rooted in emergence theory which proposes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Emergence demonstrates that a small number of rules, laws or limitations can generate incredibly complex systems. In the BP Art Exchange programme, a networked and connected community has arisen out of the simple instructions that its members respond to, which both generate a multitude of diverse and richly creative responses and forge meaningful interconnections.

Members of the BP Art Exchange community would initiate or join groups to share and critically discuss artwork, opportunities and ideas that interested them and were meaningful to their own lives.

Thematic activity packs created with artists were published online at regular intervals throughout the year and were tested and explored through an offline collaborative workshop programme. Some of our key partners included MARCO (Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico); The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Kochi Biennale Foundation; Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology in Bangalore and UAL: Central Saint Martins in London and Institut Français du Royaume-Uni. 

Nationally, we worked with a network of over 200 schools across the country through a series of workshop designed in collaboration with art educators Anna Kontopoulou and Jack Cornell. The roster of visual artists who have closely collaborated with us developing our programme of participatory projects both in UK and internationally includes Albert PotronyMarysa Dowling, Michelle Williams Gamaker, Emily Allchurch,and Luca M Damiani.

BP Art Exchange Supported by BP

Project Information

Project type
Learning project
Lead department
Tate Learning