Based on 25 in-depth interviews with visual artists and professionals working in the visual arts sector, International Connections gathers insights about the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU on the visual arts sector.

“There is no art world without artists. Putting artists and their experience at the heart of this report not only highlights the challenges they face, but also the resilience of artists and their ability to adapt and respond to a changing environment.” Julie Lomax, a-n CEO

From their practical, direct experience, artists and senior staff from public and commercial galleries reported four main areas where their artistic practices, businesses or institutions have faced challenges:

  • Increased costs, especially related to shipping and travel
  • Limited access to talent and to talent development opportunities
  • Perceptions about the UK as a place to do business from EU member states
  • Lack of information or high costs of acquiring information on new procedures

Informed by the expertise and experience of those interviewed, a-n and the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) propose practical ‘Next Steps’ to continue to strengthen industry and market relationships between visual artists and the visual arts sector in the UK and the EU. These are centred around the following themes:

  • Advocacy, Information and Partnerships
  • Market Development and supporting Creative Practice
  • Trade and Research delegations

a-n and CVAN, with the support of Arts Council England, will lead on actioning the Next Steps detailed in the report, to support artists and the visual arts sector in adapting to a new environment and ways of working, and to ensure the UK remains a vibrant art scene that can thrive nationally and globally.

International Connections: The impact of the UK departure from the European Union on the Visual Arts Sector

International Connections: The impact of the UK departure from the European Union on the Visual Arts Sector, commissioned by a-n The Artists Information Company and Contemporary Visual Arts Network, England, and funded by Arts Council England.

Thank you to all interviewees: Alessio Antoniolli (Gasworks), Alistair Hudson (The Whitworth), Antonio Roberts (Artist), Brett Rogers and Francesca Filippini Pinto (The Photographers’ Gallery), Caroline Bartlett (Artist), Clymene Christoforou (D6: Culture in Transit), Diana Ali (Artist), Giles Round (Artist), Hannah Barry (Hannah Barry Gallery), Harry Beer (Sunday Painter), Helen Featherstone (Yorkshire Sculpture Park), Hideyuki Sobue (Artist), Iwona Blazwick (Whitechapel Gallery), Jane Sutherland (Cultivator), Jane Wilson and Louise Wilson (Artists), Katrina Crookall (Barbican), Lisa Panting (Hollybush Gardens), Lydia Hardwick (Artist), Paul Maheke (Artist), Sam Lackey (Liverpool Biennial), Victoria Pomery (Turner Contemporary), Victoria Siddall (Frieze), Vlatka Horvat (Artist), Will Lunn (Copperfield), Zoe Whitley and Isabelle Hancock (Chisenhale Gallery)

Image credit: International Connections Cover, Rachel Jones, say cheeeeese (2022). Installation view, Chisenhale Gallery, 2022. Commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Andy Keate