Press Release

Tate Britain invites visitors to create their own Collection

Tate Britain
13 September 2005 –

Tate Britain today launches its new presentation of the BP British Art Displays, including twenty newly installed galleries telling the story of British art from 1500 to the present.

To mark the launch of the Displays, Tate has launched a new campaign which identifies a range of themed ‘Collections’ suggesting for visitors a number of personal journeys through the galleries, reflecting different moods and enthusiasms and revealing the extraordinary breadth of work on show - from Nicholas Hilliard’s portrait of Elizabeth I from 1575 to The Upper Room 1999-2002 by Chris Ofili.

Among the sixteen Collections identified in this way is The ‘Rainy Day’ Collection, offering a series of images of sunlit landscapes from Edward Wadsworth’s Regalia 1928 to Studland Beach circa 1912, a painting by the Bloomsbury artist Vanessa Bell. Others include The ‘I Like Yellow’ Collection, which features a range of works using that colour in a variety of ways, from JMW Turner’s Light and Colour 1843 to John Latham’s Man Caught Up with a Yellow Object 1954. There is a Collection for frequent Tate Britain visitors – The ‘I come here all the time’ Collection – which introduces a range of new acquisitions and highlights of the new hang at the gallery and one for those that have not visited recently – The ‘I haven’t been here for ages’ Collection – which reintroduces some of the iconic works in the Displays.

Tate is also inviting visitors to ‘create their own Collection’ – by selecting up to six works from the Displays which they like the best or engage them the most. Visitors may then take part in a competition where they submit their choices to the gallery in person or online The best will be made into a leaflet available for other visitors to Tate Britain, who can then follow the competition winner’s route through the gallery.

Tate Britain shows the national collection of British art and admission to the Displays is free. Great British artists such as Hogarth, Turner, Constable, Millais, Sargent, Sickert, Spencer, Moore, Hepworth and Bacon are all on display along with less widely known but influential artists from Marcus Gheeraerts in the sixteenth century to the Indian-born artist FN Souza in the twentieth. The Tate Britain Collections initiative reflects the idea that the BP British Art Displays offer the visitor an almost infinite number of ways to explore the galleries according to individual mood, taste and temperament. The broad range of art on display at Tate Britain is a resource to inspire the passion and creativity of its diverse audience.

 Visitors can create their own Collection and enter the competition by collecting a leaflet at Tate Britain information desks and selecting their works as they go round the gallery or by visiting Tate, where they can select from a number of highlighted artworks. They may then send their selection to a friend ahead of a visit to the gallery or print it out as a leaflet and use it as their guide around the gallery. Tate Online is exclusively sponsored by BT. Tate Britain Director, Stephen Deuchar, said:

Last year we asked our visitors to write labels expressing their interpretations of the works on Tate Britain’s walls and we received a great response. Now we would like them to tell us about the connections they make between their favourite Tate Britain works by effectively creating their own Collections. The free BP British Art Displays at Tate Britain are at the heart of everything we do and I am looking forward to seeing the journeys through them suggested by our public.’

BP has supported the Collection Displays at Millbank since 1990, first at the Tate Gallery and then from the opening of Tate Britain in 2000 to the present. BP’s continued support allows Tate Britain to create a broad and dynamic displays programme which explores in depth British art from 1500 to the present. They are also supporting BP Saturdays, three day-long, free festivals for families and young people. The two remaining events in the series are Loud Tate on Saturday 17 September, for 13 to 19 year olds and Dotty Tate, for families with under 12s, on Saturday 15 October. BP’s other support at Tate includes the BP Conservation Intern Programme, sculpture and installation workshops for schools, BP Artist Talks and the BP British Art Lecture. 

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