Government scheme to promote next generation of UK artists around the world

Government scheme to promote next generation of UK artists around the world. Image: Mari Dein/

The UK Government Art Collection is launching a new five-year acquisitions project with contemporary visual arts networks from across the country.

Known as X-UK, the project will acquire works by exciting British artists to go on display in more than 125 countries.

The collection will work with networks to support standout artists to showcase the best of Britain to the world, the UK government confirmed on Sunday, August 28.

Contemporary British artists are set to benefit from a new scheme which will see their work displayed in the country’s network of embassies and government buildings around the world.

The Government Art Collection (GAC), which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is launching a five-year acquisitions project to acquire works from exciting talent and showcase the best of British creativity promoting further interest in the country’s globally renowned creative sector.

GAC will work with the Contemporary Visual Arts Network in England, the Scottish Contemporary Art Network, and networks in Wales and Northern Ireland to identify the next generation of potential artistic stars.

The X-UK project initially ran as a successful pilot scheme in 2020-21 when more than 90 pieces by 45 contemporary visual artists were acquired for the collection. These works are now on display in government buildings around the country and internationally in British embassies and residences including Paris, Ankara, The Holy See in Rome, and 10 Downing Street.

The pilot revealed the impact that an acquisition by the Government Art Collection can have on an artist’s career by helping to bring their art to new audiences and raising their profiles.

Glasgow-based artist Alberta Whittle went on to represent Scotland at the 59th Biennale di Venezia in 2022 and currently has pieces on display in the National Galleries of Scotland following the pilot scheme’s acquisition of her work.

The acquisition of work by Manish Harijan led to his being granted a global talent visa by the British Council, and Ghanaian-born artist Harold Offeh saw his art join a national collection for the first time in his career.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:

“This fantastic new scheme will shine a light on the UK’s brilliant up-and-coming artists and promote our cutting-edge creative industries on the world stage.”

“The five-year X-UK project aims to be a true reflection of every part of the United Kingdom and will bring some of our most exciting artists to audiences in more than 125 countries.”

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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