Capital Production Circle

Outset / Government Art Collection Fund, 2016–2019

The Outset / Government Art Collection Fund is an innovative philanthropic funding scheme benefitting an institutional collection, and it embodies a new creative partnership between the private and the public sector.

The Government Art Collection (GAC) is a national collection (established in 1989) that promotes British art, culture, history and creativity. To continue to represent the UK in this rapidly changing international environment and to reflect the energy and diversity of British culture, adding new works of contemporary art into the Collection is essential.

The objective of the Outset / GAC Fund was to gift 12 important works of art to the Collection. The participating artists were: Fiona Banner, Zarina Bhimji, Pablo Bronstein, Shezad Dawood, Siobhán Hapaska, Anne Hardy, Isaac Julien, Goshka Macuga, Laure Prouvost, Gillian Wearing, Nicole Wermers and Richard Wentworth. These 12 artists have an ongoing relationship with Outset, and as part of the scheme received funds towards the production of new work for public display. In recognition of this grant, each artist was invited to donate an existing or new work that they felt would represent them suitably and enrich the GAC.

This partnership’s impact was twofold: the support of contemporary artists to produce new work to be displayed in public spaces, allowing their powerful voices to engage wider audiences, and the enrichment of an important public British collection which operates across international boundaries.

The Outset / Government Art Collection Fund was launched at No. 11 Downing Street in February 2016 and came to an end in 2019.

Works donated to date include:

  • Anne Hardy, Detached, 2009, diasec mounted c-type print.
  • Isaac Julien, No Moon Shining (Ten Thousand Waves), 2010, photography.
  • Shezad Dawood, Wolf Panel V, 2013, acrylic on vintage textile.
  • Gilian Wearing, Signs that say what you want to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED IN LIFE THE POINT IS TO KNOW IT AND TO UNDERSTAND IT., 1992-3, photography.
  • Laure Prouvost, At Night This Water Turns Black, 2014.
  • Fiona Banner, Imeweyour, 2018, unique archival giclee print on canvas.
  • Siobhán Hapaska, snake, apple, tree, 2018, aluminium, artificial snakeskin, fibreglass, two-pack acrylic paint, oak, lacquer.
  • Zarina Bhimji, Shadows and disturbances, 2007, photographic print.

New productions and projects supported to date include:

  • Anne Hardy: production of new audio works Pitch Black, a smooth echo and An Abandonment was accountable for the accumulation of acid after dark for the solo exhibition Field at Modern Art Oxford (7 November 2015 – 10 January 2016).
  • Fiona Banner: production of Chinook and related new work for her exhibition Wp Wp Wp at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2014).
  • Gillian Wearing: production of new 3D-printed work My Mother’s Charms (2016).
  • Goshka Macuga: production of Of What It Is, That It Is; Of What Is Not, That Is Not, a work commissioned for dCOUMENTA (13) (2012).
  • Isaac Julien: production of one phase of new work Stones against Diamonds (2015), film triptych.
  • Laure Prouvost: production and presentation of the installation Before Before (2011) and the commission After After for the 12th Biennale de Lyon 2013.
  • Pablo Bronstein: production of new wallpaper work for the exhibition Pablo Bronstein and the Treasures of Chatsworth (2015) at Nottingham Contemporary and Chatsworth.
  • Richard Wentworth: production of new installation work The Repatriation for the 12th Havana Biennial (2015).
  • Shezad Dawood: production of solo exhibition Leviathan, shown in Venice at Palazzina Cannonica (2017).

Government Art Collection

The Government Art Collection (GAC) is a national collection established over 114 years ago and contains over 14,000 works of art. It promotes British art, culture, history and creativity, and contributes to cultural diplomacy through the display of work by British artists in Government buildings around the world as well as in the UK.

From 10 and 11 Downing Street and Ministerial offices to Embassies and Residences worldwide, GAC works of art are seen by many thousands of visitors including Heads of State, public figures and members of the general public.

The GAC has a unique role and includes work from the 16th century to the present day. As well as carefully curated displays in the UK and internationally, the GAC delivers occasional temporary exhibitions and lends regularly to museums and galleries for public exhibitions and projects.

The GAC’s audience is increasingly sophisticated, visually literate and art aware. To continue to represent the UK in this rapidly changing international environment, adding new works of contemporary art into the Collection is essential. This also allows the GAC to continue to support British artists while reflecting the energy and diversity of British culture now.

The need for outstanding creative education is particularly acute in the industrial areas of the Midlands and the North of England, where Outset’s support during 2019/20 will enable us to work with young people from 15 schools, and achieve wider impact through teacher training and object loans. We look forward to discussing the project further with you as it progresses.  We are delighted to be partnering with Outset on this initiative, which simply could not take place without the exceptional commitment of the Partners.

Dr Tristram Hunt, Director, Victoria & Albert Museum