Tonya Nelson curates ArtUK online exhibition from the British Council collection to celebrate IMD2020

On the occasion of International Museums Day (IMD), it is my pleasure to present a selection of artworks from the British Council collection which celebrate diversity and inclusion as a force for innovation. Each of the artists featured uses ‘difference’ as a means of discovery and an engine for new ideas. They embrace collaboration, experimentation and risk-taking in order to advance artistic practice as well as create space for society to imagine new futures. ICOM UK and British Council work to promote the exchange of ideas between people from different backgrounds across the globe. I invite you to reflect on how we can increase diversity and inclusion as a means of creating a better society.

View Tonya’s exhibition online at


To coincide with IMD, Art UK announces the launch of Curations, a revolutionary free digital tool allowing anyone anywhere to create an online exhibition. Museums and other public collections can also mount digital exhibitions of physical shows that have closed whilst also imagining exhibitions they would like to stage in the future. During lockdown, Curations will be of particular value to collections.

Curations is free to use and has been developed by cultural education charity Art UK to encourage people to engage with the nation’s art. The tool allows anyone to choose artworks for their exhibition from Art UK, the online home for the national art collection. 250,000 artworks by 46,000 artists from 3,300 collection venues are on the platform – numbers that are growing all the time.

Democratising art

Anyone can add commentaries or notes to their Curations, organise their artworks and choose from a selection of exhibition display modes. Curations can be kept private or published publicly and can be shared on social media through the hashtags #CurateYourOwn and #ArtUKCurations.

Whether curating their favourite artworks, exploring a more thematic approach, or revealing their amazing discoveries, users will be inspired to tell their own stories behind the nation’s art collection.

A vital resource for collections

Art UK’s Partner collections can share actual or imagined exhibitions with a global online audience of over 2.5 million annual users. During lockdown, with many exhibitions postponed or cancelled, this will be vital. Curations will broaden access to art collections and help institutions reach new audiences. It will ensure physical exhibitions are digitally preserved for the future.

Curations will help to unite the UK’s digital art collections in innovative ways, showing solidarity across the sector and supporting Towards a National Collection’s new #CollectionsUnited campaign.

A tool for learning

Curations will support learners of all ages and abilities. Teachers will be able to use the tool to plan lessons and activities – encouraging pupils to explore new themes or connections. Students can use it to support their studies and present their own work.

Start curating now

You can view Curations at
Make your own at

Sculptor Conrad Shawcross, Art UK’s 2020 Patron, said: ‘In these unprecedented times, Curations
is an extraordinary tool that offers new and innovative ways for the public to engage with the nation’s art.’

Artist Bob and Roberta Smith, Art UK Trustee said, ‘The British people own the most marvellous
collection of art. Art UK brings it together in one place. Curations will remind them how marvellous it is.’

Andrew Ellis, Art UK’s Director, says: ‘Curations is an example of what is possible when you digitally
connect the national art collection. It means museums and the public alike can now bring together
artworks from institutions across the country, tell the stories behind the art, and share their Curations
with others. Art UK is all about democratising the nation’s art collection. Curations takes this a step

The development and build of Curations has been generously supported by the Ampersand
Foundation. Curations was built by the London agency Keepthinking.