Art, science and me!

Date: 12 December 2017

Join Ian Blatchford, director and chief executive of the Science Museum Group, on Wednesday evening for an exploration into the cultural journey of art and science, in the final of BP’s Cultural Visions lecture series

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The former deputy director of the Victoria and Albert Museum is responsible for overseeing the Science Museum in London and other related museums, a role he has held for the last seven years.

The Science Museum Group is the largest group of science museums in the world and it takes a diverse set of skills to run such a complex organisation.

Ian Blatchford is an art historian with a clear mind and political understanding. He is at the heart of a world which is crying out for STEM skills and yet one in which scientific method and ‘truth’ is taking a bashing.

As a Law graduate from Oxford University, Ian Blatchford started his career working at the Bank of England and the merchant bankers Barclays de Zoete Wedd in the City of London. He went on to join the Arts Council as the deputy finance director, before moving to the marketing and design agency Cricket Communications as financial controller.

In 1996 he joined the Royal Academy of Arts as the director of finance where he stayed until 2002, when he took the position of director of finance and resources at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Two years later, he became deputy director. 

Des Violaris, BP Director of UK Arts, Culture and Paralympics, said: “The BP Cultural Visions Lecture Series is designed to explore the challenges and the obstacles faced by some of the UK’s leading creative visionaries - how this shaped them ,their careers, and their part in the conversation around a cultural vision for the future. Ian’s career is fascinating and offers an interesting slant on the creative journey we have been exploring throughout this incredible year.”

Featuring varied and prominent speakers, the lectures provide a fresh space to investigate and celebrate innovation and passion. A collaboration between BP and the University of Hull, the series is designed to spark cultural conversation with monthly lectures throughout 2017.

The event will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 13 December in Middleton Hall at the University of Hull.

Book online at: and

For media enquiries, please contact Sarah Lilly at the University of Hull press office on 01482 462193 or

Notes to editors

BP support for UK Arts & Culture

In the UK, BP is a major supporter of the arts with a programme that spans over 50 years. BP’s investment in long term partnerships with the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Shakespeare Company represent one of the most significant long-term corporate investments in UK arts and culture

BP is a global energy company with wide reach across the world’s energy system. The energy we produce serves to power economic growth and lift people out of poverty. In the future, the way heat, light and mobility are delivered will change. We aim to anchor our business in these changing patterns of demand, rather than in the quest for supply. We have a real contribution to make the world’s ambition of a low carbon future. We have operations in Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Asia and Africa, and employ around 75,000 people.

BP Hull is home to some of BP’s most innovative operations. We own and operate a chemical manufacturing facility which is the largest producer of acetic acid and acetic anhydride in Europe. BP is at the forefront of research and technology in the petrochemicals field, and Hull is one of our principle global centres for petrochemicals research and technology. In addition, Hull hosts part of BP’s Centre of Expertise in Applied Chemistry and Physics (AC&P). Earlier this year, we marked our 50th anniversary at BP Hull.  

University of Hull

Creativity lives and breathes at the University of Hull – always has done, always will.

As a catalyst for creativity we are a keen supporter of arts and culture within our community and beyond – and now, as a principal partner of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 we are delighted to be an integral part of the celebrations.

The University of Hull is playing a significant role in producing and hosting some of the spectacular events that form part of the Hull 2017 programme including, in the first few months alone, an exhibition of drawings from some of art’s prominent masters from Matisse to Michelangelo; a film festival dedicated to Oscar-winning Director Minghella who kick-started his career here; and an exhibition of BP Portrait Award Commissions from the National Portrait Gallery featuring famous faces from Paul Smith to J.K. Rowling. Some of this activity is being held in our newly relaunched Middleton Hall which, following a £9.5million redevelopment, is now a world-class concert and arts venue.

University of Hull students, graduates and staff are at the heart of the programming with conferences, concerts and festivals showcasing their talent. In addition, as the exclusive academic partner we are an official partner in creativity and in helping to pave the way for future generations.

For further information visit

Hull UK City of Culture 2017

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is a 365 day programme of cultural events and creativity inspired by the city and told to the world. Hull secured the title of UK City of Culture 2017 in November 2013. It is only the second city to hold the title and the first in England. Divided into four seasons, this nationally significant event draws on the distinctive spirit of the city and the artists, writers, directors, musicians, revolutionaries and thinkers that have made such a significant contribution to the development of art and ideas.

The Culture Company was set up to deliver the Hull 2017 programme and is an independent organisation with charitable status. It has raised £32 million, with over 70 partners supporting the project, including public bodies, trusts and foundations and local and national businesses.

Key contributions are coming from: Host City – Hull City Council; Principal Partners - Arts Council England, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, KCOM, KWL, Spirit of 2012, Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull; Major Partners –Associated British Ports, Arco, BP, the British Council, British Film Institute, Green Port Hull, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, MKM Building Supplies, P&O Ferries, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Sewell Group, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Wykeland Group. The National Lottery has contributed more than £10m of this funding, making it the largest single funding body for Hull 2017.

For information go to

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