The Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF) has made a second £33,000 donation, part of a £100,000 three-year pledge, to the internationally recognised John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. The donation supports the “Digital Array: Barker-Mill Film and Video Commissions”, a series of pioneering commissions for a new media wall in the atrium of the contemporary art gallery in the heart of city.
John Hansard Gallery, part of the University of Southampton, will commission ten artists to create new film and video artworks for the Digital Array from 2019-2021, which will be visible from both inside and outside of the Gallery to those passing through Guildhall Square.
Woodrow Kernohan, Director, John Hansard Gallery, said: “Support from the Barker-Mill Foundation has allowed us to continue commissioning artists to create new and exciting digital artworks for audiences, both online and in person. We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from the Barker-Mill Foundation and look forward to welcoming physical audiences back to John Hansard Gallery in September, with an exciting new film commission by Larry Achiampong, ‘Relic Beyond’, presented both on our Digital Array screen and online through our website.”
During May and June John Hansard Gallery presented ‘How to Fly’ and ‘How to Live’ by artist David Blandy, both new online commissions reflecting the uncertain times we have found ourselves in with the coronavirus pandemic. The online exhibition series continued throughout July with ‘Glasshouse’ by Irish artist Niamh O’Malley, ahead of her solo exhibition at John Hansard Gallery in 2021.
Tim Jobling, Trustee at the Barker-Mill Foundation said: “The Digital Array commissions are such a dynamic and engaging programme that showcase experimental artists’ film and video. I am delighted John Hansard will be reopening in September so that everyone can once again see the artists’ work on display at the Gallery and that our ongoing support has helped make this possible. In the meantime, I urge people to visit the John Hansard Gallery website where many of the commissions are being streamed and I look forward to seeing the new film commission by Larry Achiampong.”
The Barker-Mill Foundation is a long-term supporter and champion of Southampton’s cultural scene, having made previous donations towards the creation of the new arts complex in Guildhall Square.
John Hansard Gallery relocated from its historic home on Highfield campus to its new purpose-built home in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter, a move that provided the Gallery with triple the amount of space for programming and to attract new, diverse and expanded audiences.
Image credit: Larry Achiampong, Sunday’s Best, installation image, John Hansard Gallery, 2020. Courtesy the artist and Copperfield London. Photo: Reece Straw