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Rediscovering our sculpture: an Art UK symposium

The online conference – hosted on 11th and 12th March 2021 – was the culmination of nearly four years' work to digitise thousands of sculptures across the UK, held in collections and seen in our public spaces.

There were talks from Art UK staff on sculpture digitisation, our learning and engagement programme and new sculpture discoveries through Art Detective. We shared information on best practice for photography of sculpture, running community engagement events and delivering innovative activities for schools.

Talks from curators, art historians and learning professionals considered public sculpture, innovative learning programmes, diversity and colonialism, and new discoveries in sculpture and sculptor research. These included presentations from our project partners VocalEyes, CultureStreet, the Royal Society of Sculptors and the Royal Photographic Society.

The conference's keynote session saw artist Jeremy Deller in conversation with renowned Classicist and Art UK Patron Mary Beard, as they discussed their views on public art in the UK. The discussion touched on how they feel about the debate around contentious statues and their removal, and their thoughts on the role of art and sculpture in our public spaces.

Watch online

Sessions from the conference can be viewed as a YouTube playlist.

Full programme
Download PDF
Download Word document

Speakers' and chairs' biographies
Download PDF
Download Word document

Attendees joined the conversation on Twitter during the conference, using #OurSculpture and followed us @artukdotorg

The conference sessions were live captioned by Stagetext.


Session transcripts are available to download as Word documents by clicking the links below.

Thursday 11th March

Connecting communities with their sculptural heritage

Creating access to sculpture through Art UK's digitisation project

Sculpture and photography

Public sculpture in the town and on campus

New approaches to curation and research

Keynote session: Jeremy Deller and Mary Beard in conversation

Friday 12th March

New sculpture discoveries and research

Reconsidering diversity and sculpture

Sculpture and learning

Sculpture in sound and vision