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British Council Arts
 Nathan Coley Camouflage Bayrakli Mosque  British Council Collection Image copyright - the artist
Bill Woodrow Long Distance Information (1983) British Council Collection Image copyright - the artist
Long Distance Information

This exhibition includes 18 works by 17 artists drawn from the British Council Collection, including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Richard Long, Mona Hatoum and Nathan Coley. It is accompanied by an education programme of artist-led workshops, films and discussions, and opened at the National Gallery of Bengal Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh (24 January - 15 February), before travelling onto PNCA in Islamabad, Pakistan (5 March – 11 April 2008). The exhibition will now open at the Museum of Fine Art, Almaty, Kazakhstan from 29 April - 13 May 2008 with a series of collagraph workshops for students at the Almaty Academy, led by Sarah Gillett, Visual Arts Manager at British Council London.

Long Distance Information is part of a larger British Council programme, The New Silk Road, and traces the way in which British sculptors throughout the 20th century have sought new means through which to express themselves and the world around them. The accelerating pace of change, globalisation, the increasing flow of people and ideas into and out of Britain have all contributed to a rapidly altering landscape and in response, artists experimented with form, appropriating new materials, and irreversibly shaking up the idea that sculpture is simply the study of objects on plinths. The exhibition also makes reference to ways in which our traditions have been enriched by artists who have brought ideas from outside the Western mainstream: Mona Hatoum, for example, a Palestinian-born artist who grew up in Lebanon and has lived in Britain since becoming a student in London. Her ‘Prayer Mat’ lies on the floor like a velvet invitation until, close up, one notices the forest of dressmaker’s pins from which it is actually made. And in Nathan Coley’s ‘Camouflage Bayrakli Mosque’ a British artist has become sensitised to the political situation in Belgrade shortly after the end of the Balkan war. Of the two hundred mosques that existed in the city before the war, the Bayrakli Mosque is the only in use. Coley has recreated it in dazzling, striated dress, a sort of battle-ready edifice standing on a mirrored plinth, which only serves to magnify the clash and confusion that surrounds it.

Full list of artists in the exhibition:

Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Anthony Caro, Barry Flanagan, Bill Woodrow, Richard Long, Mona Hatoum, Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Wentworth, Jane Simpson, Mariele Neudecker, David Shrigley, Simon Patterson, Jim Lambie, Wood and Harrison and Nathan Coley.

Bill Woodrow - Long Distance Information (1983) British Council Collection. © The Artist

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