British Art Show 9 graphic image. Photo by Dom Moore.

Arts venues mark one year to British Art Show 9 with £100k funding boost

Leading arts organisations based in Plymouth have secured a £100,000 grant from Arts Council England to support the city’s hosting of British Art Show 9 (BAS9). The funding award comes just as the twelve month countdown to the prestigious exhibition begins.

The British Art Show is a landmark touring exhibition that celebrates the vitality of recent art made in Britain. Organised every five years by Hayward Gallery Touring, the exhibition brings the work of artists who are defining new directions in contemporary art to four different cities across the UK. Working in
partnership with Plymouth Culture, BAS9 will be shown across four city venues – The Box, KARST, The Levinsky Gallery at the University of Plymouth and MIRROR at Plymouth College of Art from 8 October – 23 December 2022.

When British Art Show 7 came to Plymouth in 2011 it was the first time the city had staged a multi-site exhibition on such a large scale. It received more than 75,000 visits, with a further 15,000 people taking part in events, education activities and Fringe programmes.

The new £100,000 grant will enable the partners to carry out some detailed audience research in the run up to BAS9, support a series of artist-led engagement activities with schools, fund invigilators to enhance the visitor experience once the exhibition is on display, and create talent development opportunities for local artists as well as a talks and events programme.

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.”

47 artists have been selected for BAS9 by curators Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar. They include Turner Prize winners and Venice Biennale participants. Works on display will include sculpture, film, installation, performance, painting and photography.

Phil Gibby, Arts Council England, South West, Area Director, said: “We’re extremely pleased to make a significant investment of £100,000 through our National Lottery Projects Grants funding programme towards British Art Show 9 in Plymouth next year. With a focus on diversifying audiences for contemporary art and nurturing local talent, the prestigious event will bolster cultural engagement in the city whilst also generating professional development and employment opportunities for artists. Culture and creativity will play a vital role in helping the country recover from the effects of the pandemic, so we are thrilled to support this major contemporary art event in Plymouth, thanks to National Lottery
players, which will bring a mass of creative activity to the city and further develop its reputation as a cultural destination.”

British Art Show 9 is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition presented in collaboration with the cities of Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Plymouth. You can find out more at