Received Wisdom

An Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme Exhibition

In the first of Sunderland Culture's brand-new series of Arts Council Collection National Partner exhibitions, they present Received Wisdom – a thought provoking exhibition that takes its title from an artwork of the same name by artist Amikam Toren which poses the question – Who is deemed ‘creative’?

Received Wisdom challenges the notion that creativity, boundary-breaking and dynamism are the preserve of youth. The exhibition presents a body of work created by artists working in their later years and challenges ideas about what is expected of us at different stages in our lives.

Sunderland Culture's exhibition page.

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The Arts Council Collection : Received Wisdom
The Arts Council Collection : Received Wisdom

Watch: Artist Series

Sunderland Culture's Public Engagement and Learning Officer, Posy Jowett, presents a series of films looking closely at works featured in National Partners Programme Exhibition, Received Wisdom:


1) John Sheehy, Music in the Frying-Pan Pub Brick Lane in the Sixties, Date unknown


2) Rose Wylie, Girl on Liner, 1996


3) David Medalla, A Prophecy, 1989


4) Amikam Toren, Received Wisdom, 2006

Featured Works

Learning Resources

Creative Challenge

Make a paper doll chain of the Girl on Liner by Rose Wylie and her friends, dressed for a party on the ship.
Creative Challenge

Make an abstract artwork inspired by spring and the painting Spring Colour Study No. 19 by Mary Webb.
Creative Challenge

Create a self-portrait about life in Sunderland after COVID-19 inspired by The Prophecy by David Medalla.

The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.