Damien Hirst In Orkney Jeff Koons In Norwich: Culture Moves To The Hinterlands

In an unprecedented programme bringing cutting edge art to the masses the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate have announced their schedule for the seventh year of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour. New exhibitions will go on show at 17 venues across the UK in 2015 and a further seven exhibitions already open will continue to run into that year. The Tour will include displays at 12 venues new to ARTIST ROOMS and a Damien Hirst ARTIST ROOMS exhibition will go to The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, the most northerly part of Britain to host a display of this artist’s work.

2015 will be an outstanding year for photography. Don McCullin will be seen in Shetland, Diane Arbus in Kirkcaldy, Robert Mapplethorpe in Clydebank, County Durham and Aberystwyth and Francesca Woodman in Powys. Mapplethorpe’s work will be shown at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, part of Aberystwyth University, the first University gallery to take part in the project and the first time Mapplethorpe will be shown as part of the tour inWales.

The 2015 ARTIST ROOMS programme of exhibitions and displays will be seen outside London and Edinburgh in Aberystwyth, Blackburn, Carlisle, Cheltenham, Clydebank, County Durham, Helmsdale, Kirkcaldy, Norwich, Orkney, Penzance, Peterborough, Plymouth, Sleaford, Southampton and St Ives.

By the end of 2015, ARTIST ROOMS will have been shown in 78 museums and galleries nationwide and 149 displays and exhibitions will have opened since 2009. ARTIST ROOMS have been seen by over 31 million people to date. The tour is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through the continued support of the Art Fund and, in Scotland, intended support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

The total number of artists now part of the ARTIST ROOMS collection is 39. This year an important group of works by Dan Flavin was added, joining recent acquisitions of the work of Alex Katz, Douglas Gordon and Louise Bourgeois and was recently shown in Dumfries.

Once again, there have been record numbers of visitors, notably to Gilbert & George, the first tour of these artists’ work as part of the scheme, where the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter had 69,805 visits.

Last year the first ARTIST ROOMS MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) was launched, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and focusing on Andy Warhol. The total number to register for this, the first art MOOC dedicated to a single artist and the first such course to be developed in the museums and galleries sector, was 27,669. Participants came from across 155 countries. In response to its success, it will continue to run again in 2015 and 2016.

ARTIST ROOMS learning programmes, peer-led youth groups and young ambassadors’ schemes continue to develop. Young people taking part in learning programmes at Associate venues (outside Edinburgh andLondon) during the period of 2009-12 was 88,601. 41% of participants in learning programmes were new to the venue and 52% had not heard of the artist before. The evaluation also revealed that 50% said they had learned new ways of making art, increasing their skills and confidence. In November, Young Ambassadors from Shetland will be travelling to Tate Modern to meet Don McCullin to work on an exhibition curated by them, to be opened in Shetland in November 2014.

The full 2015 ARTIST ROOMS On Tour programme is as follows:


Southampton City Art Gallery
Louise Bourgeois
16 January – 18 April 2015

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Carlisle
Anselm Kiefer
7 February – 7 June 2015

Kirkcaldy Galleries
Diane Arbus
14 February – 31 May 2015

Clydebank Museum and Art Gallery
Robert Mapplethorpe
28 February –  23 May 2015

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Roy Lichtenstein
14 March 2015 – 10 January 2016

National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford
Vija Celmins
21 March – 28 June 2015


Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Jeff Koons
9 May ­-  6 September 2015

Tate St Ives
Dan Flavin
23 May – 27 September 2015

Timespan, Helmsdale
Joseph Beuys
5 June – 6 September 2015

The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney
Damien Hirst
20 June – 12 September 2015

The Exchange, Penzance
Robert Therrien
18 July – 10 October 2015

Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Robert Mapplethorpe
8 August – 7 November 2015


Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
Ed Ruscha
11 September – 5 December 2015

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
Gerhard Richter
26 September – 16 January 2016

The Wilson, Cheltenham
Bill Viola
3 October 2015 – 7 February 2016

Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery
Andy Warhol
16 October 2015 – 31 January 2016

The Bowes Museum, County Durham
Robert Mapplethorpe
28 November 2015 – 26 April 2016

Exhibitions which opened in 2014 and continue into 2015

Tate Modern            
Joseph Beuys            
Until 31 December 2015

Tate Modern
Laurence Weiner
Until 31 December 2015

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester   
Georg Baselitz
20 September 2014 – 15 January 2015

Burton Art Gallery and Museum, North Devon         
Richard Long
4 October 2014 – 10 January 2015

Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland
Lawrence Weiner      
25 October 2014 – 12 April 2015

Oriel Davies, Powys          
Francesca Woodman           
15 November 2014 – 25 February 2015

Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland
Shetland Museum & Archives    
Don McCullin
29 November 2014 – 22 February 2015

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