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Local teachers get connected to British Art Show 9


The University of Wolverhampton is working with Arts Connect to create an exciting British Art Show 9 (BAS9) learning programme to inspire teachers and young people to engage with the show and explore contemporary art. 

The British Art Show is presented by Hayward Gallery Touring every 5 years and is the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK and widely acknowledged as the most important recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in this country, unrivalled in its ambition, scope and national reach. 

Arts Connect is a development agency which delivers the Bridge programme in the West Midlands for Arts Council England. As part of the University’s Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences, it supports up to 300 pupils from selected primary schools across the Black Country to take part in, and achieve, their Arts Award Discover certificate by engaging with BAS9. 

Ten BAS9 teachers, lecturers and arts educators from across the West Midlands are designing and delivering contemporary art projects, resources and activities in their schools and settings inspired by BAS9 and this will include over 300 young people aged between 3 and 25 yearsThis work will be shared with creative teachers from all education stages and levels across the West Midlands, enabling them to take advantage of BAS9 exhibiting in Wolverhampton. 

BAS9 will be exhibiting at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and University of Wolverhampton School of Art from 22 January 2022 until 10 April 2022.  

Becky Thompson, British Art Show 9 Learning Engagement & Arts Award Manager at Arts Connect, said: “We want this learning programme to be an ignition moment for teachers to be able to collaborate, refresh arts curriculums or simply try something different in the classroom.  

“To ensure the programme is relevant and accessible we are working with teachers, lecturers and arts educators from across the West Midlands who are all designing and delivering contemporary art projects, resources and activities in their schools and settings. 

“With the exciting news that BAS9 will be exhibiting in our city we have an exciting opportunity to expand and grow opportunities for more teachers and young people to get involved with the learning programme and explore the expansive world of contemporary art.” 

Fay Patrick, BAS9 Lead and Reception teacher and Arts coordinator at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School in Birmingham, is exploring contemporary visual artist Tai Shani’s artwork with her reception students to help them to express their emotions around their experiences of lockdown and channel their imaginations through storytelling and play.  

Fay said: “I chose to become a British Art Show 9 lead teacher because I was interested in introducing our children to a more diverse range of artists and art practices. Contemporary art gives children the opportunity to question, wonder, create and express themselves freely without being restricted by traditionally recognised art processes. 

“In September children returned to school after six months of intermittent lockdown. Forced to stay inside, their worlds have become physically smaller, with reduced experiences and interactions.  I noticed the impact this had upon the way children play, interact and regulate their emotions. Instead of the usual experience and narrative based play that naturally emerges at the beginning of the Reception year, play was unfocused and children lacked the ideas to sustain it.   

“I wanted to use the project to explore how play could be enhanced, despite a reduction in real world experiences. Using the idea of internal space, the project aims to use contemporary art to develop children’s imaginations to positively impact upon their development.” 

Thea Brown, Head of Art at Phoenix Collegiate Academy in West Bromwich, is working with her Year 12 students to exploring What is Contemporary Art?’ through BAS9. She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students and our art department to be involved in the British Art Show Learning Programme. We are a large art department and we are passionate about engaging with contemporary art. 

“Every art project we deliver always incorporates contemporary art and exploring BAS9 will add fresh and exciting new ideas to our curriculum. Students at Phoenix have previously engaged with other contemporary art projects such as, MultiStory and artists-in-residence. The benefits to the students were immense such as gaining confidence through self-expression and understanding the role of an artist in society which in turn inspired students to continue their creative journey at college and university. 

“I would hope that working collaboratively with the BAS and the Lead Teacher core group, the West Midlands community would benefit from a range of exciting outcomes to be accessible to students from all backgrounds.”  

To find out why Thea applied to become a British Art Show 9 Lead Teacher and how she is developing a British Art Show 9 inspired curriculum visit the website.   

Read Fay Patrick's BLOG here.

To find out more about the BAS9 Learning Programme or to see how you can get involved contact Becky at 

Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days. 


Notes to editors 

About British Art Show 9 

British Art Show 9 curators Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar were selected by a panel of curators from Hayward Gallery Touring and the participating cities. They bring international experience to the role and have both worked on major exhibitions in the UK, Europe, America and Asia. 

The exhibition introduces visitors to over 40 artists practising in Britain over the past five years, providing an insight into the most exciting contemporary art being produced in this country in this extraordinary moment in our history. The exhibition explores three overarching themes – healing, care and reparative history; tactics for togetherness; and imagining new futures – these conceptual frameworks were devised prior to the pandemic, however, with the recent global recognition of racial injustice sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020, all three thematics have become even more relevant to the present moment. 

Artists include: Hurvin Anderson, Michael Armitage, Simeon Barclay, Oliver Beer, Zach Blas, Kathrin Böhm, Maeve Brennan, James Bridle, Helen Cammock, Than Hussein Clark, Cooking Sections, Jamie Crewe, Oona Doherty, Sean Edwards, Mandy El-Sayegh, Mark Essen, Gaika, Beatrice Gibson, Patrick Goddard, Anne Hardy, Celia Hempton, Andy Holden, Joey Holder, Marguerite Humeau, Lawrence Lek, Ghislaine Leung, Paul Maheke, Elaine Mitchener, Oscar Murillo, Grace Ndiritu, Uriel Orlow, Hardeep Pandhal, Hetain Patel, Florence Peake, Heather Phillipson, Joanna Piotrowska, Abigail Reynolds, Margaret Salmon, Hrair Sarkissian, Katie Schwab, Tai Shani, Marianna Simnett, Victoria Sin, Hanna Tuulikki, Caroline Walker, Alberta Whittle and Rehana Zaman. 


BAS9 has been conceived as a cumulative experience. The exhibition is designed to change and adapt to each of its four host cities, presenting different combinations of artists and artworks that respond to their distinctive local contexts. The exhibition includes a film programme in each of the four host cities and online, expanding the selection of works on view. 

Four of the new works in the British Art Show 9 tour are made possible with the generous support of the Art Fund and these will be acquired by museum partners in each city for their own collections, as a marker of the lasting legacy of this ambitious touring show. BAS9 will also benefit from the support of Arts Council England’s Project Grant for National Activities which is allowing partners to produce ambitious and wide ranging programmes of creative learning, civic engagement and participation that will further extend the reach of BAS9 across the four partner cities. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication published by Hayward Gallery Publishing which includes two wide-ranging curatorial essays, over 200 colour illustrations and original texts on all 47 artists. 

About Hayward Gallery Touring 

Hayward Gallery Touring organises contemporary art exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly funded venues throughout Britain. In collaboration with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions, Hayward Gallery Touring develops imaginative exhibitions that are seen by up to half a million people in over 45 cities and towns each year. 

About Arts Connect 

Arts Connect are a development agency, delivering the Bridge programme in the West Midlands for Arts Council England, they are part of the University’s Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences and they support communities across the West Midlands, in enabling children and young people (from 0-25) to enjoy a rich and meaningful arts and cultural life. 

Arts Connect work with 500 education partners and 1,700 teachers, 300 arts and cultural organisations as well as 150 artists across the Midlands region. Arts Award Discover is an introductory award, designed for ages 5 to 11 years, but is also open to young people up to 25 years old. 

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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