Group exhibition: The Wonderful Fund on Tour
Le Musée de Marrakech
Place Ben Youssef, Medina
October 1 2005 - January 15 2006
Nearly 100 works of contemporary art - purchased by Vanessa Branson and Prue O'Day as curators for the London-based collectors group The Wonderful Fund - will be exhibited at Le Musée de Marrakech to open the first Arts in Marrakech Festival (AiM) Festival. The Wonderful Fund is a collection of international visual art by more than 64 artists including Sarah Lucas, Grayson Perry, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk and Hellen van Meene.
From the press release (PDF, 86KB):
In 1999, Branson encouraged a small group to jointly develop and share ownership of a collection of international visual art by young and emerging artists, built on a framework of a number of more established practitioners. The result of this five-year Millennial project is the collection that Branson and co-curator O'Day assembled, a small but significant selection of international contemporary art at the turn of the century. The Collection was not put together as an investment, but to be a platform for discovery and a means of supporting young artists.
The Wonderful Fund is lending the collection for two public exhibitions, the first at Le Musée de Marrakech, followed by a UK showing at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester in the Summer of 2006.
The Marrakech exhibition has the honour of launching the first Arts in Marrakech Festival (AiM), which will start with a long weekend of private views, literary events, cultural activities, and parties (30th September - 2nd October 2005). AiM events will continue through 3rd October.
The Wonderful Fund has been offered the entire Musée de Marrakech, a restored 19th Century palace which opened as a museum in 1997 and is one of three historic monuments on the site (the 12th Century Qoubba Almoravide and the 16th Century school the Médersa Ben Youssef).
Hotelier, charity worker, art patron, bon viveur, fitness fanatic, general enthusiast and sister of Richard, Vanessa Branson has that gene for making things happen. This human dynamo raised £250,000 (in just eight hours) to buy a contemporary art collection to be owned by 15 people who didn't know one another, understood little about art and had never before collected. She called it The Wonderful Fund.
In their five-year project, Branson and O'Day have assembled a not-insignificant collection of contemporary art, work mostly produced during the first five years of the century. It provides a document of millennial social, artistic, political and cultural concerns. "We were sensitive to world events like September 11 and the war," she says. "They didn't dictate our choices, but they influenced them." The overriding theme is a sense of insecurity over issues of identity. "That's the predominant theme of contemporary art."