Rapid Response Fund provides new works for Hove Museum

The Contemporary Art Society Rapid Response Fund has bought 12 ceramic and three tapestry works by Matt Smith, which will form a central focus for the displays at Hove Museum when it reopens.

Much of Matt Smith’s work explores and comments on marginalised history and it will form a key inspiration for activity sessions as the museum expands its work with groups with varied critical social needs.

Artist Matt Smith said: "What museums collect, and what this tells us about what society deems important, is an ongoing fascination to me.

“Recent events have shown how important objects, and particularly sculpture, are in the national debate about who we are and how we got here.

“I have worked with the museums in Brighton & Hove many times over the last decade and am delighted that this acquisition leads on from that relationship.

"I look forward to seeing how the works are interpreted and curated to help the widest possible audience feel welcomed and visible within the museums."

Councillor Carmen Appich, chair of the city’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, said: "We are delighted to receive this generous award from the Contemporary Art Society enabling us to acquire a significant body of works by Matt Smith.

"I am very excited about these works at Hove Museum & Art Gallery which is in my ward. They will form a central focus of display when it reopens to the public as well as providing inspiration for creative sessions with some of our most vulnerable community groups."

The acquisition, one of six across the country, follows on from an initial three announced at the beginning of June. Find out about all the acquisitions

The Contemporary Art Society’s (CAS) Rapid Response Fund, in partnership with Frieze London, is a new initiative supporting artists and museums during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is being used to purchase works by artists to add to collections of museums across the UK – ensuring financial support goes where it is needed most.

More than £230,000 has already been raised, mostly from a crowdfunding campaign. These funds will support over 20 acquisitions:

  • £109,000 was raised through the generosity of CAS patrons
  • £125,000 was raised through the CAS’s first crowdfunding campaign, which closed on 10 June 2020. People who donated £35 received a limited-edition facemask designed by top artists – David Shrigley, Eddie Peake, Linder and Yinka Shonibare. £120 bought a pack of all four.

Rapid Response Fund applications are reviewed by the 2020 CAS Acquisitions Advisory Committee, an external panel chaired by Caroline Douglas, Director of the CAS, consisting of leading curators, writers and artists.

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