Spike Island Director Helen Legg is appointed Director of Tate Liverpool

Image Credit: Helen Legg, photograph by Yiannis Katsaris

It is announced that Helen Legg, current Director of Spike Island, has been appointed the new Director of Tate Liverpool.

Since her appointment as Spike Island Director in September 2010, Helen has developed an ambitious exhibitions programme focused on emerging and underrepresented artists alongside the growth of a dynamic internal community. Over this period Spike Island has seen significant increases in attendance and a raised national and international profile. Spike Island now plays a leading role in the visual arts in the South West.

Helen is also the current Chair of the Visual Arts South West (VASW) Steering Group. Gordon Dalton, VASW Network Manager said, 'Helen has contributed greatly to the South West's visual arts scene, not only in the development of Spike Island under her direction, but as the Chair of VASW's Steering Group, where her experience and knowledge formed part of our Strategic Framework. While we will be very sad to see her go, she leaves behind a vibrant arts ecology that has benefitted from her time in the South West.'

Previously Helen was Curator at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005 – 2010), where she was heavily involved in the development of Ikon, Eastside, based in a former factory building in Digbeth, an industrial area of the city.

With almost two decades of curatorial expertise, having worked extensively with British and international contemporary artists, including Hedwig Houben, Lubaina Himid, Kim Yong-Ik, Haroon Mirza, Laure Prouvost, Charlotte Prodger, Becky Beasley, Ciara Phillips and Michael Simpson, she has built impressive relationships in the UK and abroad. 

Andrew Cooper, Chair of Spike Island said:

'Helen has been instrumental in establishing Spike Island as a beacon of excellence at a very challenging time for the visual arts in Bristol and her reputation is rightly extremely high - both nationally and internationally - and with it that of Spike Island too. I am immensely proud that Helen has been offered such a prestigious and important post based on her highly valued work at Spike Island, and I am delighted that she has been given such an exciting opportunity and challenge at this stage in her career. We wish her the very best in Liverpool where she will take up the position in June 2018.'

Helen Legg said:

'I am delighted to be joining Tate as Director of Tate Liverpool. The gallery has had a huge impact on me and I feel a strong affinity with the values of the organisation. I look forward to working with colleagues there and to deepening relationships with partners both locally and internationally to take the gallery into its next exciting phase.'

Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate said:

'We are thrilled to announce that Helen Legg has been appointed Director of Tate Liverpool. As the gallery enters its fourth decade, Helen will lead the institution into a new era. Her impressive track record at Spike Island and at Ikon mean she brings a wealth of expertise to the role. Her curatorial achievements and her experience of developing crucial networks and partnerships will help us attract the audiences of the future to Tate Liverpool.'

Tate Trustee and Chair of Tate Liverpool Advisory Council, James Timpson said:

'Tate Liverpool has a long history of working closely with organisations in the city and is one of the most visited modern and contemporary art galleries outside London. Helen Legg’s impressive vision and expertise will ensure the gallery will continue to offer an outstanding programme and affirm its important role in this community and beyond.'

Helen is currently an external advisor to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee, a member of Arts Council England South West Area Council, Chair of Visual Arts South West, an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University West of England and sits on the advisory board of the Bristol Cultural Development partnership. Among other achievements, she was part of the selection committee for the British representations at the Venice Biennale 2017 and a judge for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2017.

She gained an MA in History of Art from the University of St Andrews in 1996 and an MA in Curating & Commissioning Contemporary Art in 2002 from the Royal College of Art. She completed the Chief Executive Programme of National Art Strategies, hosted by Harvard Business School and Michigan Business School, in April 2015.

For more information please contact Spike Island Communications Manager jane.faram@spikeisland.org.uk or call +44(0)117 929 2266 / Tate at pressoffice@tate.org.uk or call +44(0)20 7887 8730.


Related News

Arts and culture downgraded in ministerial restructure

20 Jun 2017

Arts and culture downgraded in ministerial restructure at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Teaching excellence framework (TEF) results 2017

23 Jun 2017

The results of the 2017 teaching excellence framework (TEF) have been released, with more than 130 UK universities and other higher education institutions being awarded gold, silver or bronze ratings for the quality of their teaching.

ACE announce NPO funding decision including 103 South West organisations

27 Jun 2017

Arts Council England have announced their National Portfolio Organisations funding decision, including 103 South West organisations

ACE Museum & Gallery Exhibition Tax Credit Briefings

12 Feb 2018

In March 2018 Arts Council England will be hosting a series of briefing events across England to support museums and galleries to understand and benefit from the Museum and Gallery Exhibitions Tax Relief.

VASW appoints three new members to its steering group

19 Feb 2018

Visual Arts South West is delighted to welcome three new members to its steering group: Zoe Li, Emily Bull and Lara Goodband.

Why the arts make us more employable, and why the creative industries are our international economic life-raft

05 Mar 2018

The Cultural Learning Alliance and The Edge Foundation have released Briefing Paper No. 2: Employability & Enterprise: Why the arts make us more employable, and why the creative industries are our international economic life-raft.

Spike Island Director Helen Legg is appointed Director of Tate Liverpool

20 Mar 2018

It is announced that Helen Legg, current Director of Spike Island, has been appointed the new Director of Tate Liverpool.

Action Hero become an NPO and share their ethical policy

06 Apr 2018

Bristol-based Action Hero – the collaboration of live art and performance makers Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse – have this week become an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and announced their ethical working policy.

CVAN Regional Strategy Consultation

09 Apr 2018

CVAN want to make sure their national strategic plan is as responsive and effective as possible and so they are currently consulting the regional networks.

Spacex announcement of closure

29 May 2018

After four decades of evolving visual arts provision in Exeter, Spacex board and staff have taken the difficult decision to close the organisation.

Visual Arts South West appoints new co-Chairs to Steering Group

01 Jun 2018

Visual Arts South West is pleased to announce the appointment of two co-Chairs to its Steering Group, succeeding the outgoing Chair, Helen Legg, Director, Spike Island, who is taking up the role of Director at Tate Liverpool.

Plymouth College of Art appoints Paul Fieldsend-Danks as Academic Dean

24 Jul 2018

Plymouth College of Art has appointed Paul Fieldsend-Danks in the new role of Academic Dean, as part of the College’s continued development as a distinctive and innovative specialist Higher Education Institution (HEI), undergoing the year-long process of scrutiny on its journey to achieving Taught Degree-Awarding Powers (TDAP) and university title.

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: