Wednesday 02 December 2020

 

  • Emma Ridgway named as inaugural Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator
  • Chief Curator at Modern Art Oxford will support artist Sonia Boyce in Venice
  • Boyce commissioned by British Council to represent UK at 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2022

The British Council is pleased to announce that Emma Ridgway has been selected as the Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator of the British Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, running April to November 2022.

Ridgway will support artist Sonia Boyce OBE RA in presenting a major solo exhibition of new work. Boyce, a Royal Academician and Professor at University of the Arts London, was announced earlier this year as the artist commissioned by British Council to represent the UK at La Biennale Arte 2022. She came to prominence as a key figure in the burgeoning Black-British art scene of the early 1980s and is known for her highly innovative, experimental and collaborative approach to artmaking.

Ridgway is Chief Curator at leading contemporary arts organisation Modern Art Oxford, where she has led the artistic programme of exhibitions and learning since 2015. In the role, she has overseen exhibitions of major artists including Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid and, upcoming in Autumn 2021, former British representative at La Biennale di Venezia, Anish Kapoor. Ridgway was previously a curator at the Barbican Centre, the Royal Society of Arts, Serpentine Gallery and Khoj International Artists’ Association in New Delhi.

Ridgway was selected from a highly competitive shortlist of ten candidates who responded to the British Council’s open call for applications in September 2020. The role is aimed at supporting the career development of an individual who has strong curatorial experience but would benefit from the international exposure and insight that the opportunity offers. The final selection panel included Sonia Boyce and Emma Dexter, Director of Visual Arts at the British Council and Commissioner of the British Pavilion.

This is the first curatorial post to be sponsored by British philanthropist and contemporary art collector Shane Akeroyd, who has generously pledged ten years’ worth of support for the Associate Curator of the British Pavilion art exhibitions in Venice.

Emma Ridgway said:

“It is an honour to be granted this exciting opportunity to become the inaugural Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator of the British Pavilion. I am completely delighted to collaborate with Sonia Boyce and the team at the British Council. It will be wonderful to learn from Boyce’s exploratory creative process as we work together to shape a unique exhibition for La Biennale Arte 2022.”

Emma Dexter, Director of Visual Arts at the British Council and Commissioner of the British Pavilion, said: 

“The British Council is delighted to have selected such a dynamic and accomplished curator in Emma Ridgway to oversee Sonia Boyce’s British Pavilion exhibition at La Biennale Arte 2022. We were impressed by the way Emma described the importance of exhibition design in relation to visitor experience, as well as her sensitivity to the nature of creative collaboration – qualities which have clearly enabled her to mount many high-profile exhibitions with great success. I can’t wait to see what comes of this exciting partnership!” 

Shane Akeroyd, supporter of the Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator post, said:

“It is an honour to support the position of Associate Curator of the British Pavilion for the next ten years and to have Emma Ridgway taking up the inaugural post. Supporting visual arts has been an important part of my life for many years and La Biennale Arte is one of the highlights of the global Arts calendar. The British Pavilion is always one of the most inspirational at La Biennale Arte and I look forward to seeing the results of Emma’s collaboration with Sonia Boyce in 2022.”

The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK's artists, architects, designers and curators. These exhibitions, and the British Council’s Venice Fellowships initiative introduced in 2016, help make the British Pavilion a major platform for discussion about contemporary art and architecture.

ENDS

 

Notes to Editor

The British Pavilion is commissioned by the British Council; please ensure you credit the British Council in all editorial features.

Full press pack, including images, here: http://bit.ly/37bEkHW 

For media enquiries, please contact:

Vicci Nelmes, Media Relations Officer, Arts: vicci.nelmes@britishcouncil.org; +447933 386075 

Exhibition details:

The 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, April – November 2022 

The British Pavilion is commissioned and managed by British Council Visual Arts.

Commissioner: Emma Dexter, British Council Director Visual Arts.

For latest news on the British Council commission: visualarts.britishcouncil.org/

For British Council press office updates: britishcouncil.org/contact/press

Follow updates on the #BritishPavilion via: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org 

About the British Pavilion 

Artists commissioned to represent Britain have included: Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Ben Nicholson, Anthony Caro, Bridget Riley, Richard Long, Frank Auerbach, Barry Flanagan, Howard Hodgkin,  Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor, Richard Hamilton, Leon Kossoff, Rachel Whiteread, Gary Hume, Mark Wallinger, Chris Ofili, Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, Steve McQueen, Mike Nelson, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Lucas, Phyllida Barlow and Cathy Wilkes (2019).

To find out more about previous British Pavilion exhibitions and British Council Visual Arts visit: venicebiennale.britishcouncil.org/history and visualarts.britishcouncil.org/

About the Venice Fellowships

The Venice Fellowships enable students and early stage career artists to spend a month in Venice during one of the world’s most significant art and architecture biennales:

venicebiennale.britishcouncil.org/fellowship/how-apply

About Shane Akeroyd

Shane Akeroyd is President IHS Markit Asia Pacific and Global Head of Account Management. A British philanthropist and contemporary art collector, Shane has been supporting visual arts and art institutions for many years. He has been a Patron of the Tate since 2004, a Founding Patron of the Chisenhale Gallery since 2009, and is on the Boards of Directors at Artists Space, New York and Para Site, Hong Kong.