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Rosalind Nashashibi announced as 2020 National Gallery Artist in Residence

in a new collaboration with the Contemporary Art Society

Issued September 2019

Today the National Gallery has announced that Rosalind Nashashibi will be its Artist in Residence for 2020 – the first to be chosen since the launch of its new Modern and Contemporary Programme.

The residency award is a collaboration with the Contemporary Art Society, while the UK Partner Museum for the inaugural residency will be The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney, which was selected for the exceptional quality of their collections.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Image: Rosalind Nashashibi outside the National Gallery © The National Gallery, London

Nashashibi, a filmmaker and painter, will begin her residency in September. Over the course of the year, she will work in the National Gallery’s on-site Artist’s Studio, benefitting from the close proximity to the Gallery’s collection, research and teams. The residency will culminate in a publication and display, featuring Nashashibi’s work at the National Gallery in summer 2020.

The position is aimed at an artist in the middle of their career who will benefit from unparalleled access to the Gallery’s collection. Nashashibi was chosen by a jury of artists and curators including the Director of the Pier Arts Centre. An innovation in the award is that it takes into account the responsibilities that an artist may have, so that, regardless of circumstance, whoever has been chosen by the jury can be supported throughout the year-long residency. As well as £30,000, an artist in residence may receive a further award based on particular personal or familial responsibilities.     

After accepting the position, Rosalind Nashashibi said: “I am very excited to have been invited as Artist in Residence. The National Gallery is of tremendous inspiration to artists from all over the world and I look forward to exploring its collection and history, as well as those of the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney. I am glad that the set-up of the Residency is made for the actual working lives of artists today, enabling both work and the caring for family responsibilities at the same time.”

The partnership between the National Gallery and The Pier Arts Centre allows the artist to respond to one of the greatest collections of paintings in the Western European tradition, as well as an outstanding collection 20th-century British Modernist art, including works by William Gear, Barbara Hepworth, Margaret Mellis, Margaret Tait and Alfred Wallis. Nashashibi’s work will also travel to The Pier Arts Centre and – in a pioneering move to enrich regional collections – will be acquired by the Contemporary Art Society for the permanent collection in Orkney.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, said: “Rosalind Nashashibi is the first artist in our new Artist in residence programme at the National Gallery. I am delighted we have established a three-way collaboration with the Contemporary Arts Society and the Piers Arts Centre in Orkney and I am much looking forward to welcoming Rosalind to the Gallery.”

Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with the National Gallery in developing this new residency. The purchase of work for a UK museum means there is a genuine legacy and benefits for the artist and for audiences far beyond London. Its structure – a partnership involving a UK regional museum and the consideration for the needs of the artist – will hopefully prove an example for other similar programmes across the UK.”

Neil Firth, Director of The Pier Arts Centre, said: “It is a great pleasure and privilege to be involved in this inaugural partnership with the National Gallery and the Contemporary Arts Society. The Pier Arts Centre is a small independent museum, built around a very special collection of 20th-century British art. It is now expanding to include art made in the 21st century, and this partnership is a major fillip to our activities, and confirmation of our ambition.”

A Turner Prize nominee in 2017, Nashashibi has consistently received international critical acclaim for her films which combine the everyday with the fantastical, incorporating cinematic narratives while using a painterly style to capture her observations. An artist of Palestinian and Irish heritage, Nashashibi’s works also reflect a broad internationalism with subjects ranging from police in New York, families in Gaza, and women in Tahiti.

Daniel F. Herrmann, National Gallery Curator of Modern & Contemporary Projects, said: “Since its inception in 1824, the National Gallery’s collection has inspired the most exciting artists of its day. Our Artist in residence programme continues this tradition of supporting contemporary practice. We are delighted to work together with Rosalind Nashashibi, one of the finest and most astute artists working in Britain today. Her critical acumen, visual innovation and curiosity for the stories of images in our lives are of outstanding importance, poignancy, and beauty. We look forward to collaborating with our UK Partner Museum, The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, to presenting the artist’s work to our visitors.”

Steve Langan, Chief Executive Officer, Hiscox USA and Chief Marketing Officer, Hiscox Group, said:

“Hiscox is proud to be supporting the National Gallery Artist in Residence and we are extremely excited to see how Rosalind Nashashibi will respond to the works within the collection. This is the first project following the renewal of our multi-year (five year) sponsorship of the National Gallery’s contemporary art programme. Hiscox has a long tradition of supporting artists and galleries and during the last three years of our partnership with the National Gallery we have seen some fantastic exhibitions from Chris Ofili to Sean Scully, and we are honoured to be part of making these projects happen.”

The National Gallery Artist in Residence is a collaboration with the Contemporary Art Society

Programme sponsored by Hiscox


About the Modern & Contemporary Programme

For nearly two centuries, the National Gallery’s collection has provided inspiration to contemporary artists. The National Gallery’s new Modern & Contemporary Programme continues this tradition through exhibitions, displays, commissions, and residencies. 2019 saw the unveiling of Bridget Riley’s monumental wall painting Messengers in the Gallery’s Annenberg Court, and the recent popular exhibition Sea Star: Sean Scully at the National Gallery.

About Rosalind Nashashibi

Rosalind Nashashibi (b.1973) is a filmmaker and painter. Her often collaborative work uses cinematic traditions to develop unforeseen narratives and ways of looking. Nashashibi was shortlisted for the 2017 Turner Prize, was included in the 2017 Documenta 14, the 2011 Sharjah Biennial 10, 2008 Manifesta 7 and represented Scotland in the 2007 Venice Biennale. She was the first woman to win the Beck’s Futures prize in 2003. Recent solo exhibitions took place at the Secession, Vienna; The Art Institute of Chicago; and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. Her work is included in many public collections, among others the British Arts Council, UK; Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate Britain, London. Nashashibi is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University, London.

About the 2020 National Gallery Artist in Residence 

Over the course of one year, the National Gallery Artist in Residence has access to the unique on-site Artist’s Studio. The residency culminates in a publication and display of work at the National Gallery, which travels to the UK Partner Museum. It will then be acquired for the partner museum by the Contemporary Art Society.

The National Gallery Artist in Residence is suggested and appointed by an expert jury. The 2020 jury comprised of; Alessio Antoniollo (Director, Gasworks, London), Katrina Brown (Director, The Common Guild, Glasgow), Caroline Douglas (Director, Contemporary Art Society, London), Neil Firth (Director, Pier Arts Centre, Orkney), Prof. Louise Wilson (Artist) and Daniel F. Herrmann (National Gallery Curator, Modern & Contemporary Projects).

The new residency replaces the previous Associate Artist scheme. The Contemporary Art Society’s contribution is generously supported by Anna Yang and Joseph Schull. Rosalind Nashashibi will receive £47,100 for the year-long residency.

About the Contemporary Art Society

The Contemporary Art Society champions the collecting of outstanding contemporary art and craft in the UK. Since 1910 the charity has donated thousands of works by living artists to museums, from Picasso, Bacon, Hepworth and Moore in their day, through to the influential artists of our times. Sitting at the heart of cultural life in the UK, the Contemporary Art Society brokers philanthropic support for the benefit of museums and their audiences across the entire country. Their work ensures that the story of art continues to be told now and for future generations.

About The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney

The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney was established in 1979 to provide a home for an important collection of British fine art donated by the author, peace activist and philanthropist Margaret Gardiner (1904–2005).

The collection includes works by major 20th-century artists Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Alfred Wallis, amongst others, as well as contemporary art by Sean Scully, Eva Rothschild and Olafur Eliasson and Orkney artists including Sylvia Wishart and Stanley Cursiter.

It is a 'Recognised Collection of National Significance to Scotland', equivalent to the 'Designated Outstanding Collection' scheme in England. The Pier Arts Centre is a Plus Tate partner, a network of outstanding visual arts organisations across the UK.

The Centre curates a year-round programme of changing exhibitions and events for the education and enjoyment of the general public.

About the Hiscox group

Hiscox is a global specialist insurer, headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). Their ambition is to be a respected specialist insurer with a diverse portfolio by product and geography. They believe that building balance between catastrophe-exposed business and less volatile local specialty business gives opportunities for profitable growth throughout the insurance cycle. It’s a long-standing strategy which in 2018 saw the business deliver a profit before tax of $137.4 million in a challenging year for insurers.

The Hiscox Group employs over 3,300 people in 14 countries, and has customers worldwide. Through the retail businesses in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US, they offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers as well as homeowners. Internationally traded, bigger ticket business and reinsurance is underwritten through Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re & ILS.

Their values define their business, with a focus on people, quality, courage and excellence in execution. They pride themselves on being true to their word and their award-winning claims service is testament to that. For more information, visit

National Gallery Press Office on 020 7747 2865 or email

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