Sky Arts’ post-Brexit project

Sky Arts has recently launched a £1m fund that will commission 50 artworks to explore post-Brexit Britain, in partnership with Barbican, Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Storyvault Films. Named Art 50, this follows the triggering of Article 50 as a landmark project that will explore what it means to be British post-Brexit. It will be funded by the Sky Arts Amplify fund, which was set up to encourage arts organisations and production companies to collaborate on new ideas.

Sky Arts maintains that some of the commissioned projects will emerge within the two-year “exit” between triggering Article 50 and the final departure from the EU. As a culmination of the project, a festival that reflects and contains some of the work is planned to take place simultaneously at the Barbican, Sage Gateshead and BALTIC in February 2019. The initiative is looking for artists, individuals or groups to respond to the question of what it will mean to be British outside the EU. Applications are open and the scheme is across all disciplines including the visual arts, theatre, music, dance, and spoken word.

The ambitious project will culminate in a number of TV programmes, exploring the artworks commissioned and the ideas behind them. Sky Arts has already invited 45 representatives of different arts groups to submit proposals, and applications are open for the first round of commissions to everyone through the Art 50 website. All ideas will be judged by a panel including representatives from Sky Arts, the Barbican, Sage Gateshead, BALTIC and leading figures from the art world.

A diverse range of voices is expected to respond over the next two years as Britain prepares to leave the EU, especially around the idea of cultural identity. The arts are uniquely placed to help explore and articulate the hopes, fears and aspirations of those affected by Brexit, and the work commissioned will represent the widest possible range of voices on the country’s past, present and future.