Since 1934, the British Council has existed to create a basis of friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. Our work in the arts has been central to this mission for more than 80 years, seeking to find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through creativity.
Our programme utilises the world-leading innovation and creativity of the UK to make a positive contribution to the people, institutions and governments of the countries we work in. We create opportunities, build connections and engender trust, making a lasting difference to the security, prosperity and influence of the UK. Our international seasons help us to create a modern, vibrant and creative image of the UK amongst millions of people in fast growing economies, encouraging more trade, investment and tourism.
Our work in the arts has grown substantially over the last five years. We now operate in over 110 countries around the world and work across eight disciplines covering the full breadth of the UK creative industries. In 2015/16 our work in the arts reached 10.9 million people on the ground and a further 186 million online and through the media.
Here at the Google Cultural Institute, we will be sharing some of the work from our art Collection, and our international exhibitions in Architecture, Design, Fashion and Visual Arts.
The British Council Collection is made up of artworks by British artists. As the Collection has no permanent display location it is often referred to as a ‘museum without walls’ as much of the work is on exhibition across the world as part of programmes developed by, or in collaboration with, the British Council, or as loans to major institutions and museums globally. Our policy is to buy works by emerging artists, and as a result we have a number of extraordinary works by world renowned artists including Lucian Freud, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Bridget Riley, David Hockney, Gilbert and George, Anish Kapoor, Mona Hatoum and Damien Hirst, amongst others. The Collection seeks to demonstrate the very best in contemporary British practice in all media, from painting and sculpture to printmaking, photography, installation and new media. You can see more of the Collection at http://collection.britishcouncil.org/