British Art Show 9
British Art Show 9 takes a critical look at art produced in Britain, from 2015 up to the present moment, a period that begins with Britain voting to leave the European Union and closes with the still unfolding Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition was shaped after meeting with over 230 artists in 23 cities in the UK and beyond.
Responding to this complex time, the 47 artists in BAS9 look at how we live with and give voice to difference, while also extending our understanding of identity to beyond the human. Their projects often blur the boundaries between art and life, and imagine alternative futures. Through their works, they propose alternative economies and ways of living together that emphasise commonality, collaboration and care. They do so through film, photography, painting, sculpture, and performance, as well as through projects that don’t sit easily in any one category.
The exhibition is structured around three main themes: healing, care and reparative history; tactics for togetherness; and imagining new futures. These themes were agreed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the global recognition of racial injustice sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020. All three are even more relevant now.
BAS9 has been conceived as a cumulative experience. The exhibition will change and adapt for each of its four host cities, presenting different combinations of artists and artworks that respond to their distinctive local contexts.
To deepen engagement a wide-ranging programme of creative learning and active participation will extend the reach of the exhibition across the four British Art Show 9 cities. Supported by Arts Council England’s Project Grant for National Activities, as well as Art Fund, these will include new commissions, community co-created artists projects, performances, and focused programmes of social engagement to foster deeper experiences with art.
The British Art Show 9 publication explores these ideas further through two wide-ranging curatorial essays, over 200 colour illustrations and original texts on all 47 artists.Buy the BAS9 publication
- Aberdeen Art Gallery
- Wolverhampton Art Gallery
- Wolverhampton School of Art
- Castlefield Gallery
- Manchester Art Gallery
- The Whitworth, The University of Manchester
- The Box
- The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth
- MIRROR, Plymouth College of Art
Featured online works
Online: 2 April 2020
Refrain is Sean Edwards’s mother’s story a poetic exploration of place, class and politics. Conceived and written as a radio play by Edwards and performed by his mother, from her home, it deals – as Edwards says – with ‘a sense of ritual, of activity, of hesitations, of falters, of mistakes.’
Online: 10 July - 21 January 2022
Enigma of Capital is the fifth episode in Andy Holden’s Structure of Feeling, a series of animated cartoons in which the artist, as a cartoon character, explores the outer edges of the cartoon world.