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'Art Gallery Closed' sign is artist's new work for campaign

Tue, 12th Oct, 2010

Click here to sign the petition to Save the Arts

A new work by British artist, Bob and Roberta Smith has been created specially for the campaign supported by over 100 leading British artists against the government’s proposed funding cuts of the arts.


Artist Patrick Brill, better known as Bob and Roberta Smith, currently lives and works in London. He is known for artwork that incorporates text - often commenting on art, politics, or popular culture — in his unique, brightly colored lettering style on banners and discarded boards of wood. He became a Tate Trustee in 2009.

Two challenging new works by artist Mark Titchner have also been unveiled across two UK cities as part of the campaign. The Turner Prize nominated artist’s work uses direct language in strong political graphic forms. His lead artwork demands ‘DON’T LET THEM DESTROY ANOTHER BRITISH INDUSTRY!’ tying the debate on cuts to the arts to other vital large-scale industries currently and previously under threat. The striking graphic works will be visible on a quarter of all available official city poster sites across Birmingham from 12 October to 26 October 2010 courtesy of Eastside Projects, an artist-run public gallery in the centre of Birmingham. Titchner has purposefully pitched the phrase in a city where cuts to major industries over the past decade have had dramatic impact.

25,000 flyers baring the slogan will also be handed out at Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park this week alongside two billboards featuring Titchner’s ‘Don’t Let Them Destroy’ image and his second work, which, with painful honesty, pleads ‘Cut Us, Don’t Kill Us.’ This will also be placed on the 6x3m billboard on the front façade of Eastside Projects. The artist is also developing a wishing machine to protect the arts organisation for the foreseeable future and which will also be installed on the public façade.

Each week the work of a different artist, created in response to the campaign, is being released. The campaign was launched 10 September 2010 with a new video by David Shrigley and a campaign poster by Jeremy Deller, Scott King and William Morris. This was followed by new works by Mark Wallinger, Yinka Shonibare and Cornelia Parker.

Supporters of the artists’ campaign are being asked to sign a petition 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.

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.

Full petition details on: http://www.savethearts.org.uk

Bob and Roberta Smith

Bob and Roberta Smith

Bob and Roberta Smith Mark Titchner Mark Titchner