London has long been celebrated for its creative arts scene, and a new campaign is determined to keep the capital city in the artistic frame. The London Creates campaign will officially launch on 11 October to coincide with the art fair Frieze London, and will initially focus on the visual arts.
The Evening Standard reports that the campaign has the backing of the Mayor of London, and eventually it is hoped that it will branch out to include other sectors such as fashion, film, theatre, and music. The creative industries generate about £58bn per year for the UK economy, while sales of artworks were worth £9.74bn in 2022.
London boasts several world leading art colleges, including Central Saint Martins, Goldsmiths, and the Royal College of Art. It also has a huge and diverse collection of art galleries and museums, including the newly refurbished National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Modern, The National Gallery, the Serpentine Gallery, and hundreds of others.
Justine Simons, London’s deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries, said: “Our artists, the diversity of voices here and the infrastructure that underpins them is what makes London such a dynamic, creative capital …”
She added: “We want to welcome everyone to experience our city afresh and will continue to do all we can to support our creative industries and help them thrive as we build a better London for all.”
Frieze London was founded in 2003 and is regarded as one of the most influential contemporary art fairs in the world, displaying only work by living artists who are active in their careers. It is held annually in October in The Regent’s Park, and features work by some of the most exciting emerging and established artists in the world.
Frieze London Director Eva Langret said London’s arts scene has “a history and infrastructure like no other. The innovative edge of the city is unparalleled and continues to evolve, attested to by the new institutions and galleries that drive our creative spirit.”
The five-day Frieze London fair takes place alongside Frieze Masters, which focuses on the relationship between historical art and current artistic practice. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the fair, and in commemoration of this there will be a special solo exhibition of paintings by Damien Hirst, which have never been presented before.
In a surprising departure from his usual style, Hirst’s new collection titled ‘In the Secret Gardens Paintings (2023)’ features vibrant scenes from English country gardens. The lively and colourful paintings combine convincing and realistic depictions of flowers, shrubs, trees and ponds with a layer of Jackson Pollock-style abstraction and controlled splashes of paint.
Hirst made his name on the London art scene in the late 1980s and 90s with sometimes controversial exhibits such as tanks of animal parts preserved in formaldehyde. He has since proved to be one of Britain’s most versatile artists who can produce work that is both visually and psychologically captivating.
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