Female Territory, New Art West Midlands 2014

quid Sharon Farrelly

Quid, Sharon Farrelly, 2013, Image courtesy of the artist https://sharonfarrelly.wordpress.com


A recently resurfaced discussion, subsequently printed as an essay, has recently been made public again as a resource on the New Art West Midlands website:


Female Territory: in conversation with Lisa Beauchamp, Rachel Bradley & Jane Morrow

The starting point for this conversation is the large number of female artists participating in the New Art West Midlands 2014 exhibitions and explores the significance of this circumstance at this time. The exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery features works exclusively by female artists.


You can view a digital copy of the essay and publication in full HERE. A selection of Sharon Farrelly’s paintings (Quid, featured above) was selected and presented in the exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.


About New Art West Midlands 

Originally conceived as an exhibition, infrastructure-building, graduate retention and professional development initiative which expanded on aspects of Turning Point West Midlands work (part of the CVAN  network), New Art West Midlands subsequently became both the name – and primary focus – for this region-wide network in 2016, with a new team, identity, exhibitions programme and opportunities offer.

It began in 2013 with a series of multi-site exhibitions (at significant venues including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Grand Union and Wolverhampton Art Gallery amongst others). The exhibitions showcased some of the best work produced by graduates of the region’s five University art schools: Birmingham City, Coventry, Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and Worcester. Artists were selected annually by established and prestigious artists, curators and academics practicing nationally and internationally. This opportunity brought numerous benefits to:

  • individuals – including enhanced profile, financial support through bursaries, and substantial development opportunities – such as the acquisition of their work by the Arts Council England Collection committee.
  • organisations – opportunities to diversify programming, and support local artists in new, relevant and rigorous ways.
  • regional infrastructure – developing a framework for partnership working which was not just impactful for academic and sector partners, but equally organisation-to-organisation and peer-to-peer activity.

I was privileged to be involved in this process in three key ways: as Project Coordinator for  Turning Point West Midlands, where I supported the development of the NAWM project from its beginning (through e.g. management of the open-submission exhibition process with Rachel Bradley), as Artist Development Coordinator on projects led by The New Art Gallery Walsall, and finally as Exhibitions Curator at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, in 2012 and 2013.


From the New Art West Midlands website, 2018:

New Art West Midlands is funded by Arts Council England and we are hosted by our lead partner Birmingham City University. We are supported by our project partners Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester. New Art West Midlands Exhibition 2017 is led by Birmingham Museums Trust with support from participating host venues. It is funded by Arts Council England alongside Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Hereford College of Arts, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester. New Art West Midlands Engine is led by The New Art Gallery Walsall. It is funded by Arts Council England, and delivered with support from Walsall Council and our programme partners.