Haroon Mirza’s A Sleek Dry Yell (2008) has been jointly acquired by five northwest public galleries thanks to the Contemporary Art Society’s new Sculpture Fund. Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, The Walker Art Gallery, Victoria Gallery and the Grundy Art Gallery
The work has been bought thanks to support from the Contemporary Art Society’s new Sculpture Fund.Supported by the art collector, philanthropist and Contemporary Art Society Patron and board member, Cathy Wills, the innovative new sculpture purchasing fund enables Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), The Walker Art Gallery and Victoria Gallery (Liverpool) and the Grundy Art Gallery (Blackpool) to research and then buy jointly chosen new sculpture for shared ownership.
This pioneering new model for partnership art collecting will help ensure the northwest’s public art collections remain up-to-date and relevant now and for future generations.
“London museums tend to get the pick of the bunch when it comes to collectors donating works — many London-based collectors never travel North of Watford so don’t see what treasures there are in our regional museums. I wish to inspire other collectors to donate outside London and to encourage like-minded philanthropists to support regional museums to show and to acquire the best of current contemporary art practise. To do this they must see beyond their region and I hope to make this possible through my support.” said Cathy Wills about her involvement in the scheme.
“Many of the most significant artworks held in the region’s public collections, like the Pre-Raphaelite paintings, were bought at a time when the artists were considered radical and rebellious. It’s crucial that we continue that tradition of collecting new work by fresh, young talent, so that in years to come our public collections still represent the very best art of today.” said Maria Balshaw, Director of Manchester City Galleries, about the new scheme.
Haroon Mirza won the Silver Lion Award at the 54th Venice Biennale for best emerging artist in 2011 and the Northern Art Prize in 2010. He uses sounds and objects from everyday life to make his sculptures. His art is influenced by such diverse cultural references as religious faith, nightclubs and his personal experience as a DJ.
A Sleek Dry Yell (2008) is a sound sculpture made using bits of furniture, water, an old television monitor, a record player, wooden speakers and video footage of cult musician and actor Richard “Kid” Strange. The distinct objects have been brought together in a lo-fi DIY manner to create something new and generate noises. It is the combined rhythm of these noises that forms a sort of distorted sound composition.It is the first piece of work by Mirza to be acquired by a public art collection.
The sculpture is now on display in Manchester Art Gallery’s ground floor exhibitions gallery (until 23 September, free entry). In May, the display will be extended with new interpretation produced by a group of young people known as Manchester Art Gallery’s Creative Consultants, in collaboration with Manchester-based artist Tony Hall.
Haroon Mirza will be hosting a special evening viewing of the work on Thursday 12 July, 7-9pm, free entry. The event will feature DJ sets by the artist and special guests including Richard “Kid” Strange and Dave Haslam. Following its exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, A Sleek Dry Yell will be shown at the funding partnership galleries later in 2012 and 2013.
Haroon Mirza holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design and an MA in Design Critical Practice and Theory, from Goldsmiths’ College. His first solo exhibition was at The A-Foundation, Liverpool (2009) and he has also had solo exhibitions at Lisson Gallery, London (2011), Camden Arts Centre, London (2011) and Spike Island, Bristol (2012). He has participated in several group exhibitions, including Boule To Braid, Lisson Gallery, London (2009), and the British Art Show 7 (2011), and his work was included in the Sheffield Pavilion, Istanbul (2009). He has ongoing exhibitions at the Ernst Schering Foundation, Berlin until 21 July, and the Museum of Art, Michigan, USA, until 22 July 2012. He currently lives and works in Sheffield and London.