BRITISH AIRWAYS: COLLECTION: 1996-2008
The working relationship between British Airways and Artwise has been inspiring and long standing. Back in 1996 BA recognised the potential that art could play in its re-branding: increasing brand awareness and creating a new contemporary (and British) image for the company. Our aim for BA was to establish a series of long-term strategies and a programme of diverse artist-led initiatives incorporating the company’s goals that would include both customers and staff. It needed to reflect the world-class status of the company and to demonstrate its innovation and leadership within the industry, through its Art. Over the twelve-year period Artwise developed an impressive Art Collection for BA that includes over 1500 works and over 60 special commissions some of which have been the recipient of esteemed industry awards.
BA wanted to build on their small collection of British Abstract artists to better reflect their status as an international carrier and create exciting environments that can inspire and engage both staff and passengers.
During this period we managed and catalogued the British Airways Art Collection, which includes British masterpieces by Bridget Riley, Patrick Heron and David Nash. Maximising the visibility and potential of the permanent Collection, we curated thought-provoking displays in buildings around Heathrow airport and over 46 Executive Lounges worldwide. In addition to its programme of temporary exhibitions, we worked to expand the Collection with an ambitious range of works by international modern and contemporary artists, including Chris Ofili, Peter Doig, Janet Cardiff, Anish Kapoor, Donald Judd, Berndt and Hilla Becher, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.
Working within a defined budget, we developed a structured and sensitive approach to its acquisitions policy, sourcing artists with a relationship to the countries in which the Lounges are located. The New Lounges concept was rolled out in Heathrow and the success of the Collection is such that it has become an integral part of the design and redevelopment of British Airways Lounges worldwide.