Art Connections: The UK Gov’t Art Collection on Display at British Embassy Tbilisi
Ambassador Justin McKenzie Smith hosted a reception Wednesday to celebrate the new exhibition of works from the UK Government Art Collection presented by the British Embassy in Tbilisi.
The selection and installation of the new exhibition which showcases more than 30 works from internationally renowned artists, including Phyllida Barlow, Michael Landy, Marc Quinn, and Hamish Fulton, was curated by Adrian George, Senior Curator and Deputy Director of the UK Government Art Collection.
“Georgia is a country defined by its culture, and so is Britain. I hope this will start new conversations between Britain and Georgia in the future,” Ambassador Smith said in his speech at the reception, going on to thank the Bank of Georgia Group for their support in bringing the artwork from Britain to Georgia and making the event possible. “Bank of Georgia rightly sees itself as one of the bridges between the UK and Georgia,” the British Ambassador added.
“The Government Art Collection is the largest collection of British artists in the world,” George told guests. “It was set up 118 years ago with the sole intention of promoting British art and engaging in cultural diplomacy. Several years ago, when this [embassy] building was still being designed, the architect, Michael Wilford, came to us asking for suggestions about the works we could install here. What we’ve done now is to present a display of works of some very young British artists, but also some recognized British artists alongside them.”
The hope is that a connection will be made with the ambitions and aspirations of the British Embassy in Georgia. “The Embassy [here] is very forward-looking, very aware of what’s happening in terms of arts and culture, particularly because the arts and culture scene in Tbilisi is very vibrant right now and rapidly expanding,” George concluded.