Future Collect Conference: Handle with Care

Thu Nov 25 2021 at 10:30 am to 05:00 pm

Manchester Art Gallery | Manchester

Iniva - Institute of International Visual Arts
Publisher/HostIniva - Institute of International Visual Arts
Future Collect Conference: Handle with Care
Taking inspiration from Jade Montserrat, our conference will be an interdisciplinary ‘fairground of ideas’ exploring manifestations of care.
About this Event

Handle with Care will reflect on the groundbreaking partnership commission undertaken by iniva and Manchester Art Gallery as part of iniva’s legacy project Future Collect.  

Future Collect is a dynamic programme of contemporary art commissions designed to transform the national conversation around contemporary art collecting.  

Taking inspiration and guidance from inaugural Future Collect artist Jade Montserrat, the Handle with Care conference will be an interdisciplinary ‘fairground of ideas’ exploring manifestations of care in artistic, curatorial and collecting practices.  

The conference will revisit the urgent call made by Professor Stuart Hall, founding chair of iniva, in his keynote speech at the national conference, Whose Heritage? The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Britain’s Living Heritage, held in Manchester in November 1999. Professor Hall called for a re-imagined Britain, reinvented for all who refuse to become othered in order to belong. Handle with Care will suggest that this call to action remains as relevant and urgent when thinking about our national collections within visual arts museums and galleries today. 

In format Handle with Care will reimagine what a conference offers us as a site for collaboration, connection and dialogue. Through a series of themed round table discussions inspired by Lois Weaver’s ‘Long Table’ performance, we hope to create a space where all those attending the conference can take a seat at the table and be a part of the conversation,  

The conference will include three roundtable discussions based around the following questions and themes:  

  • Creative Critique as Care: How can artists embed institutional critique in creative practice? 
  • A conversation initiated by Jade Montserrat (artist), Jack Ky Tan (artist) & Paul Hughes (artist).
  • Tenderness and Decolonial Repair: How can we embed care in our work with archives and collections? How can artists help collections heal? 
  • A conversation initiated by Tobias Barnett (researcher) & Holly Graham (artist).
  • Care is a Collective Responsibility: Talking through access to cultural spaces, care for carers, and civic responsibility.
  • A conversation initiated by The Women’s Art Activation System (WAAS, artist collective), Agency of Visible Women (artist collective) & others.

The day will also include a performance by Paul Hughes and a workshop (TBC). The final programme will be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the conversation!  

Light refreshments in the morning, and lunch will be provided for those attending the in-person conference. 



Some of our contributors will be joining us digitally and all of the roundtable discussions will be available online through a livestream/webinar (with captions). 

Please book a ‘digital’ ticket if you would like to join the digital conference. 


We will have a BSL interpreter on-site for the conference. We had also planned to offer childcare but as we are one week out from the conference and have not received any requests for this, we will not be offering childcare on-site due to organizational considerations. If you require childcare, please get in touch directly ([email protected]) and we will do our best to help. Manchester Art Gallery is physically access friendly, more details on this here.


We appreciate that for many artists, students and practitioners not attached to arts organisations with training budgets, fees associated to attending events can be prohibitive. We will have a limited number of bursaries available for those who need additional support to be able to participate in the conference. Please get in touch with Anahí at [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to access this support! 


For this event, we will be asking people to take and register a negative lateral flow test before arrival. This is so we can ensure the safety of everyone involved to the best of our abilities. 

We will also be asking all participants to wear a face mask (unless medically exempt). Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe! 

Disclaimer: Due to the changing COVID-19 situation and regulations in the UK, there is a possibility that we may have to arrange for this to be a fully digital event. If you have booked a ticket we will inform you of any changes via email.

Image credits: Collected, collective, communal, cultural object through ritual, Jade Montserrat, 2021. Courtesy of the Artist. 

Future Collect is generously supported by Art Fund, Arts Council England and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, United Kingdom


GBP 0.00

Sharing is Caring: