Ideas Depot is a long term exhibition space at Tate Liverpool that features paintings, sculpture, works on paper and film and video works co-curated by Tate with with primary school teachers across the city including artists from André Derain and Salvador Dalí to Mona Hatoum and Chris Ofili.
Following a similar model to an artist-in-residence, Ideas Depot provides schools with an in-depth and longer-term access through their own residencies at the gallery while the artworks allow teaching across the full curriculum.
The design draws on a catalogue of products drawn from storage and warehousing to create a kit of parts. While robust and economical, they also have a very strong and sometimes beautiful aesthetic – especially when used out of their usual context and in different ways.
Freestanding shelves with mesh panels become walls onto which works are hung. This creates a layered effect allowing views through while exposing the backs of paintings that often reveal histories of a works provenance and status. The structures act as an armature for the changing installation of artworks, presented as more archive or workshop than gallery.
Arranged as a central X-shaped plan divides the space allowing each quarter to take on a different arrangement, giving space for presentation of different themes and media.
Outer walls act as a continuous perimeter painted with block colours to give accent and organisation to the hanging of works while also un-gallerifying the art museum.
Idea Depot aims to open up the collection to other expertise, perspectives and ideas; revealing how museums and galleries care for, display, and interpret works of art. It offer and invites new approaches to teaching and learning and exploring art in relation to curatorial practice.