Reflection – British Art in an Age of Change

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PODCAST: Exhibition curator James Russell talks to Hull Is This editor Jerome Whittingham, as the installation of the artworks at The Ferens nears completion.

Reflection: British Art in an Age of Change opens at the Ferens Art Gallery on Saturday 17 August and features over 120 artworks. The works are drawn jointly from The Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art, and the Ferens collection. Reflection is curated by James Russell.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy important artworks new to Hull, in conversation with existing highlights from the local collection. A number of the Ferens works are rarely seen treasures, including watercolours, prints and drawings less often on public display due to their fragility to light.

Reflection presents a dynamic and diverse vision of Britain and British art, which asks questions about identity and belonging. What does it mean to be British? How do we define British art? How do we present ourselves to the world?

Some of the artists were born in Britain and travelled elsewhere through choice or necessity; others were born elsewhere and travelled here. Some artists worked a hundred years ago; others are just starting their careers.

Visitors are invited to reflect and celebrate a century of creative achievement by those whose loves, fears, doubts and dreams are expressed through their painting, drawing, sculpture, print, collage, photography and video.

Reflection – British Art in an Age of Change, a major partnership exhibition opens at Ferens Art Gallery on Saturday 17th August. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments

Artists in the exhibition include: Graham Dean, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Henry Moore, Bridget Riley, Eric Ravilious, Victoria Sin, and Gillian Wearing.

Visitors wanting to find out more about the exhibition can attend a free talk by the curator James Russell on Saturday 17 August at 1pm. Free tickets can be booked here:

James Russell, Curator of Reflection: “Artists have always played a valuable role in expressing feelings and exploring doubts shared – but not necessarily articulated – by the rest of us. Many of the featured artists have found joy in our world, but a few have battled with despair. Whether working in oils, bronze, pencil, collage, watercolour, printmaking or film, each of these artists has the capacity to help us look at the world afresh or to address difficult feelings – to reflect.”

The Ingram collection director and curator Jo Baring said: “The Ingram Collection is committed to showcasing our museum quality art collection around the UK, increasing public access to and engagement with art. It is a privilege to work with the Ferens, whose permanent collection is of such high quality, and I’m really excited about the show that James is creating. It promises to be both a visual treat and a timely reminder that the issues artists were grappling with in the last century are once again relevant to contemporary audiences.”

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “I’m delighted that the Ferens is able to deliver such a major exhibition as this. The Gallery has had an incredible few years and is now recognised as one of the country’s premier art galleries. It is this reputation that allows us to work with partners like The Ingram Collection to bring such fantastic work to Hull.”

The works in the exhibition are drawn jointly from The Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art, and the Ferens collection. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments

Kirsten Simister, curator of art, Ferens Art Gallery , said: “The Ingram Collection provides a wonderfully rich window into British modern and contemporary art that creates a natural foil for the Ferens holdings. We’re honoured to work with the Ingram team and freelance curator James Russell to celebrate our joint strengths and aim to bring visitors fresh insight into many of our less familiar and more rarely seen works as part of the exhibition.”

There is a programme of talks and events to complement the exhibition. To find out more about these events, visit

This free exhibition will run from 17 August 2019 to 5 January 2020 in Galleries 7 and 8.  The Gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4.30pm, and Sunday, 11am – 4pm.

[Mike Berriman – Hull City Council]