Our work in arts

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. We find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts, to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with the UK. 

untitled: dock: emptystaircasehoarding, 2014, Phyllida Barlow.

Phyllida Barlow: British Pavilion artist at Venice Biennale

For the past 80 years, the British Council has looked after the exhibitions at the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. This year, artist Phyllida Barlow will present a major solo exhibition of new work in the British Pavilion, from 13 May until 26 November. Best known for her colossal sculptural projects, Phyllida Barlow uses inexpensive materials such as plywood, cardboard, plaster, cement, fabric and paint to create striking sculptures and bold installations, watch our film to discover more.

Arts Opportunities Opens in a new tab or window.

Find out about our current and upcoming international opportunities for artists, creatives, professionals and organisations.

About Arts

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world.

two dancers from Atomos

UK/Korea 2017-18

Find out all about UK/Korea 2017 -18, a season that will bring to Korea an exciting range of arts and culture events. Throughout the year-long programme we will present ways to forge futures for both emerging artists and new audiences in the arts and creative industries of the UK and Korea.

image of models

International Fashion Showcase 2017 Opens in a new tab or window.

This February we will present the work of 81 emerging fashion designers from 26 countries in our International Fashion Showcase, presented by Mercedes-Benz and in partnership with British Fashion Council.

The Storytellers Opens in a new tab or window.

An interactive documentary of a journey made by six British and Russian artists on the Trans-Siberian Railway in late 2016. Seen through the eyes of the writers and artists who travelled over 4,000 kilometers from Moscow to eastern Siberia, The Storytellers оffers a glimpse of lesser-known Russian landscapes and their inhabitants.

complicite beware of pity

Read the latest Arts Newsletter Opens in a new tab or window.

Keep up to date with our projects and the latest news from the UK arts sector. In our latest edition we include news on Phyllida Barlow; our Venice Biennale 2017 artist, the live-stream of Complicite's sold-out show Beware of Pity, our online Glasgow arts tour plus more.

Bedwyr William's artwork of a new city

Artes Mundi 7: exclusive interviews with the artists Opens in a new tab or window.

Artes Mundi is hosting its seventh major international exhibition. More than 700 nominations were received for Artes Mundi 7 and the six shortlisted artists are exhibiting at National Museum Cardiff and Chapter Gallery between 21 October – 26 February 2017. Each artist brings their own unique perspective to the exhibition, exploring what it means to be human in contemporary society.

the new design museum in london

London online arts tour Opens in a new tab or window.

In the run-up to UK/India 2017 we're celebrating arts from around the UK. So far we've visited Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Sheffield, with our latest arts tour focussing on London. From The Yard to BFI's London Film Festival, the Victoria and Albert Museum to the Turner Prize, explore the arts and culture scene of England's capital city.

Pavement work after electrical and sanitary installation, 2011

Cultural Protection Fund

In partnership with the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the British Council has launched a £30 million fund to protect cultural heritage overseas at risk due to conflict. Find out more.