Arts Council Collection


The Acquisitions Committee

Acquisitions are made through a committee of eight individuals. The internal members of the Acquisitions Committee are Jill Constantine (Director, Arts Council Collection), with Ralph Rugoff (Director, Hayward Gallery), and Peter Heslip (Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England). Maria Balshaw, Director of the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester City Galleries and member of Arts Council England’s National Council, acts as Chair to the Committee.

The external advisers to the Acquisitions Committee, usually an artist, a writer, and a curator, are appointed for a fixed two-year tenure and make recommendations to purchase innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain at the time. There is also an external advisor from one of the Arts Council Collection's partnership galleries, this position is for one year only.

The external advisers to the Acquisitions Committee for 2016-17 are Helen Legg, Director of Spike Island, Bristol; Helen Pheby, Senior Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Morgan Quaintance, writer and curator and Bedwyr Williams, Artist.

Helen Legg

Helen Legg Helen is director of Spike Island, Bristol, where she has curated exhibitions with Haroon Mirza, Becky Beasley, Laure Prouvost, Dewar and Gicquel, Ciara Phillips and Corita Kent, Ivan Seal, Jessica Warboys, Cevdet Erek, Andy Holden, Aurelien Froment, Michael Simpson, Cally Spooner, Patrick Staff and Charlotte Prodger. In 2016 she was part of the selection committee for the British representation at the Venice Biennale 2017, in 2014 she was a judge for the Turner Prize and the Contemporary Art Society’s Museums Award and in 2013 was a selector for the Paul Hamlyn Artist’s Awards. She is chair of Visual Arts South West, a member of the Arts Council England South West Area Council, on the advisory board of the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and served on the acquisition committee for Frac Midi-Pyrénées 2012-15.


Morgan Quaintance

Morgan Quaintance is a writer, musician, broadcaster and curator. He is a regular contributor to Art Monthly, Art Review, Frieze, and a contributing editor for E-Flux’s online publishing portal art-agenda. A founding member of the curatorial collective DAM PROJECTS, he is the 2015/16 curatorial fellow at Cubitt Gallery, London. As a broadcaster he has worked with the BBC, Channel 4, the Royal Opera House, the Roundhouse, National Theatre and the Art Fund. He is also the producer of Studio Visit, an interviews-based radio programme, broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM, featuring international contemporary artists as guests.


Bedwyr Williams

Bedwyr Williams (born 1974, St Asaph, Wales, based in Caernarfon) gained his MA at Ateliers Arnhem, NL (1999) and his BA from Central St Martins College of Art and Design (1997). Recent and forthcoming solo shows include Whitworth, Manchester, UK; g39, Cardiff, UK, Vestjyllands Kunstpavillion, DK (all 2015); Tramway, Glasgow, UK for Glasgow International (2014); Representing Wales at the 55th Venice Biennale, IT, (2013), IKON, Birmingham, UK (2012); and Kunstverein Salzburger, Salzburg, AT (2011). Recent group shows have included, IMMA, Dublin, UK, (2014) Ceri Hand, London, UK (2013), Frieze Projects, London, with Grizedale Arts, Liverpool Biennial, UK (2012).



Helen Pheby

Helen Pheby is the Senior Curator of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an international centre for modern and contemporary art set in 500 acres of historic parkland, four galleries, and an 18th-century chapel. Recently curated/co-curated YSP exhibitions include Fiona Banner: WP WP WP; Henry Moore: Back to a Land and Caro in Yorkshire, and she heads up the UK and international Visiting Artist programme. Current projects include A Place in Time at NIROX Sculpture Park in the Unesco Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. Helen was co-curator of the Kyiv Sculpture Project (2012), the first open-air display of contemporary sculpture in Ukraine. She is regularly invited to share her expertise including a lecture tour of India, a talk at the Johannesburg Art Fair, and conferences at Tate and The Henry Moore Institute. Publications include KAWS ​(​2016​)​; Caro in Yorkshire (2015); Henry Moore: Back to a Land (2015); Hester Reeve: Ymedaca (2015); Jordan McKenzie 2014); James Capper: Divisions (2013); Sophie Ernst: Home (2012) and Miró: Sculptor (2012). She is a Curatorial partner of ArtRole, Kurdistan-Iraq.



Isobel Johnstone - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Rosalind Nashashibi - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Caroline Douglas - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Andrew Dempsey - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
David Batchelor - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Andrew Causey - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Carey Young - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Guy Brett - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009
Richard Cork - Interviewed by Robert Dingle, 2009