British Council Collection: My Yard
2 October-23 December 2009
Artists Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane celebrate British people and places by presenting their selection of urban landscapes from the British Council Collection. My Yard examines Britain’s industrial history and urban realities as seen by artists throughout the 20th century.
Read the transcript of Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane in conversation about their selection of works
Deller and Kane said, ‘This exhibition has ended up being about home. The subject may not be immediately recognizable though, (especially to anyone born after 1970) as in the 1980s the UK got a sort of TV makeover – a lick of paint and some up-lighters etc. but the works we are showing indicate a Britain just below the plasterboard of this ‘flip’ job, a draughty and slightly damp property with foundations that you feel connect it, back through mud and bones, to all you think of when you talk of British history.’
Works include Edward Wadsworth’s dynamic landscapes which reflect the upheaval of industry and World War I, and L.S. Lowry’s painting of his native Manchester, Industrial City, 1948. The Boyle Family find unexpected beauty in the built environment, while John Davies explores urban archaeologies in his photographic studies of Sheffield and Stockport. For Paul Noble symbolic forms of architecture give rise to a fantastical textscape.
This display marks the British Council’s 75th anniversary. It is one of five displays presented over one year and selected by guest curators. The final display in Spring 2010 will result from an international competition of curators worldwide.
Hiscox’s sponsorship of the Whitechapel Gallery’s presentation of great collections underlines its commitment to promoting and protecting the very best in modern and contemporary art.