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MK Gallery and Ingrid Pollard Win $133,000 Freelands Foundation Award

MK Gallery and Ingrid Pollard Win $133,000 Freelands Foundation Award

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MK Gallery and Ingrid Pollard Win $133,000 Freelands Foundation Award

London-based arts nonprofit Freelands Foundation has announced that MK Gallery, of Milton Keynes, UK, will receive $133,000 to stage a solo exhibition of work by Ingrid Pollard in 2022. The money comprises the fifth iteration of the Freelands Award, established in 2016 to enable arts organizations outside London to present shows featuring significant new work by midcareer female artists who may not have received the public recognition they deserve. Pollard for four decades has investigated through media including photography, collage, and installation traditional representations of Britain in relation to invisible legacies of xenophobia and exclusion; the forthcoming exhibition will feature work exploring the body in motion.The announcement of the award arrives in tandem with the release of the annual Freelands Report, which looks at gender parity within the UK art world. Written by Kate McMillan, the report, which covers the year 2019, is disheartening, showing that while 74 percent of A-level arts graduates are female, and though women make up more than 60 percent of both graduate and postgraduate arts classes, only 35 percent of artists represented by London commercial galleries are women. Even deeper in the commercial trenches, it was revealed that of the highest-grossing auction sales conducted in 2019, just 3 percent were of works made by women.The report additionally remarked on the uphill battle major institutions face in reshaping their collections to include works by women, with McMillan noting “the incredible burden of history confronting those trying to make changes in the sector.” At the time of the report’s writing, which predated the global Covid-19 crisis, 11 percent of the works held in the British government’s art collection were by women, while those held by the National Gallery comprised a shocking 1 percent.

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