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United Kingdom loves art

United Kingdom has always been promoting new art and new art movements. It would be impossible to describe to the fullest the scope of this country’s creativity but there are a number of interesting new art projects that are devoted entirely to promoting new and upcoming artists as well as sustaining the success of the more established ones. Before we move on to list these projects it is important to discuss United Kingdom world-famous art institution that has been entirely devoted to modern art and its movements: The Tate gallery.

The Tate Gallery

According to official story The Tate Gallery first opened on Millbank in London in 1897. It operates as an independent institution under the terms of the Museums and Galleries Act 1992, and is one of the great public museums of the United Kingdom. In common with other museums it presents a perspective on history, but its particular responsibility to collect objects of our time places it in the privileged position of creating the frame through which future generations will judge our own culture.

The Collection

The Tate galleries house the national collections of British painting including the Turner Bequest, and of twentieth century painting and sculpture. There is also a substantial collection of works on paper from all periods, in particular by and after Turner, by Blake, and of modern prints executed after 1945.

The Tate Collection, as of 31 March 2002, comprised:

4,366 paintings

1,544 sculptures, reliefs and installations

4,307 unique works on paper

37,463 works in the Turner Bequest

3,734 works in the Oppé Collection

11,066 prints

541 miscellaneous items

(63,021 total)

The policy of changing displays has enabled Tate to extend the range and number of the works shown. From April 1996 to March 1998, for example, a total of 3,965 works from the Collection were on view at Millbank, Liverpool or St Ives. During the same period, 732 works were loaned to other museums and public buildings and temporary exhibitions in Britain and abroad.

The Archive of Twentieth-Century British Art, established in 1969 and enriched largely by gifts from artists, collectors, critics, dealers and their families, has become an important collection in its own right. It contains over one million items, occupying 540 linear meters of shelf space. The Tate also maintains its own records, as a Departmental Record Office, by arrangement with the Public Records Office.

The Tate gallery is, of course, a leading collection in the U.K. but there are a number of exciting artistic projects happening all over the country that serve to promote and further enhance Britain’s rich tradition of pursuit of visual arts.  Here are some of the upcoming & exciting ones:

The Public

According to this art project: ”The Public is everyone. Everyone who’s creative

Everyone who has ideas. You are a member of the public already,

If you’ve got an idea you want to realize. The Public is for dreamers, thinkers, doers, lookers.”

The Public used to be known as Jubilee Arts.  This artistic movement is behind community of arts in the West Bromwich and the surrounding area.  Lately, the Public set forward to create The Public Building, which would be the largest community arts development in Europe.   The Public hopes that the Building will be a place to dream and realize one’s creativity in an inspiring, hands-on arts space.

The Public projects are varied as the arts community that the Public stands behind has varied from teens that feel like outsiders in their schools, regular folk and even homeless people.  The artists’ work often reflects on the issues that relate to health, social inclusion as well as education. 

Open Frequency

Open Frequency features new and recent projects by both new as well as well-established visual artists that are based in the UK.  Open Frequency helps out artists who were nominated by a national network of curatorial advisors: other well-established artists, curators, lecturers and critics.   This particular arts community seems more conservative in its admission process than The Public.


Reactor is a Nottingham-based collective.  The artists from Reactor work collaboratively on a variety of events and projects. Since its beginning in 2000, the members of Reactor have instigated a number of provocative projects in alongside conventional galleries.  The idea behind Reactor’s projects is to challenge and mock the social cliché of the art launch events.  The challenge is to demonstrate the ’new art rules’, that is apparent in the artist’s use of lo-fi materials and technology.

Reactor originated from two groups, Aldaran and Graze, both housed within an old factory building in Nottingham. The two groups collaborated in 2002, launching a series of monthly art events entitled ”Apocalypse Soon”, named in anticipation of the forthcoming demolition of the building. These one-night events offered the opportunity to experience performance and installed works in varied sites across the four floors of this dilapidated building.

In September 2002 a 10-day event was staged under the name of Reactor, from which the group was to take its name. Focusing on rising works collectively that were based around ideas of evolution and interaction, the first Reactor event created a jumble of dynamic installations that were meant to challenge the viewer to no longer be a passive observer but to directly respond and interact with the work.

One of their most famous events consisted of surreal, sometimes obscure moments that focused mainly on comedy. The members of the collective dressed up and played games that mixed with artistic imagination as the characters were introduced one by one to the stage after their arrival in limousines. Reactor tried to create its own world complete with theories and language—there were a number of surreal narratives and characters being woven around each other. Where else would you find three horse brothers, the Russian Communist regime and My Little Pony showing up together.  

Recent Reactor happenings occurred at Foldgallery in Cumbria. Foldgallery invited artists to find new ways to use its gallery space and bring their art off the walls, in a critique of the white-cube convention to show art on white walls and polished floors. Off the Wall featured artists from across the country working in a variety of media and scale, from video projections to rolls of insulating tape. All the works included a gallery wall but most of them went beyond the wall. 


urban-shade// is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 with the aim of bringing new media arts to people who would not normally get the opportunity to experience them – people from low-income families, mentally-retarded and homeless.

The collective stated that cultural institutions such as magazines, websites, animations, films, photographs and more can give people the opportunity to express and empower themselves.

According to urban-shade//  such institutions can inspire people to improve conditions for both themselves and their communities through bringing people together, convey powerful messages, promote change and celebrate their achievement.

This group is fantastic because it invites anyone to write a story, script or storyboard, suggest ideas, submit drawings or just provide inspiration for others.

urban-shade// has worked with young people with a variety of issues, such as dyslexia, low self esteem, family problems, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, self harming, illnesses, behavioural issues and young offenders. They’ve also worked with disadvantaged women and adults with learning disabilities.


Vivid focuses on experimental media arts research as well as development and production. Vivid works across arts and technology through encouraging collaboration and learning across disciplines. To support this, Vivid provides a lab space and media suite for practitioners for future projects. With collaborative partners, the organization develops commissions and regular public events, critical debates and presentations.

During its first two years hothaus has developed over 20 media arts projects and acquired a national reputation for experimentation and diversity. Vivid actively looks for new artists to work with and welcome expressions of interest.