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Rana Begum on curating the Arts Council collection at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

a photo of a composite of photos of objects

Nicky Hirst, Instagram Feed, 2016. Courtesy the artist and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde

Curator artist Rana Begum talks about her choices from the Arts Council Collection exhibition currently showing at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I was really overwhelmed when I first walked into the Arts Council Collection storeroom because it is so expansive. It is a bit difficult to walk through the storeroom and not feel slightly sad because no one makes work just to go into crates and storage spaces. But I don’t know if I necessarily feel like I’m rescuing them; I feel that I’m letting them breathe a little bit.

Initially I was worried about the works I selected. When you look at them individually, they’re very minimal and very abstract. A lot of people, when they look at minimal and abstract art, see it as something that’s cold, very withdrawn and unrelatable. For me, however, it’s a completely different experience and that’s what I wanted to reveal.

There’s something about these works that draws you in and this can be enhanced by natural light. The Hilary Wilson piece is a great example. It was beautiful watching it come out of the crate and then when it was placed on the plinth, with the natural light hitting it, it just came together for me.

There is this kind of beautiful moment which is happening between the artist and the material and the light and how all those things come together. Elements of these works are easily recognizable and relate to the everyday, but they also occupy the space in a way that draws you in and allows you to experience each work individually as well as its relationship to the other artists’ work.

a photo of a series of drawers laying on a floor

Hilary Wilson, Drawer III, 1990, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London, © the artist. Photo © Jonty Wilde

a photo of a yellow sculpturail structure resembling steel roof girders outside in a field

Rasheed Araeen, Zero to Infinity, 2017. Courtesy the artist and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde

a photo of an artwork consisting of some splodges on a wall

Flore Nov-Josserand, Better Days, 2017. Courtesy the artist and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde

a photo of a series of coloured shapes on a white wall

Gary Hume, Fragment of a Rainbow VI, 2011. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © the artist. Photo © Jonty Wilde

a photo of a sculpture comprising a triangular grid

Norman Dilworth, Single Line, 1976. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © the artist. Photo © Jonty Wilde

Ayesha Singh, Hybrid Drawings, 2017. Wrought iron. Courtesy the artist and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde

a photo of an abstract artwork of blue, white and red shapes

Charles Danby, Untitled Twenty Five Sixty, 2016. Courtesy the artist and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde

a photo of a photo of pieces of metal leaning against a wall

Richard Wentworth, Tirana 1999, Occasional Geometries, 2000, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London, © the artist, Photo © Jonty Wilde

Curating the show at YSP has made me more aware of the placement of my work and how it is experienced inside the gallery or outdoors. After curating these works with YSP’s Senior Curator, Helen Pheby, I feel really wide-eyed and excited to go back to my studio and create.

Rana Begum was speaking to Mark Sheerin. 

Occasional Geometries: Rana Begum Curates The Arts Council Collection is at Yorkshire Sculpture Park until October 29 2017. Admission is free.

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture that sets out to challenge, inspire, inform and delight. Changing exhibitions and projects are sited in 500 acres of historic gardens and parkland, five indoor galleries and an award-winning visitor centre. This stunning setting brings together art and…

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