Watercolour in Britain: Travelling with Colour at the Norwich Castle Museum is the first taster exhibition to kick start the Tate's Great British Art Debate, which will tour on a regional basis opening up the wider question of what is British Art and what it means to be British in a pluralistic multi-cultural Britain.
Part of a four year Heritage Lottery Funded and MLA's Renaissance partnership project by the TATE Britain, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Museums Sheffield, it's specific aim is to explore what British art has to say about identity and the concept of being British on a national and regional level and invites visitors to use computer interactives in the galleries via www.greatbritishartdebate.org to democratically participate and voice to the the museum world know what they think of the art on display and how they define their identity of being British in Britain today.
The exhibition is one of a series of collegiate regional exhibitions aimed at the democratisation of British art on a national and regional levels, presents subject matter by British painters from the eighteenth century to the present day from unique and rarely seen works have been selected by curators from Tate Britain, Norwich Castle, the Millennium Galleries and the Laing.
Artists who feature as part of British art debate are selected from the historic collections abd previously unseen works and include watercolourist artists as JMW Turner, John Sell Cotman and Thomas Girtin to the twentieth century paintings by Edward Burra, John Piper, Graham Sutherland and contemporary living artists as Anish Kapoor and Maggi Hambling.
The changing exhibition will be touring the country engaging a national audience by focussing on different aspects of watercolour. It tours next to the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield (17 June - 5 September 2010), the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle (18 September - 5 December 2010) and Tate Britain (15 February - 14 August 2011).
The Great British Art Debate is a partnership project between Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service, Tate Britain, Tyne and Wear Museums, Museums Sheffield and the Institute of International Visual Arts (InIVA). It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Renaissance in the Regions - museums for changing lives.
Nicolas Serota, Director of the Tate Gallery, said:-
'It is exciting to be working with our Great British Art Debate partners in this way, generating public discussion and sharing these outstanding collections with audiences across the country. I hope that we will be able to tap in to a new generation's views and that their views will help to shape how we collect and display art in the future'.