New Expressions

'Plymouth Porcelain: A New Collection' (2012) Clare Twomey. Commissioned by Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery as part of New Expressions.

‘Plymouth Porcelain: A New Collection’ (2012) Clare Twomey. Commissioned by Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery as part of New Expressions.


Unlocking the creative potential of collections

As an experienced evaluator, I have recently specialised in collaboration between contemporary artists and museums and have a particular interest in quality and impact.

Between 2011 and 2016 I worked as evaluator to a national pathfinder programme, New Expressions 3, which sought to establish a national approach to collaboration between artists and museums. Combining quantitative and qualitative measures, I assessed the impact on commissioned artists, museums and audiences.

I also researched and produced a collection of case studies from the programme.

I began my involvement with New Expressions in 2008, having initiated the programme and undertaken its early development while at Museums, Libraries and Archives South West (MLA South West). Between 2011 and 2016 New Expressions was led by Plymouth City Council and has achieved national reach.

More about New Expressions

The aim of New Expressions was to unlock the creative potential of museum collections through working with contemporary artists and offering fresh perspectives for audiences. Across eight years and three iterations, more than 30 museums and historic houses and 40 lead artists collaborated to create new work reaching an audience of over a million people. A programme of professional development events and field visits for museums and artists underpinned New Expressions.

The National Trust and the Contemporary Visual Arts Network helped shape New Expressions 3. A new scheme, The New Opportunities Award, enabled artists to make their own proposals for heritage collaboration for the first time.