York Art Gallery and Kaiser Chiefs win national award
Exhibition wins Museums + Heritage Award for Partnership of the Year
York Art Gallery’s collaboration with indie rock band band Kaiser Chiefs won a prestigious national award last night (Tuesday September 22) at a virtual ceremony.
The exhibition When All is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs in Conversation with York Art Gallery won the Partnership of the Year Award at the Museums + Heritage Awards which were broadcast to the world through Facebook and YouTube.
The exhibition, which was seen by more than 25,000 people during its run between December 2018 and March 2019, saw the Kaiser Chiefs explore the boundaries between art and music, using the Gallery’s collections as a starting point.
Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to have won this award. The exhibition was bold and brave in its approach, with our curators and Kaiser Chiefs working closely to create a unique experience which presented our collections in new and innovative ways. It was fantastic to work in partnership with them on the project and to create something which proved so popular with a wide range of audiences.”
Vijay Mistry from Kaiser Chiefs said: “Wow!! Thanks so much for this award, it’s really greatly received especially at this challenging time. We knew that we had created something unique and special and it’s amazing for that to have been recognised. Huge thanks to York Art Gallery for the collaboration and massive thanks to everyone involved, your contributions were priceless.” The award was presented virtually on the Museums + Heritage’s Facebook and YouTube channels because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Anna Preedy, Director of the annual Museums + Heritage Awards commented: “collaboration is increasingly important and here we have a project which is the definition of a true partnership, achieving something which neither York Art Gallery nor the Kaiser Chiefs could not have done on their own. Their collaborative project, When all is Quiet, was bold in its creativity and hugely inspiring – a very worthy winner!”
The exhibition was shortlisted for the Partnership of the Year Award alongside:
· Royal Collections Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and The University of Birmingham
· Lichfield Cathedral
· Oxford University Gardens, Libraries & Museums (GLAM) and the Iffley Academy Partnership
· National Galleries Scotland and North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership
For more information about the awards go to: https://awards.museumsandheritage.com/shortlist-2020/
In the exhibition, York Art Gallery invited Kaiser Chiefs to work with curators to re-examine the Gallery’s collections, and explore the boundaries between art and music in an experimental way designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Using their position as musicians as a starting point, the band delved deep into the Gallery’s Fine Art collections and paired paintings with a “set list” of songs inspired by the art. Visitors were then able to view the artworks, whilst listening to the songs chosen by the band. Kaiser Chiefs brought together works by internationally regarded sound artists which had resonated with them whilst traveling. These included Janet Cardiff’s internationally acclaimed The Forty Part Motet, the short film Fiorucci Made me Hardcore by Mark Leckey, and the Turner Prize winning work The Woolworth’s Choir of 1979 by Elizabeth Price. Inspired to create their own art installation, the band used light, colour, and lyrics from the songs on the “set list” to
create Silent Gig, an immersive environment that offered visitors a reconfigured experience of a live music show and its elements.
The exhibition increased visitor numbers by 39% compared to the same period the year before. Overall more than 25,000 people visited during what is a traditionally quiet time of year for the Gallery, with more than 45% of audiences being 18-44, an increase of nearly 15% above the 2018 average.