Unique collection of British art to visit the Pier Arts Centre

24 Aug 2012 in Orkney, Visual Arts & Crafts

An exhibition of over forty works by some of the greatest British artists of the 20th century is to be shown at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness from Saturday 1st September 2012.

The Derek Williams Trust Collection contains works by L.S. Lowry, Henry Moore, John Piper, Ceri Richards, and Ivon Hitchens among others and is currently on a limited tour of the UK.

The exhibition’s display at the Pier Arts Centre is sponsored by Allianz Insurance and Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers and the national tour is supported by the Derek Williams Trust and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

Steve MacDougall, national and top tier broker manager, Allianz Insurance commented: “Allianz Insurance is very pleased to support the Pier Arts Centre to bring this important exhibition to audiences in Orkney. The Derek Williams Trust Collection includes a group of much admired British artists and it will be a real treat to see works by Henry Moore, LS Lowry and all the others alongside the Pier Arts Centre’s own fine collection.”

Kevin Hancock of Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers Ltd added “The Pier Arts Centre is rightly lauded for their ability to attract internationally renowned collections to Orkney and the Derek Williams Collection is another fine example of their efforts in this area. Clark Thomson are delighted to be associated with this event and look forward to it being enjoyed by all those who visit the Pier Arts Centre”.

Derek Williams (1929-1984), a chartered surveyor who lived and worked in Cardiff, began to build his collection in the 1950s. His passion for modern British art attracted him to the work of John Piper and Ceri Richards, whose works make up the majority of his collection. These are supported with works by other major figures of mid-twentieth century British art such as Stanley Spencer, Victor Pasmore and Lucian Freud. The whole collection is on long-term loan to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

The Curator of the Derek Williams Trust Collection, Melissa Munro said, “During his life Derek Williams built an incredible collection of modern British art, which continues to be developed today by the Derek Williams Trust. Both Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the Derek Williams Trust are extremely pleased to be bringing this unique collection to Scotland and with it a greater awareness of the collection outside of Wales.”

The Derek Williams Trust was established following the collector’s death. The Trust is committed to the care, enhancement and public display of the Derek Williams’ collection. In addition, the Trust provides generous support in furthering the acquisition of post-1900 works of art at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

The Curator of the Pier Arts Centre, Andrew Parkinson added, “We are very pleased indeed to bring such a fine collection of British art to Orkney. While the Derek Williams Collection roughly matches the Pier Collection in time it represents a very different approach to the British landscape and abstract painting. Artists like Ivon Hitchens, John Piper and David Jones work in a more romantic and pastoral vein and it will be interesting to view their work and the other artists in the Derek Williams Collection, alongside the Modernist core of the Pier Arts Centre Collection.”

Melissa Munro, Curator of the Derek Williams Collection will give a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday 1 September at 2pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Meanwhile a new display of works from the Centre’s own permanent collection is to open to coincide with the Derek Williams Collection. WE LOVE REAL LIFE is an exhibition of works from the Pier Arts Centre Collection curated by Piergroup – a shifting collective of young people who participate in gallery programmes and events. Members of Piergroup have been working closely with gallery staff to draw out complementary themes and motifs in the Centre’s Collection for this special public display.

The exhibition forms part of a nationwide learning programme supported by Plus Tate – a collaboration between Tate and a network of visual arts organisations across the UK, including the Pier Arts Centre. The Plus Tate learning programme is supported by Tate and J.P.Morgan.

WE LOVE REAL LIFE is on display in the gallery until Saturday 13 October 2012 and the Derek Williams Trust Collection runs until Saturday 17 November 2012. The Pier Arts Centre Collection is on display all year round.

The Pier Arts Centre
Victoria Street
Tel: 01856 850209
Web: www.pierartscentre.com

Source: The Pier Arts Centre