University of Reading: International Artist To Create New Artwork Based On Ure Museum Collection

An international performance artist is set to work with the University of Reading’s Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology to design a piece of contemporary art inspired by the Museum’s unique collection.

The Ure Museum, in the Classics Department, located in the Edith Morley building on the Whiteknights campus, has been chosen as one of six museums and heritage sites to work in partnership with artists as part of the Meeting Point programme.

The Meeting Point programme is led by contemporary arts agency Arts&Heritage. Funded by Arts Council England, it supports small and medium scale museums to put art at the heart of their programmes and to forge new relationships between the contemporary arts and heritage sectors.

The artist selected to work with the Ure Museum is Chisato Minamimura, a Deaf performance artist originally from Japan. Chisato has created, performed and taught internationally. She has been involved in aerial performances with Graeae Theatre Company, London’s Paralympic Opening Ceremony and Rio’s 2016 Paralympic Cultural Olympiad. Chisato approaches choreography from her unique perspective as a Deaf artist, creating what she calls ‘visual sound/music’.

Professor Amy Smith, Curator of the Ure Museum and Co-Head of the Classics Department at University of Reading, said: “The Meeting Point programme, which brings artists together with smaller museums to help reach out to wider audiences, is a fantastic initiative.

“Lately at the Ure we’ve been exploring music, dance and related aspects of sensory archaeology so this chance to explore ‘visual sound/music’ with Chisato Minamimura, an internationally renowned Deaf performance artist of such stature, is particularly exciting.”

Chisato Minamimura said: “I am delighted to be working with the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology as part of the Meeting Point commission. I am looking forward to approaching their displays in new sensorial and digital ways, and to collaborate with students and creatives who are local to Reading. It will be a wonderful opportunity to bring to life the objects at Ure in new and accessible ways.”

Over the next few months, Chisato will work with Ure Museum staff to develop her ideas. Her interpretation of the Museum will bring a fresh perspective on the collection and be installed over the next two years.

Steph Allen, Executive Director at Arts&Heritage, said: “Since 2016 the Meeting Point programme has supported the museum and heritage sector to introduce contemporary arts into its programming, helping attract a new audience and reframe how heritage stories are told. Once again, we have the opportunity to work alongside some renowned and hugely talented artists to explore how our history, heritage, and identity is presented through museum and heritage collections. Each artist will work with their venue to present a brand new artwork that offers a unique narrative on topics including Britain’s industrial past, Paralympic history, and our natural spaces.”

The other museums selected to take part in the Meeting Point Programme are Didcot Railway Centre; the National Paralympic Heritage Centre in Aylesbury; Furzey Gardens in the New Forest National Park; and ‘a space’ arts and The Brickworks Museum, both in Southampton.

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