22 Apr 2015


Leeds Art Gallery welcomes a wealth of artistic talent to the city as part of British Art Show 8.

The British Art Show is widely recognised as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art. Organised by Hayward Touring exhibitions, it takes place every five years and tours to four different cities across the UK. Now in its eighth incarnation, British Art Show will open at Leeds Art Gallery on October 9th (until Jan 10th 2016), after which it tours to Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton.

The appointed curators Anna Colin and Lydia Yee selected the artists after extensive research and travel across the UK. Many of the artists have a strong international presence, reflecting the increasingly globalised networks operating in the art world. More than half of the participating artists are making new work for the exhibition, while others will present recent work not previously seen in Britain.

Exhibition curators Anna Colin and Lydia Yee said:

"Working on the British Art Show has been a rich and stimulating experience. Rather than arriving with a set theme and inviting artists accordingly, the curatorial framework was developed out of conversations with artists and observations made over the course of one year. We were particularly interested in the rereading of objects by artists and other contemporary thinkers as active agents, generative entities, mutating forms and networked realities. This has given us a starting point to explore how production, labour and collaborative processes can enter into dynamic conversation with the objects’ narrative potential and web of relations."

British Art Show was last held in Leeds in 1990 as part of the touring programme, 2015 will see this key exhibition return to Leeds after a generation, as the launch city for the very first time. British Art Show 8 (BAS8) will be displayed in one venue with the majority of the Gallery’s display spaces being cleared of exhibits for BAS8 to take over the whole Gallery.

The artists chosen for British Art Show 8 highlight Leeds’ already vibrant visual arts scene with a number of artists previously exhibiting across the Yorkshire region.

The artists in British Art Show 8 are:


Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Caroline Achaintre

John Akomfrah and Trevor Mathison

Aaron Angell

Pablo Bronstein

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

Andrea Büttner

Alexandre da Cunha

Nicolas Deshayes

Benedict Drew

Simon Fujiwara

Martino Gamper

Ryan Gander

Melanie Gilligan

Anthea Hamilton

Will Holder

Alan Kane

Mikhail Karikis


Rachel Maclean

Ahmet Öğüt

Ciara Phillips

Charlotte Prodger

Laure Prouvost

Magali Reus

James Richards

Eileen Simpson and Ben White

Daniel Sinsel

Cally Spooner

Patrick Staff

Imogen Stidworthy

Hayley Tompkins

Troy Town Art Pottery

Jessica Warboys

Stuart Whipps

Bedwyr Williams

Jesse Wine

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

In celebration of the British Art Show launching at Leeds Art Gallery and to showcase the vibrant and diverse visual arts scene in Leeds, the city will be coordinating a programme of events, commissions and publications throughout 2015. The programme will unite the visual arts sector across the city and invite audiences to discover venues from The Tetley and Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, to Bowery Arts in Headingley and Inkwell in Chapeltown.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"We are really looking forward to hosting British Art Show 8 at Leeds Art Gallery later this year, and it is very exciting to find out which 41 artists will be showcasing their work during the free event. We are continuing to undertake a lot of work to make our cultural offer more accessible, and having the British Art Show 8 in Leeds, is I believe, a great opportunity to increase interest in art amongst people from all ages and backgrounds.

"A wide-range of fascinating and diverse contemporary art in all of its forms and guises will be on display at British Art Show 8 held in the fantastic surroundings of Leeds Art Gallery, which really does promise to be a truly amazing experience and a real highlight in our city’s packed cultural calendar."

Notes to editors

Leeds Art Gallery

British Art Show 8 exhibition dates: Fri 9 Oct 2015 – Sun 10 Jan 2016

(Press preview: Mon 5 and Tues 6 Oct)

Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA. Admission to the Gallery and BAS8 is completely free.

Mondays closed. Tues – Sat, 10am – 5pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm. Closed on bank holidays.


0113 247 8256


Founded in 1888 Leeds Art Gallery has designated collections of 19th and 20th century British painting and sculpture widely considered to be the best outside the National collections. The Gallery has always supported the work of living artists with the early 20th century represented by artists such as Walter Sickert and Stanley Spencer, with the development of English modernism shown through key works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Paul Nash, Jacob Epstein and Francis Bacon. The collections features works by contemporary artists including Becky Beasley, Fiona Rae, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Tony Cragg and Mark Wallinger.

The Gallery is an internationally renowned centre for modern and contemporary art with an exhibition programme that has showcased work of celebrated artists such as Damien Hirst through strategic partnership projects with The Art Fund / Tate’s Artist Rooms, in addition to curating major exhibitions together with Tate (Henry Moore and Terry Frost) and in partnership with the Arts Council Collection. The Gallery has established a strong reputation for initiating, commissioning and curating solo exhibitions by significant artists attracting attention on the national stage – most recently Bruce McLean, Shezad Dawood and Becky Beasley. The sculpture collection and unique archive managed in partnership with the Henry Moore Institute is one of the strongest public collections of sculpture in Britain. Leeds Art Gallery is one of the four partner venues that make up the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle (with Henry Moore Institute, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield). The Gallery attracts around half a million visitors a year making it one of the top free attractions in Yorkshire.

British Art Show artists’ links with Yorkshire:

• Simon Fujiwara

Rebekkah (2012) purchased by Leeds Art Gallery through Contemporary Art Society collections committee, currently on exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery in exhibition ‘Narrating Objects – Unlocking the Stories of Sculpture’.

• Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Exhibited at Leeds Art Gallery in ‘Dawn Chorus’ (2012) and features in ‘One Day Something Happens: Paintings of People’ curated by Jennifer Higgie at Leeds Art Gallery (6 Mar - 24 May 2015)

• Linder

‘The Ultimate Form’ – major new performance commission with Northern Ballet and solo exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield (2013)

• Nicolas Deshayes

First public institution exhibition ‘Crude Oil’ at S1 Artspace, Sheffield (2013) partnership with Leeds Museums and Galleries featuring loans from the collections

• Magali Reus

Forthcoming solo exhibition at The Calder, Hepworth Wakefield (17 July – 11 October 2015) which will be her first UK institutional exhibition – touring to Germany

• Imogen Stidworthy

Imogen is based in Liverpool and exhibited in Art Sheffield 2010, Northern Art Prize exhibition in2008

Leeds European Capital of Culture 2023 and British Art Show 8

The Executive Board at Leeds City Council have now approved a report recommending that Leeds submit a bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023 and a series of recommendations for how, as a city, this can be achieved. The bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023 has been widely debated over the last 14 months and the report follows extensive consultation with the public, cultural sector, higher education, tourism agencies and key stakeholders.

The first major event across the city contributing towards the Leeds 2023 bid and the largest event in the City’s cultural calendar this year is the British Art Show 8 (BAS8). Arts Council England have supported this iteration of the British Art Show for the first time with ACE Strategic Touring Funds across 4 cities (Leeds, Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton) to extend the engagement programme and connect high profile artists from the show with areas of low arts engagement. These areas include neighbouring Wakefield and Kirklees. Established in 1979, with its roots in Yorkshire, the exhibition is a landmark event for the visual arts in the UK, defining current practice and directions in contemporary art and introducing a new generation of artists to a wide public. Securing the launch of the touring show in Leeds signals a major opportunity to showcase the arts infrastructure and artists working in the North today, with a planned city-wide programme, national media campaign and new on-street art commissions in Leeds.

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

British Art Show is a Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London on behalf of Arts Council England. Hayward Touring produces exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly-funded venues throughout Britain. Hayward Touring collaborate with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions to develop and tour imaginative exhibitions that are seen by approximately half a million people in over 100 cities and towns each year.

Anna Colin is an independent curator based in London. She is a co-founder and co-director of Open School East and Associate Curator at Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

Lydia Yee is Chief Curator at Whitechapel Gallery. She was previously Curator at Barbican Art Gallery.

After Leeds Art Gallery BAS8 will tour to:


Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, and Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

13 February – 8 May 2016


Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

24 June – 4 September 2016


John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery

8 October – 14 January 2017

For enquiries about Leeds Art Gallery, please contact:

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council at colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk / press office (0113) 39 51578

For enquiries about Hayward Touring contact:

Helena Zedig, Deputy Head of Press, at helena.zedig@southbankcentre.co.uk / 020 7921 0847

Southbank Centre Press Office 020 7921 088

Contact information

Leeds City Council Communications team