Hunterian Announced As a Co-commissioning Partner for Imperial War Museum

Five major partners have been appointed as co-commissioners by Imperial War Museums (IWM), with each set to receive £250,000. The five are: Hunterian in Glasgow; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead; Ulster University in Derry-Londonderry and Leicester Museums. Working with five world-leading artists, these joint commissions will be displayed between 2023 and 2024 and explore themes ranging from care work in conflict to the current refugee crisis.

The partnership means that brand new works by Michael Rakowitz, Heather Phillipson, Compagnie XY and Cathy Wilkes will soon be seen across the UK as part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, a national programme of 22 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict and created in partnership with IWM and 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary.

Glasgow-based artist Cathy Wilkes will have a new body of work commissioned by The Hunterian when the project will allow Wilkes an extended period of reflection on questions of war, conflict and violence. In addition to the artistic component of the commission, The Hunterian will facilitate a public programme that considers relevant themes as well as supporting a community engagement strand of activity within Glasgow.

This new initiative continues the vision and reach of 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary and is made possible thanks to the success of Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed film They Shall Not Grow Old. A share of the film’s £2.5 million royalties will see investment in artists and arts experiences.

Curator of Contemporary Art at The Hunterian, Dominic Paterson “The Hunterian is enormously grateful for the opportunity afforded by this Major Commission. We wish to use it to consider how experiences of conflict and violence might be conveyed in art beyond monumental or heroic representations that valorise war.

We are honoured that Cathy Wilkes has agreed to be the commissioned artist for this project. Her work encompasses both abstraction and intense social realism to convey themes of universal relevance: attachment, care, loss, separation, exposure, and revelation. In her installations, Wilkes achieves a radical form of empathy, finding analogues for experiences that are often beyond verbal expression. She is uniquely placed to think anew about what it means for human beings to be exposed to violence, and to challenge the ways in which that experience is shared in art.”

The IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund commissions will go on public display across the UK between 2022 and 2024.

For further information please visit

Irene Brown

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