The UK’s most celebrated art event will interact with thousands of people in communities across Plymouth when the landmark British Art Show is hosted by the city exactly one year from now.
A grant of £100,000 will help the ambitious British Art Show 9 (BAS9), held every five years to showcase British artists, inspire a new generation of creative and cultural talent when it arrives in Plymouth on 8 October 2022.
Arts organisations will work with school pupils across the city, give communities the power to take part and open up opportunities for showcase local talent – as well as the chance to meet some of the most talked about artists of today.
The programme will make BAS9 show as accessible as possible – making it far more than gallery viewings and opening up the experience of contemporary art to audiences across Plymouth.
At its core, BAS9 will be shown across four city venues until 23 December 2022 – The Box, KARST, The Levinsky Gallery at the University of Plymouth and the Mirror Gallery at Plymouth College of Art. It is being held in partnership with Plymouth Culture.
The work of the show was created at a pivotal moment in our history – a time when conversations around our history, identity and racial and environmental justice have never been more powerful.
In Plymouth, the debate around our own history speaks directly to the work in the show, where artists have worked on themes including healing, care and how we consider our past.
Their work also strikes an optimistic tone – exploring tactics for togetherness and imagining new futures as well.
BAS9 is a remarkable opportunity for Plymouth, with 75,000 people visiting the last time it was hosted in the city in 2011 – the first time Plymouth had hosted such an event across multiple venues.
Councillor Mark Deacon, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “We want BAS9 to be more than an exhibition – a project that develops audiences across the city, gives people multiple opportunities to get involved and collaborate and which leaves a legacy.
“Contemporary art should be an accessible and rewarding experience for everyone, especially as we continue to move on from a global pandemic when so many people were unable to engage with the arts. The one-year countdown to BAS9 is on and this grant is a great boost to Plymouth’s second hosting of this major national event.”
Forty-seven artists have been selected for BAS9 by curators Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar. They include Turner Prize winners and artists who have represented Britain at the prestigious Venice Biennale. Works on display will include sculpture, film, installation, performance, painting and photography.
Hannah Harris, Chief Executive of Plymouth Culture, said: “The British Art Show is a rare opportunity to bring the experience of contemporary art to our communities – to involve people across Plymouth in the debates and conversations it sparks.
“We want to make sure it is accessible to all, and the work over the next 12 months will ensure that.
“This show has been created by artists who have lived and worked through some of the most challenging and unique circumstances of our times.
“The work they have created will emotionally resonate with all of us, with all of our experiences of a nation and city trying to revisit its past, talk about its present and look with hope to its future.”