The Plus Tate Network today announces that 13 more visual arts organisations will join, taking the cohort of member organisations across the country to 48. Launched in 2010, Plus Tate shares collections and expertise to build a network that exchanges knowledge, skills and resources to strengthen the contemporary visual arts ecology in the UK. The announcement comes alongside news that Tate has moved its national partnerships department to Liverpool under director Helen Legg.
The new members range in size and include universities, collection-based galleries and non-venue organisations, all with a commitment to better reflecting their local communities and developing close connections with a range of audiences. Among the new Plus Tate partners are Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), whose programme reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation; DASH, a disabled-led organisation that creates opportunities for disabled artists to develop their creative practice; Void Gallery, a contemporary art space commissioning a diverse range of artistic practices which places participation, engagement and learning at its heart; and Autograph, which explores identity, representation, human rights and social justice through photography and film.
The reach of the network across the UK is demonstrated by its new members, with two galleries in Dundee and four in London, along with a host of institutions across northern England, galleries in southern coastal towns and another in Derry~Londonderry.
Helen Legg, Director of Tate Liverpool, said: 'The significance of a coordinated, national network of galleries has never been clearer with the impact of COVID on the sector, and the spirit of sharing knowledge and skills as we build back will only become more important. The new members bring with them a wealth of insight and artistic excellence, while each has a distinctive voice that will strengthen the network further. The value and potential of Plus Tate lies in the agency of its diverse members, which are spread across the UK’s regions and communities, to collectively shape the future of the visual arts sector in the UK.’
Mary Cremin, Director, Void Gallery, said: ‘These are challenging times in the arts sector so to be part of this network will allow Void to work and collaborate with our colleagues across the UK to create new models and ways of thinking in how to create a sustainable and supportive arts sector and community.’
The Plus Tate network is a major part of Tate’s national partnerships division which has moved to Liverpool,, reaffirming a regional ambition and focus. This underlines Tate’s commitment to supporting a national visual arts infrastructure, and its understanding of the specific challenges facing the sector beyond London. As well as Plus Tate, the National partnerships team work with Tate Britain to facilitate the Turner Prize during the years it is held outside London, and coordinate the British Art Network. All four Tate sites are members of Plus Tate.
The new Plus Tate partners are: Autograph, Gasworks, Iniva and The Showroom in London; Cooper Gallery and Dundee Contemporary Arts in Dundee; DASH in Shropshire; De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea; Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea; Leeds Art Gallery; New Art Exchange in Nottingham; Site Gallery in Sheffield; and Void Gallery in Derry~Londonderry. Manchester Art Gallery will also join its sister gallery, the Whitworth, as part of the network.
Elvira Dyangani Ose, Director at The Showroom, said: ‘We are committed to supporting artists who have not previously had a significant exposure in London and have a strong track record of producing ambitious commissions with artists at a critical point in their careers. Organisational partnerships are key to expanding the potential of our work, we collaborate with a broad network of like-minded organisations both in the UK and abroad, and we could not be more delighted to be joining Plus Tate at this time.’
Mike Layward, Artistic Director DASH, said: 'To be invited to join the Plus Tate network is an important moment for DASH that recognises the work that we undertake supporting and commissioning the work of Disabled artists and the support that DASH gives to mainstream galleries to work with Disabled artists. We look forward to developing relationships that are mutually beneficial across the network that will allow us all to grow and diversify as organisations.’
Judith Harry, Executive Director, Site Gallery said: ‘I am thrilled that Site Gallery is joining Plus Tate. The network presents a real opportunity for me and my team to connect with colleagues across the country, sharing experiences and expertise as well as facing our future challenges together. There is such a need in these uncertain times for the strength of networks and our membership couldn't be more timely.’