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Ironbridge receives Lottery grant for CORE - A major London 2012 digital commission by International Artist (23rd September 2011)

Arts Council England has awarded a National Lottery grant of almost £99,000 to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust for a major London 2012 Cultural Olympiad digital art commission.

The grant enables the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust to commission international artist Kurt Hentschläger to create a new digital artwork entitled CORE. The lead curator on this exciting project will be Richard Castelli, Director of French-based creative consortium Epidemic.

This work will form part of the London 2012 Festival, generating new audiences in the West Midlands and leaving an important legacy for the region. It will be a world-class piece of art and will be premiered at Enginuity during March 2012, one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums, where it will remain until the autumn.

Chicago based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger creates audiovisual performances and installations and has exhibited his work around the world including the Venice Biennial, National Art Museum of China in Beijing and the National Museum for Contemporary Art in Seoul.  Richard Castelli is a French producer who, as well as being Director of Epidemic, has curated many major international exhibitions and was Senior Curator of Lille 2004 European Cultural Capital.

Anna Brennand, Deputy Chief Executive at Ironbridge, said: “We believe that being part of the London 2012 Festival will help generate a significantly wider and larger audience for the museum, attracting 60,000 new visitors to the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.  It will deliver on the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad vision of inspiring creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

“We are excited at the opportunity of working with Richard Castelli and Kurt Hentschläger with their international reputations for excellence in their respective fields.”

Anna added that there will be a programme this year and in 2012 of working with schools and younger volunteers as part of the commission. Kurt Hentschläger says that CORE is the next generation of his generative 3D and audio work. The commission will feature a sequence of windows into a weightless world populated by groups of humanoid figures.

“These figures interact like a school of fish or a flock of birds and at other times like intricately choreographed modern ballet dancers or synchronised swimmers.”

The work will be created by several synchronised projections. Visit:

Peta Murphy-Burke, Relation Manager (Digital and Creative Economy) with Arts Council England in the West Midlands said: “This new digital work, seen for the first time in the UK and set within an historic industrial site, will create new audiences and enhance the reputation of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums for its pioneering use of digital art.

“The West Midlands has a wide programme of exciting Cultural Olympiad projects. This project in particular opens new opportunities for museums to embed contemporary art in industrial and historical sites. It should prove very popular, attracting many visitors to the region.”

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