NOTTINGHAM.- A brand new photograph by British contemporary artist Sam Taylor-Wood has been purchased by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, thanks to help from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and The Art Fund, the UK's leading independent art charity. It is the first piece by the artist to enter the Museum's collection, and goes on show today, Monday 16th March, at Nottingham Castle.
The MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund gave £10,000 towards the £22,000 photograph and The Art Fund gave £9,000.
Escape Artist (Multicoloured) features the artist hanging mid-air, apparently suspended from a cluster of multi-coloured balloons tied around her hips. The work is part of the artist's Escape Artist series - a new project by Taylor-Wood, tapping into her continued interest in representing her own body in works of art.
In order to create the illusion of the artist floating in space, all traces of the suspension system have been digitally removed from the photograph. The resulting image is both ambiguous and playful - eight balloons apparently have the power to lift Taylor-Wood above the ground, whilst the artist herself appears weightless. This photograph and the wider Escape Artist project follows on from Taylor-Wood's Self Portraits Suspended series, created in 2005.
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Leisure and Culture said: "We are delighted that the Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund have helped us to acquire this work, it is a really striking photograph that will complement the Fine Art displays at the Castle. It is wonderful to be able to add work by a photographer as important as Sam Taylor-Wood to our collection. "
Janet Davies, Head of the Purchase Grant Fund said: "We are pleased to support this acquisition as Nottingham City Museums and Galleries has an excellent track record in collecting contemporary photography. This and the city's wider collections offer a valuable context for Escape Artist (Multicoloured)."
David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: "This work, with its colourful balloons and visual trickery, has instant appeal. The Art Fund's core purpose is to give people all over the UK access to exciting works of art, and we're delighted to have helped Nottingham City Museums and Galleries to secure its first piece by Sam Taylor-Wood."
Since 1921, The Art Fund has helped Nottingham City Museums and Galleries to buy over 60 works of art.
The work goes on show today, Monday 16th March, and will be on display in E Gallery, on the first floor of the Castle.
Sam Taylor-Wood was born in London in 1967. She studied at Goldsmiths alongside Jake Chapman, Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas, and like them made an impact as one of the 'Young British Artists' or YBAs. Her work often examines the 'split between being and appearance'.