A MAJOR exhibition showcasing ‘art in the age of computers’ is coming to Chester – the first time the works have been displayed outside of London.

It has been made possible by Chester Visual Arts (CVA) and is said to be a “significant milestone” in the journey towards establishing a permanent contemporary art gallery in the city.

The V&A exhibition Chance and Control: Art in the Age of Computers, will be set up in the Old Library on Northgate Street between Friday, June 7, and Sunday, September 8.

It will include key works from the pioneers of digital art over the last 50 years.

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity.

CVA is a registered charity established to bring a new focus to visual arts provision to Chester and the region.

Two V&A touring exhibitions have previously been held in the Old Library: the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize and Pop Art in Print. The exhibition Our Colour Reflection by Liz West was held at Chester Cathedral.

The three have reportedly attracted a total of over 40,000 local, national and international visitors, making a significant cultural contribution to the region.

Ian Short, Chairman of Chester Visual Arts said: “We’re delighted to strengthen our relationship with the V&A by bringing this ground-breaking exhibition to Chester.

“Our lives are increasingly defined by our relationship with digital technologies; Chance and Control traces how artists were – and continue to be – at the vanguard of new possibilities. It is a very timely exhibition.

“The excellent visitor response to the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize demonstrates the continuing appetite for high-quality visual art in the city and the desire for a permanent gallery. Alongside this, we are pleased to continue our educational offer for schools and young people in the region.”

Dr Helen Charman, Director of Learning and National Programmes at the V&A, added: “Chance and Control explores the impact of the computer on the relationship between art and technology, within an important tradition at the V&A of collecting digital art and design.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Chester Visual Arts for the third time in two years, so that this fascinating and timely display can be enjoyed by an even wider audience this summer.”

Douglas Dodds, Head of Digital Collections and Services at the V&A, said: “We’re delighted that the Chance and Control exhibition’s UK tour is starting in Chester.

“The show also includes early work by Paul Brown, who attended art college in Liverpool, and Desmond Paul Henry, who lived and worked in Manchester.”

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to funding from Cheshire-based charity the Tyrer Charitable Trust.

Clive Pointon, Chairman of the Trust and head of the acclaimed Wills, Trusts and Tax team at Chester-based law firm Aaron & Partners, said: “We’re thrilled to be playing a key role in bringing this exhibition to Chester. It promises to be a unique experience and will attract a wide range of interest from city visitors, with a huge range of artwork that really showcases the development of digital art over the past 50 years.

“It’s also fantastic to see an empty building in the former city centre library transformed into an art gallery in this way. On behalf of the Trust, we’re delighted to be continuing our work bringing important works of art to the Cheshire region for people to see and enjoy.”

The exhibition will be open from 11am until 5pm. Admission is free and the venue is fully accessible.