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Currencies of Conflict and Dissent

This exhibition is the first of its kind to examine the interplay of money, power and dissent over the last 200 years. A key strand of the show explores the role of the individual in protesting for rights and representation – from the radicals of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, like Thomas Spence and the Suffragettes, to current artists and activists, such as Aida Wilde and Hilary Powell, who use money to promote social and economic equality or satirise those in power. A range of striking objects in the exhibition reveal the multiple roles money played during conflict, whether it be in occupation or resistance, as tokens of memory and remembrance, created during siege or emergency, made for or by prisoners of war, or made in support of sectarian or political ideologies. Contemporary artworks by Peter Kennard, Banksy and JSG Boggs are contextualised against earlier works and reveal continuities in the targets of protest across time. More than a hundred visually striking objects, most of which have never been seen before, will be juxtaposed with important loans from museums and private collections. At the centre of this show is a new collection built thanks to an Art Fund New Collecting Award.

Image: A French 10-centime copper coin of Napoleon III. The emperor’s bust was removed shortly after 1870 following his disastrous defeat and capture by the Prussians in 1870.

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