Collective curated Go On Being So to open at Newlyn Art Gallery

3 February 2020

We are pleased to announce that as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme, Newlyn Art Gallery will be presenting Go On Being So, an exhibition curated by MBA Collective, a group of art, photography and graphics students from Mounts Bay Academy aged between 12 and 16 years. 

An incidental conversation between the 14 students around what it means to be a global citizen was the starting point for their exploration of the Arts Council Collection, bringing together an intriguing selection of works that say something about the world today and their place in it. 

James Green, Newlyn Art Gallery Director explained, “Our involvement in the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme has given us an extraordinary opportunity to test new curatorial models that invite groups and individuals to have their voice heard as part of our main gallery programme. This exhibition is the first in that mould.”

MBA Collective looked for works which resonated with them, while also considering pieces that illustrated issues other young people in different parts of the world may be facing.

“We chose works that said something about big issues for us personally, and are universal to people of our age, such as mental health and equality,” explained the Collective.

Artists include Larry Achiampong & David BlandyClaudette JohnsonYoung In Hong, and Ross Sinclair.

We have been delighted by the ideas and insights of the MBA Collective. We have learnt a huge amount from them about the works they’ve selected and the issues faced by their generation,” said James.


The title Go On Being So refers to their quest for strength and resilience; “things might not be too good but there’s still life, you’re still living, there’s still beauty in it”, as demonstrated in works such as Karl Ohiri’s How to Mend A Broken Heart, and Rod Dickinson’s Egg Bag. The title also acts as a provocation, reflected in works such as Gavin Jantjes’ Freedom Hunters and Donald Rodney’s Self Portrait: 'Black Men Public Enemy'; “it then becomes a challenge: Go On Being So – Can we? Should we?” - MBA Collective, Nov 2019

Jill Constantine, Director, Arts Council Collection has said "We are delighted that the students of Mounts Bay Academy have been given this opportunity to work directly with the Arts Council Collection and take real ownership of their project. In a time when there is so much turmoil in the world, the opportunity to hear the voices of a younger generation has never been more important."

Go On Being So shows at Newlyn Art Gallery from 14 February - 30 May 2020.


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.