Over a hundred leading artists including David Hockney, Damien Hirst, Anthony Caro, Howard Hodgkin, Anish Kapoor, Richard Hamilton, Bridget Riley, Antony Gormley and Tracey Emin have joined the campaign to make the case against the proposed 25% cuts in government funding of the arts.
Other supporters include John Moores 2010 exhibitor Ian Davenport and Wolfgang Tillmans who is about to open an exhibition here at the Walker Art Gallery.
The campaign is launched today with the release of a new video animation by artist David Shrigley highlighting the effect of the funding cuts, which you can see below. Each week the work of a different artist, created in response to the campaign, will be released. Mark Wallinger will present the next project.
Supporters of the artists’ campaign will be asked to sign a petition on the Save the Arts website, which will be sent to the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. It points out that it has taken 50 years to create a vibrant arts culture in Britain that is the envy of the world and appeals to the government not to slash arts funding and risk destroying this long-term achievement and the social and economic benefits it brings to all.
Reyahn King, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool is keen to support the campaign: "It's great to see arts organisations using artists to make their case: David Shrigley's animation is the first in several commissions in support of this campaign. Watch it, laugh, enjoy and remember the arts reaches wider and deeper than you might imagine. Cutting back on the arts impacts on the economy, people's wellbeing, and our international reputation."
Please note: there is some adult language in this video!
The artists acknowledge that reasonable cuts and efficiencies are necessary but
they fear that the 25% cuts being proposed will destroy much of what has been achieved and will have a particularly damaging impact on national and regional museums and their collections.
The campaign is being organised by the London branch of a national consortium of over 2,000 arts organisations and artists dedicated to working together and finding new ways to support the arts in the UK. The costs of David Shrigley’s animation have been covered with a grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
National Museums Liverpool also has its own petition against government cuts with 15,000 names added already. You can sign this petition here.