Report of the Interim Artistic Director.
(N.B. – To be read in conjunction with the non-public appendices at Item 19)
The Board received a report of the on Interim Artistic Director providing an overview of the Visual Arts department’s current areas of activity and strategic focus, outlining the impact of our programme over the past year, and points to key future strategic initiatives.
The Head of Visual Arts advised that she was proud of the team as the department had managed to achieve great continuity in comparison to peers in other organisations who had been furloughed. Before the lockdown, huge audiences were being achieved from touring exhibitions. The postponement and cancellation of planned 2020 exhibitions had had a major financial impact, but the team were keen to overcome this challenging time and improve diversity and gender balance of the upcoming programme.
A Member queried why the Into the Night exhibition was hugely successful in Vienna but not in the UK. Officers advised that it may not have delivered as it tried to do too much and there were mistakes in how it was run leading to mixed reviews.
A Member noted the huge success of Basquiat and asked what the Centre did right so this success could be replicated. It was noted key learning from successes was important, but that Basquiat was a cult figure with a huge following with broad appeal which made the exhibition hard to replicate. It was hoped the upcoming programme would inspire success with great diversity and young audiences.