Month: August 2019

Constance Allman

Constance Forde Allman

Board Member

Constance Forde Allman was formerly Manager of Market Development for IBM and worked for the company for 30 years.  She is based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Allman has a BA in Mathematics from Queens College of the City of NY, New York, United States. Her voluntary and community service activity includes the following: Volunteer Docent Emeritus at the Atlanta High Museum of Art, Leadership Atlanta Alumna, Advisory Board Member of H.O.P.E. Ministries, Board Member of United Way of Atlanta, Advisory Board for the Georgia Alliance for Children and Board President of the Council on Battered Women. 

Osei Bonsu

Osei Bonsu

Board Member

Osei Bonsu is a British-Ghanaian curator and writer based in London and Paris. His activities encompass exhibition programming, publishing and cultural strategy in the field of visual arts. He has developed projects focused on transnational histories of art, collaborating with museums, galleries and private collections internationally. In 2017, he curated the 10th edition of Satellites, an exhibition co-commissioned by Jeu de Paume and CAPC: Centre for Contemporary Art, Bordeaux. He has also worked on the development of a number of projects focusing on African art, including ‘Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America’ (Saatchi Gallery, 2015) and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair (2013-14). As a specialist in modern and contemporary art, he has lectured widely in institutions across Europe, Asia and Africa. Bonsu is a contributing editor at frieze magazine.

Mark Waugh

Mark Waugh


Mark Waugh is the Business Development Director at DACS. Before joining DACS in 2014 he worked extensively in Korea and South East Asia as Commissioner for emerging artfairs; Art Gwangju and G-Seoul 13 and as Associate Director of SUUM; Commissioning a number of projects in collaboration with Samsung Electronics including the media art focused award, The Samsung Art+ Prize and IOC commissions. He is Chair of the International Curators Forum and previously Director of the iconic A Foundation in London and Liverpool, and Head of Visual Arts, South East Arts Council England. He has curated numerous group and solo exhibitions and contributed to publications, catalogues and magazines including most recently a chapter in the acclaimed 2017 book; Artists: Rethinking the Blockchain. He is also the author of the novels Bubble Entendre and Come.

Joy Gregory

Joy Gregory

Board Member

Joy Gregory is an artist and educator based in London. She is presently a trustee of the Kraszna Krausz Foundation, UK, Honarary Research Associate in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, and Associate Lecturer Fine Art Photography at UAL: Camberwell College of Arts. She has developed a practice concerned with social and political issues in particular, reference to history and cultural differences in contemporary society.

 In 2002, Gregory received the NESTA Fellowship, which enabled her the time and the freedom to research for a major piece around language endangerment. The first of this series was the video piece Gomera, which premiered at the Sydney Biennale in May 2010. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has exhibited all over the world showing in many festivals and biennales. Her work included in many collections including the UK Arts Council Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, and Yale British Art Collection. She currently lives and works in London.

George Blacklock

George Blacklock

Board Member

George Blacklock is a painter, writer, and musician. He was Dean of College at Wimbledon and Chelsea Colleges of Arts within the University of the Arts London. He held these roles for a period of ten years and is now retired (from September 2017). He has exhibited his artwork in a number of countries around the world, from Mongolia to Mexico, but most extensively in Europe and the USA. He has been represented by Flowers Galleries since 1996.

George has received various awards for his paintings from the Arts Council, the Greater London Arts Association and as a prize-winner at the John Moores contemporary painting competition. He has work in many collections including the Arts Council of Great Britain. He has written the illustrated book, Colour and Abstraction, which charts how colour was liberated from its former and traditional role as a pictorial element subservient to drawing, and how abstraction was consequently born and developed. This book also focuses on his own pictorial methodologies, demonstrating how these developed. He has extensive experience in all aspects of Art education at the highest levels, has a significant reputation as a painter, and commentator on art. He has worked with companies in the UK and USA on how pictorial decision making can positively influence clear thinking in the business world. He is a musician within a band called Country Dirt (CD release, ‘Rodeo Free Europe’).

Diaspora Pavilion 2: Research & Development Trip to Istanbul

Diaspora Pavilion 2: Research & Development Trip to Istanbul

ICF is undertaking the re-development of the Diaspora Pavilion project model, which was initially tested between 2016 and 2018 with a professional development programme for 10 emerging artists, which included exhibitions in Venice and Wolverhampton. The first stage of the re-development process involves initiating conversations with a group of selected artists by inviting them to actively participate in a trip organised by the ICF team centred around the opening of a major international Biennial. 

The second trip in this series was to Istanbul during the opening days of the 16th Istanbul Biennial (12 – 13 September 2019), entitled ‘The Seventh Continent’ and curated by Nicolas Bourriaud. The impetus for selecting this Biennial as a case study for the research and development phase of the programme is the curator’s exploration of the cultural consequences of the human impact on the world. In his exhibition statement Bourriaud said, “The Seventh Continent is an anthology of an off-centred world and an archaeology of our times. It shows today’s artistic production as a multiverse, an archipelago of differences, away from normative continents and massive entities. It define art as a molecular anthropology, which studies the human effects, tracks and prints in the universe, and their interaction with non-humans.” 

The artists who participated in this trip are Daniela Yohannes, Lungiswa Gqunta, Jade Montserrat and Kashif Nadim Chaudry.  

Supported by the Outset Contemporary Art Fund

Curator in Residence, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum


Curator in Residence at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

We are excited to announce the appointment of Sylvia Theuri as New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence. Hosted by Culture Coventry at the city’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, the role will see Sylvia work with 6 artists from New Art West Midlands’ 2019 graduate cohort, across a year of bespoke professional development activity, leading up to an exhibition of new work by those artists at the Herbert Art Gallery in autumn 2020.

The artists selected to participate in the exhibition and programme include: Hira Butt, Andreana Fatta, Navi Kaur, Shiyi Li, Farwa Moledina and Matias Serra Delmar. 

ICF Beyond the Frame programme site visit to Haus der Kunst, Munich, February 2017

Sylvia was selected for the post by a panel of arts professionals through an open call to curators based in and affiliated with the West Midlands. The post was made possible through partnership with the Herbert Art Gallery and International Curators Forum, as part of a New Art West Midlands programme supporting new talent and perspectives funded by Arts Council England. The partnership with International Curators Forum brings access to international networks and contexts – part of a distinctive professional development package that aims to create pathways into future opportunities for Sylvia and for the artists involved.

Sylvia notes: “I am excited to have taken on the role of Curator in Residence and to be a part of shaping the developing arts and culture in the city of Coventry where I live and call home. It is of great importance that we foster the visibility of and engagement with the visual arts to new and varied audiences, by ensuring that visual art spaces are not seen as ‘uninhabitable spaces’ but rather as welcoming and comfortable”.

Talking about working with artists to support new work relating to Coventry, Sylvia says: “I am very much looking forward to working with a cohort of New Art West Midlands 2019 artists to help shape their professional development across the course of the next year towards a new exhibition in 2020”.

Craig Ashley, Director of New Art West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to announce Sylvia’s appointment and look forward to working with her over the next 12 months. She brings a distinctive approach and perspective, with ambitions to support and reflect the region’s very best talent.”


New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art

ICF has partnered with New Art West Midlands and Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art to select 20 recently-graduated artists to participate in the New Art West Midlands 2019 exhibition as part of this year’s Coventry Biennial.

The selected artists include: Betsy Bradley, Hira Butt, Sarah Byrne, Gemma Costin, Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Andreana Fatta, Matt Gale, Amy Guo, Ewan Johnston, Navi Kaur, Shiyi Li, Mengxia Liu, Farwa Moledina, Tayyibah Mota, Laura Onions, Ameera Sadiq, Matías Serra Delmar, Rosie Piercy, Georgia Tucker and Lily Wales.

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art runs 4 October – 24 November 2019

Farwa Moledina, ‘Interwoven’, 2018, Ways of Belonging, Ort Gallery at Midlands Art Centre

This autumn New Art West Midlands returns with a new model, working in collaboration with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art and International Curators Forum to introduce an exciting group of artists across the city. From traditional arts venues to unexpected spaces and public places, the exhibition aims to reach new audiences and show the value of creativity as Coventry moves closer to its tenure as UK City of Culture in 2021.

The selected artists are recent graduates from the West Midlands’ art schools and creative Higher Education programmes. The region has a rich offer and heritage when it comes to art education; New Art West Midlands is a partnership with the leading institutions to celebrate the talented individuals emerging from undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes.

Applications were received from over one hundred artists, representing recent graduates from Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, Staffordshire University and Hereford College of Arts.

The selection panel included ICF team members Adelaide Bannerman and Jessica Taylor, invited selector Cindy Sissokho and Ryan Hughes, the founder and director of Coventry Biennial. ICF’s Diaspora Pavilion project model has informed the direction of New Art West Midlands 2019 as a professional development programme.

In addition to participation in Coventry Biennial, a smaller cohort from these 20 artists will be selected to work with an appointed curator on a yearlong professional development programme. This intensive period will support practice-based skills toward the development of new work for a further curated exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery (Culture Coventry) in autumn 2020.

Speaking about the selection and quality of submissions, Jessica Taylor commented: “International Curators Forum is thrilled to be partnering with New Art West Midlands, Coventry Biennial and Herbert Art Gallery on this important opportunity to support a cohort of recently-graduated emerging artists and a curator from the West Midlands.

“We are excited that the Diaspora Pavilion model has influenced the development of this programme, which champions diversity and the professional development of emerging practitioners in the region. The connections made and exposure gained by the 20 selected artists as a result of their inclusion in this Biennial stands to be of great importance during this moment of transition in their careers, and we look forward to working closely with some of the artists as they continue on in the programme alongside a selected curator in 2020.”

Highlights include new large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, video, paintings, drawings and digital artworks, exploring themes of cultural identity, technologies and the environment among others.

Sarah Byrne’s (University of Wolverhampton) work reflects on experiences growing up in England as British girl with an Asian mother. Her projections use imagery from her mother’s old photo albums of childhood trips to the Philippines to question the events and exchanges that have contributed to a separation in her two national identities.
“I am a renegade botanist” declares Gemma Costin (Hereford College of Arts). Her travelling seedpod is a repurposed caravan that used to be called home, now transformed into a space to interrogate ideas of nature and biophilia.
Amy Guo (Staffordshire University) investigates the relationship between human and digital technologies. Works consider the ways in which our social interactions with others are mediated through technology and the visibility of our digital selves.
Farwa Moledina’s (Birmingham City University) series of prints on paper and textile are concerned with re-appropriating and reclaiming Orientalist imagery of Muslim Women. In today’s postcolonial, globalised world, refugees, immigrants and persons of dual culture often find themselves caught between tradition, integration and redefinition of their complex identities.
Through film, photography and mixed media, Tayyibah Mota (Coventry University) considers the Hijab. Her work seeks to display the tradition within and opposition to this Muslim practice, whilst sharing personal experiences of some of the British Muslim women who wear them.
Rosie Piercy (University of Worcester) deals with the very current issue of tuition fees and the cost of education in Britain. Her sculpture ‘Forever in Debt’ consists of helium filled balloons highlighting the exact balance of her student loan as they slowly deflate.

Ryan Hughes, director of Coventry Biennial, commented: “We are really delighted by the work we have selected and are looking forward to bringing it to Coventry to share with audiences. The professional development focus of New Art West Midlands aligns strongly with our vision for a social and critically engaged biennial for the region. The unique and inclusive new model they have built will create deeply meaningful opportunities for these artists in the West Midlands and beyond.”