18/19 Acquisitions Announced

30 April 2019

We are delighted to unveil the full list of 59 works by 25 artists acquired for the nation over the last twelve months. Over 75% of the work’s acquired for 2018 – 2019 are by female artists building upon Arts Council Collection’s mission to support and champion the breadth and diversity of British art and artists.

This year’s acquisitions include works by a number of early career artists including Flo Brooks, Holly Hendry, Evan Ifekoya and Imran Perretta who are all under the age of 35. The Collection also supports artists from a broad age spectrum and has this year acquired Untitled, 1976 by Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010) made at an important period in Lowndes career in which she began to use hand-building processes to construct intricate, basket-like ceramic works.

The Collection has acquired several performance-based video works this year. Artists such as Frances Disley, Jacqueline Donachie, susan pui san lok, and Zadie Xa explore themes of self-betterment, authenticity and non-linear female narratives through experimental multi-channel works. A moving image highlight of this year’s acquisitions is 15 days, (2018), a single channel video work by London-based artist Imran Perretta. The work was inspired by the artist’s time spent with former inhabitants of the refugee camp near Calais, France that became known as the Jungle. Perretta’s work realises the camps state of uncertainty and animates a bleak environment against a backdrop of dank digital trees and muddy scrubland, interspersed with handheld footage shot on location in France. The work captures the intense emotions of living on the edge, bringing them to the centre of the viewer’s thoughts.

Nine works by London-based artist John Walter from his project CAPSID (2018–19) have also been acquired by the Collection. A collaboration with molecular virologist Professor Greg Towers of University College London, this project aims to bring new scientific knowledge about viral capsids to the attention of the wider public and addresses the crisis of representation surrounding viruses such as HIV.


Themes of protest and politics appear throughout the acquired works for 2018 – 2019 raising awareness of the ongoing global struggles for female representation, equality and freedom. The work of South Korean artist Young In Hong, now based in Bristol, investigates the processes and ideas around authorship, translation and reinterpretation.

Hong’s embroidery work Burning Love (2014) illustrates a scene from a 2008 candle-lit vigil in Seoul, South Korea which was triggered by the Korean government’s reversal of a ban on US beef imports. Composed using oversaturated blue, orange, yellow and red viscose rayon threads and cotton, the work portrays the crowd, each person marked by a dot of light. Through her painstaking method, Young In Hong encapsulates this under-reported event in a way which is poetic and poignant.

London-based artist Claudette Johnson is attuned to the politics of representation within the arts. Her drawings and paintings including the acquired work Figure in Blue (2018) honour the form, figure and strength of Black women whilst establishing presence and quiet power.

Artist Dawn Mellor, also based in London, deals with sexuality and violence and explores the intricacies of fame, identity and politics through her painted portraits. The Collection has acquired three of Mellor’s works made in 2013: Chief Financial Officer (Bette Davis)Museum Director (Judith Anderson) and Front Desk Manager (Whoopi Goldberg), which interrogate how mass-media figures are depicted and the way they are interpreted and understood.

Works from the Collection – spanning video, photography, performance, installation, painting, computer animation and sculpture – are lent to galleries and public institutions throughout the country. In 2018-19, 1,652 works from the Collection were shown in 126 different galleries and museums across the UK and internationally, reaching an audience of over 2.8 million people.


Explore the full list of New Acquisitions


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.