Windrush Statue Unveiled – Uta Kögelsberger Wins RA’s Charles Wollaston Award – National Gallery Announces Van Gogh Show for Bicentenary  


A group of people representing the Windrush generation joined HRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at London Waterloo Station (22 June 2022) to witness the unveiling of the first National Windrush Monument.

“I am grateful to the members of the Windrush Commemoration Committee for their boundless dedication to ensuring this monument comes to fruition, and hope the Caribbean communities who we have sought to serve to believe that we have done them justice.” – Artist/Sculptor Basil Watson, who created the Monument, said: The statue was erected with a £1 million funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; the Monument symbolises the courage, commitment and resilience of the thousands of men, women and children who travelled to the UK to start new lives from 1948 to 1971.

The three figures – a man, woman, and child – dressed in their “Sunday best” are climbing a mountain of suitcases together, demonstrating the inseparable bond between the Windrush pioneers and their descendants and the hopes and aspirations of their generation as they arrive to start new lives in the UK.

The Windrush generation has come to be defined as those who emigrated from the Caribbean to Britain between the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 and the Immigration Act 1971.

Following public engagement in 2021, in which Basil Watson’s design resonated the most, he was commissioned to create the Monument by the Windrush Commemoration Committee (WCC), chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE DL. Basil worked with a team at Pangolin Editions in Stroud, Gloucester, to complete the Monument.

The Monument’s location, London Waterloo station, was chosen due to its significance in the Windrush story, as thousands of people who arrived from the Caribbean passed through the station on their way to start their new lives across the country. Top Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst

Uta Kögelsberger-RA-artlyst
Uta Kögelsberger Photo © Artlyst

Uta Kögelsberger Wins RA’s Charles Wollaston Award 

The prestigious £25,000 Charles Wollaston Award has been won by Uta Kögelsberger for her video work, Cull, in the Royal Academy’s 254th Summer Exhibition. Established in 1978 and presented as the ‘most distinguished work’ in the exhibition, it is one of the most significant art prizes awarded in the UK.

Kögelsberger’s 5-channel video installation Cull follows the gigantic task of the clean-up process after the devastating impact of wildfires. It charts the efforts of the teams responsible for cutting down the dead trees that are now endangering the remaining structures and roads. In a metaphor for the suspended sense of emergency, we find ourselves in, each tree is documented as it comes crashing to the ground, seemingly out of nowhere, like dead carcasses, sometimes falling with such force that the earth beneath them shakes.

Cull is the anchor piece of Kögelsberger’s multi-faceted project Fire Complex that she initiated after the 2020 California Castle Fire destroyed 174,000 acres of Sequoia National Forest, including an estimated 10-14% of the world’s Giant Sequoias and a large part of the community of Sequoia Crest, which also included Kögelsberger’s cabin.

Fire Complex brings together photography and video in the public realm to raise momentum and resources for regenerating our forests. It also includes an ongoing collaborative replanting project. It is a project that starts with the person communicating a universal emergency and sets about making a difference in the future.

The judges for this year’s award were Martha Kapos, Ian Mckeever RA and Caroline Worthington. Previous winners of the Charles Wollaston Award: Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga (2021), Joe Tilson RA (2019), Mike Nelson RA (2018), Isaac Julien RA (2017), David Nash RA (2016), Rose Wylie RA (2015), Wolfgang Tillmans RA (2014), El Anatsui Hon RA (2013), Anselm Kiefer Hon RA (2012), Alison Wilding RA (2011) and Yinka Shonibare RA (2010).

Over £70,000 is offered in awards and prizes for every category of work in the Summer Exhibition. Further awards and accolades for this year’s exhibition will be announced.

Uta Kögelsberger is a London-based visual artist. Kögelsberger’s artistic practice articulates and engages with social and political concerns through photography, video, sculpture, and sound. Recent projects have included Fire Complex, a series of billboards and video works in response to the impact of the 2020 California wildfires (2020-ongoing), Uncertain Subjects, a durational billboard performance in the public realm in response to the social and political landscape in the UK in the run-up to Brexit (2017-2019), the installation Orchestra of Rocks bringing together sculpture, sound and live performances to create a visceral interpretation of the impact of climate change (2016-2019), and the video installation Off-Road, part of a trilogy of works investigating how the notion of freedom is lived out in the Western USA about landscape (2008-2014).

Kögelsberger’s work has been exhibited at the Vincent Price Museum, Los Angeles, Northridge Galleries, Los Angeles, Art Night, London, Brighton Photo Biennial, Bluecoat, Liverpool, Spacex Exeter, Southwark Park Galleries, London, the Architectural Association, London, the Barbican, London, Laurence Miller Gallery, NYC, and the Glassell Project Space MFAH, Houston. She has been awarded the Stanley Picker Fellowship, the Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, the EAA Award for Art in Architecture and the SPD silver medal for editorial photography. Her photographic essays have been published in Wired, Esquire, GQ and American Photography. Her work is held in public and private collections, including the MFAH (Museum of Modern Art Houston) and the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum).

Van Gogh Sunflowers-National Gallery © Artlyst
Van Gogh Sunflowers-National Gallery Photo © Artlyst

National Gallery Announce Van Gogh Show for Bicentenary  

The National Gallery will be 200 years old on 10 May 2024, and to start the Bicentenary celebration rolling, marking two centuries of bringing people and paintings together, the Gallery has a power-packed program which will excite even the novice art-lover.

For 12 months from 10 May 2024, they will celebrate the past and look forward to our future with a year-long festival of art, creativity and imagination, setting the tone for our third century.

The Gallery invites everyone to join the celebration as part of an ambitious programme of events and exhibitions that extends from the Gallery into Trafalgar Square across the nation and to the world through a series of online and virtual experiences. ‘Your pictures, your stories.’

The Gallery will make it easier for everyone to share a space with some of the greatest paintings in the world. From seeing a real work in the context of your local museum or Gallery to enjoying a dive into the virtual history of the nation’s collection, everyone can find new ways to connect with art.

As a commitment to the next 200 years, they will close the celebrations with the latest addition to our building in Trafalgar Square, and a redisplay of the collection – a new entrance to the Sainsbury Wing and a welcome fit for the 21st century. These are just some of the things they are planning…

The Gallery across the nation  

NG200: National Treasures

Twelve simultaneous exhibitions open on the same day – 10 May 2024 – at 12 museums and galleries across the 12 regions of the four nations of the UK, each centred around a National Treasure. Over half the UK population will be within an hour’s journey of a National Gallery Masterpieces.

NG200: Art Road Trip

Two Travelling Art Studios will tour the UK throughout the year, bringing National Gallery workshops and learning activities to 200 different communities that otherwise would not have ready access.

NG200: Jeremy Deller’s Triumph of Art

A national public art commission is celebrating 200 years of the National Gallery – showing how festivals are a part of art, culture and civic life and how art and artists can be catalysts of collaboration and joy.

The Gallery across the world

NG200: 200 Creators

The Gallery will collaborate with 200 social media creators across the UK, celebrating 200 years of the Gallery as a beacon of creativity. NG200: Behind the Scenes

A new online film series that takes viewers behind the scenes of the National Gallery, creating a continuous micro-documentary that engages people with critical aspects of the NG200 programme.

NG200: 200 Paintings for 200 Years

They open the door to the entire history of a painting in one place, sharing the wealth of the National Gallery’s research, digitally available for everyone, everywhere, anytime.

NG200: The Virtual Gallery

The Gallery will create a new, large-scale digital Gallery experience for the Bicentenary, available via their website.

The Gallery in London

NG200: Summer on the Square

A festival in Trafalgar Square, programmed with and for children, young people and their families to engage new and diverse audiences and designed to unlock the nation’s creativity and bring the collection to the streets of Westminster.

NG200: Van Gogh

An exhibition featuring a stunning array of the artist’s most essential and well-loved works alongside paintings from private collections never seen in public before. The first major Van Gogh show in the UK since 2010 promises to be the most spectacular EVER and comes precisely 100 years after the Gallery acquired Van Gogh’s Chair and Sunflowers (both painted in 1888).

NG200: 14th century Siena

The first-ever full-scale exhibition of early Sienese art outside Italy. An opportunity to see some of Europe’s earliest and most exquisite paintings ever produced. Be there for the beginning of art history…

NG200: National Gallery Stories

The story of the National Gallery and the people who have played a part in its 200-year history is delivered through a series of digital experiences that will create new personal connections with the collection.

NG200: Welcome

A suite of capital projects designed by a team led by Selldorf Architects that will benefit all those who visit the Gallery. Sensitive interventions in our building will reshape the National Gallery for its third century and for the next generation of visitors. A transformation of the Sainsbury Wing entrance, the public realm and visitor amenities, a new Members’ House and a new Research Centre will provide a more inspiring and sustainable experience for our millions of visitors every year. They are also planning to transform our Learning Centre, allowing us to be far more ambitious with educational offers to become the nation’s art classroom. NG200: The Main Event

A dramatic redisplay of the entire National Gallery collection. This will be visitor-focussed with a new emphasis on thematic displays, pairings and surprising ‘artistic conversations’ within a broadly chronological framework.

And finally….

NG200: Sunflowers Surprise

The Gallery is making some inspiring plans for one of our most popular and well-loved paintings – Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1888) – as part of our national anniversary celebrations.

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