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Contractors support new university exhibition space for British Art Show 9

Contractors support new university exhibition space for British Art Show 9

Remodelling works have recently been completed at the University of Wolverhampton in readiness for the UK’s biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art, British Art Show 9 (BAS9). 

Duco UK Ltd completed a five-week fast track project to reconfigure almost 11,000 sq ft of space on the 7th floor of the George Wallis Building at the University’s School of Art and Design in Wolverhampton.

The renovation was supported through a sponsorship agreement with main contractor, Willmott Dixon Interiors, which donated staff time and the supply of materials equivalent to more than £31,000.

Duco UK Ltd created a variety of new installation spaces currently exhibiting the work of selected artists at BAS9 which is taking place at the School of Art and Wolverhampton Art Gallery until 10 April 2022. 

Renovation works included the installation of new partitions and pattressing to support exhibition artworks, as well as new flooring and decoration. 

The project was marked by challenges brought on by the Covid-19 variant, Omicron, and a short lead in time. Duco UK Ltd erected a kilometre of metal section, containing 20,000 screws and more than 17,000 sq ft of boarding, in just five days. 

BAS9 is recognised as the most important and ambitious recurrent exhibition of contemporary art produced in the UK. Taking place every five years it brings the work of artists defining new directions in contemporary art to four UK cities. 

The exhibition includes film, photography, painting, sculpture, and performance, as well as multimedia projects on topics as diverse as identity, memory and community art practice. This is the first time Wolverhampton has been chosen to host the show. 

Craig Desmond, Director at Duco UK Ltd, said: “The success of this project was down to great project management. All stakeholders were willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the vision was realised, on time and to the agreed cost plan. 

“We were faced with just five weeks to get the build scope agreed and completed, but by engaging with the university’s Faculty and Estates Management team in an open and collaborative way, we were able to get started within a week. When the right people are brought together with the correct tools and techniques, any constraints can be managed.” 

Phil Crowther, Regional Director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “Hosting such a prestigious exhibition is a huge coup for the Wolverhampton School of Art and for the city as a whole. It’s also incredibly important that BAS9 will feature works on the British Black Arts movement by artists that have studied at the University. 

“Duco UK Ltd has done such a fantastic job in preparing the space for the exhibition. The team has supported Willmott Dixon Interiors in delivering several high quality refurbishment and fit out projects and are a highly valued member of our supply chain.” 

Maggie Ayliffe, Head of the University’s School of Art, said: “Because of the impact of Covid-19 and the uncertainty surrounding revised dates for BAS9, there were significant time constraints associated with revamping the School of Art studio space to create bespoke exhibition areas for selected artworks. 

“The team at Duco UK Ltd delivered a very professional job in record time, working with all of the partners at Southbank Centre and Hayward Gallery Touring alongside our Estates and Facilities team to ensure that the installation of the exhibition went smoothly. 

“It was an amazing team achievement and the newly created exhibition space will benefit new and existing students in the School of Art once BAS9 has finished, leaving a very important legacy in terms of supporting creative industries in the region.” 

CAPTION: Duco UK Ltd and Willmott Dixon Interiors have supported remodelling works at the University of Wolverhampton in readiness for the UK’s biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art, British Art Show 9. Photography by Stuart Whipps. 


About Willmott Dixon Interiors

Willmott Dixon is a privately-owned contracting and interior fit-out group. Founded in 1852, we are dedicated to leaving a positive legacy in our communities and environment and in 2018 were one of only six companies to receive a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the promoting opportunity through social mobility category. We create value for customers, stakeholders and communities by working in a sustainable and responsible way to shape the built environment and make a positive impact to society's wellbeing. | @weareWDI

About BAS9

BAS9 is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition presented in collaboration with the cities of Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth, and curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar. Four of the new works in the BAS9 tour are made possible with the generous support of the Art Fund and these will be acquired by museum partners in each city for their own collections, as a marker of the lasting legacy of this ambitious touring show. 

BAS9 will also benefit from the support of Arts Council England’s Project Grant for National Activities which is allowing partners to produce ambitious and wide-ranging programmes of creative learning, civic engagement and participation that will further extend the reach of BAS9 across the four partner cities. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication published by Hayward Gallery Publishing which includes two wide-ranging curatorial essays, over 200 colour illustrations and original texts on all 47 artists. 

British Art Show 9 is currently being exhibited across two venues in Wolverhampton until 10 April 2022: Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the University of Wolverhampton School of Art.


For more information contact Paul King on 0121 233 2080 or email  

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