30 October 2015
A major exhibition Art, Life, Activism which brings together acclaimed artists who make artwork informed by the politics of disability featuring sculpture, performance, film, drawing, and photography will be the inaugural show of University of Leicester's new gallery at the Attenborough Arts Centre, running from 18 November to 17 January 2016.
Attenborough Arts Centre’s founding patron was Richard Attenborough, a world leading filmmaker, actor and life-long patron of the arts who grew up on the University’s campus. Handing the patronage to his son Michael, the Centre continues to follow Richard’s vision and continue his legacy striving to improve inclusivity in art, culture and learning for all.
Opened in 1997 by the late Princess Diana as The Richard Attenborough Centre for Disability and the Arts, the venue was created from a campaign championed and led by Lord Attenborough, who was actively involved in arts and disability in the UK. Today the Attenborough Arts Centre exhibition programme includes a broad spectrum of contemporary art, yet still continues the social activism on which it was founded - working closely with organisations such as Shape Arts to challenge how disability is perceived.
“Art, Life, Activism raises questions about the relationship between art and politics and invites us to consider the complex social, economic and cultural forces characterising disability and its representation in mainstream culture,” said Tony Heaton artist, curator and Chief Executive of Shape Arts.
Shown together for the first time in Leicester, exhibiting artists Tony Heaton, Aaron Williamson, Noëmi Lakmaier, Adam Reynolds, Bobby Baker, Liz Crow, Simon Raven, Ann Whitehurst and David Hevey, produce critical work that blurs the boundaries between art and politics.
Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair, Arts Council England Council, said:
“I’m very much looking forward to being back in Leicester at the opening of Art, Life, Activism. One of our ambitions at the Arts Council is to invest in great artistic and cultural work which reflects our nation’s diversity and Attenborough Arts is an important part of that picture.”
Art, LIfe, Activism will launch in the Centre’s new £1.5 million gallery, which opens on 17 November and runs until 17 January 2016.
The Attenborough Arts Centre has been supported by the Breaking Barriers Appeal, which aims to help fulfil Richard Attenborough’s original vision to improve access to the arts for all. For more information about how to donate, please contact Ave Vinick at (0116) 252 2176 or firstname.lastname@example.org or make a gift online at www.le.ac.uk/breakingbarriers