An Arts Council Collection National Partner Exhibition

A Certain Kind of Light explores how artists have responded to light, its materiality, transience and effect.  The exhibition brings together artworks that reflect the relationship between light and a wide range of themes from brightness, colour and perception to transformation, energy and the passage of time. Encompassing paintings, sculpture, video, photography, drawing and immersive installations, it features artworks created from the 1960s to the present day by almost thirty leading artists including David Batchelor, Ceal Floyer, Raphael Hefti, Runa Islam, Anish Kapoor, L S Lowry, Katie Paterson, Peter Sedgley, Rachel Whiteread and Cerith Wyn Evans.

Given its function as the basis for vision, light has long fascinated artists as both a material and as a subject. The exhibition considers the different ways artists have explored the various aspects of light, from its importance as a source of illumination, as a pure sculptural material, as a mysterious force and as a source of energy that can be conceptually converted into other forms.

Artists: Roger Ackling, David Batchelor, Angela Bulloch, Garry Fabian-Miller, Ceal Floyer, Mark Garry, Raphael Hefti, Shirazeh Houshiary, Gary Hume, Runa Islam, Anish Kapoor, Peter Lanyon, Brad Lochore, L S Lowry, Elizabeth Magill, Julian Opie, Katie Paterson, John Riddy, Peter Sedgley, Mark Titchner, Rachel Whiteread, Paul Winstanley, Cerith Wyn Evans, Toby Ziegler.




We stared at the Moon from the centre of the Sun: Haroon Mirza Curates the Arts Council Collection

Curated by internationally acclaimed artist Haroon Mirza from the Arts Council Collection, We stared at the Moon from the centre of the Sun, presents works from the Collection alongside new works made by Mirza for the exhibition.

Often taking the role of composer, Mirza creates atmospheric environments through the linking together of art works often using light, sound, music and elements of architecture. For this new exhibition modern and contemporary painting, sculpture, installation, and film and video works are brought together to explore how our experience of the present is influenced by the juxtaposition between the archaic, or the obsolete, and an imagined future.

The title of the exhibition centres on the recurrence of solar and lunar symbolism in our attempts to understand the past and our images of the future. Such symbolism also relates to the shared realm we all inhabit – the earth – the social sphere, the cycles of natural phenomena, shapes and symbols as endless as the circle itself. In this exhibition Mirza tests the friction and relationship between existing artworks, to create dialogues between them that unfold along the recurrent lines of the circular shape. The exhibition is curated as a kind of spiralling, cyclical narrative to create a visual soundscape that triggers new narratives and relationships.



The Everyday and Extraordinary

An Arts Council Collection National Partners Exhibition

The Everyday and Extraordinary explores the potential of objects to be transformed and seen in new and insightful ways. Showcasing over seventy modern and contemporary artworks, this exhibition celebrates the wonder of physical objects in a pre-dominantly digital age where artistic creativity helps us all to see the world in extraordinary ways.

Found objects have been transformed in many ways and for different reasons by artists; used to communicate a particular idea or concept such as Surrealism’s use of humour and satire, or Pop Art’s direct appropriation of items from popular culture. It is the relationship between the found object as artistic material, content and subject-matter that provides the basis for this exhibition which presents a Wunderkammer (a room of wonder) of artworks drawn from the Arts Council Collection and Birmingham Museums.

This exhibition presents an eclectic and surreal environment where the everyday and the extraordinary come together.

The Everyday and Extraordinary is a touring exhibition conceived by Birmingham Museums Trust, in partnership with Towner Art Gallery as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme 2016-19. 


Please note the work list may differ show to show.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Galleries 12 and 13
9 June - 9 September 2018

Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
29 September 2018 - 6 January 2019



The Arts Council Collection : The Everyday and Extraordinary
The Arts Council Collection : The Everyday and Extraordinary

At Altitude

An Arts Council Collection National Partners Exhibition

This exhibition explores how our experience of landscape, time and space has altered through the introduction of new elevated perspectives on the world that were unknown to earlier generations.

Ranging from early aviation to drone surveillance the exhibition charts these changing perspectives, illustrating how perception has shifted from when aerial images were rare and exhilarating, to the all-enveloping, but strangely flattening vantage point of Google Earth and satellite technologies that grant access to places and information one is not usually afforded.

At Altitude presents historical and contemporary works that elucidate the links between the ever-changing methods of observing the world and how this has been interpreted by artists through painting, sculpture, photography and film.

Artists include Mishka Henner, Jananne Al-Ani, Tacita Dean, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cornelia Parker and more.

Towner Art Gallery exhibition page



Explore this Exhibition

Artist Profile: Carol Rhodes

Curator Brian Cass, Head of Exhibitions at Towner Art Gallery, focuses on the work of Carol Rhodes, Glasgow-based painter whose work often depicts oblique landscapes, detached views of non-places as if seen from a low-flying aircraft.
Artist Interview: Mishka Henner

Manchester-based artist Mishka Henner discuses the ideas behind his 2011, Dutch Landscapes, series, works from which are included in At Altitude.
Store to Tour

This Store to Tour film features local para-glider Steve Purdle, who reflects on his own unique relationship with the Sussex landscape and its aerial beauty alongside contributions from Towner Gallery staff.

Featured Works

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Towner’s Head of Learning, Marina Castledine, describes the gallery’s successful Arts Award provision for a group of vulnerable young people and how National Partners exhibitions have inspired new creative pathways.
Haroon Mirza Curates the ACC

For Towner Art Gallery’s National Partners Exhibition, We Stared at the Moon from the Centre of the Sun, award-winning artist Haroon Mirza selected works from the Arts Council Collection alongside works from Towner's own Collection.

The Weather Garden

Anne Hardy curates the Arts Council Collection

British artist Anne Hardy curates the Arts Council Collection in Towner’s eighth and final exhibition as part of the National Partners Programme 2016-19. Anne Hardy’s work derives from places she calls ‘pockets of wild space’ – gaps in the urban space where materials, atmospheres, and emotions gather – using what she finds there to manifest sensory and unstable installation works that fully immerse you. Hardy brings this approach to her selection for Towner, envisioning the gallery space as a shifting impermanent landscape, a meditative environment shaped by local weather data, which has been translated into gently fluctuating light.

The Weather Garden encompasses over thirty artworks in a diverse range of media that are engaged with material, physical action, and sensuality. Artists include: Roger Ackling, Claire Barclay, Becky Beasley, Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Claude Cahun, Lynn Chadwick, Alice Channer, Lygia Clark, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Jane Coyle, Hubert Dalwood, Rita Donagh, Barry Flanagan, John Gibbons, Shirazeh Houshiary, Kim Lim, Sarah Lucas, Lucia Nogueira, Madeleine Pledge, Ima-Abasi Okon, Margaret Organ, Karin Ruggaber, Veronica Ryan, Seb Thomas, Edward Weston and Cathy Wilkes.

Towner Art Gallery's webpage.


The Arts Council Collection : The Weather Garden
The Arts Council Collection : The Weather Garden

Featured Works


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.