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`Imagining a New Art World: with Harold Offeh, Tai Shani, Sally Shaw and Gilane Tawadros

  • 28 April 2021, 5pm
A child's artwork depicting animals is being put up on the house window by  a child
Artwork depicting animals, created by Louie is displayed in the window of a house in Acton, London. Photo by David Parry PA Wire

Imagining a New Art World

At a time when museums and galleries were preparing to open their doors after months of closure during lockdown, how were the spaces into which audiences returned altered by the challenges of 2020?

During the pandemic, art continued to be a source of inspiration and a means to connect with those around us. Imagining a new art world brought together powerful voices from across the visual arts who have refused to stand still in the face of crisis and believe in the inspirational and visionary role of artists in society.

Sally Shaw MBE is Director of Firstsite Gallery and the driving force behind the ground-breaking projects Art is Where the Home Is and The Great Big Art Exhibition, which invited the public to create and share artworks at home, displayed in their window or garden during lockdown.

These initiatives have brought people together and created a sense of community through the making of artwork, at a time when the pandemic has threatened the art world ecology and the livelihoods of many.

As Chief Exec of DACS (2009-2022), Gilane Tawadros believes passionately in the rights of artists to be fairly paid and that their valuable contribution should be recognised. The pandemic left many artists financially vulnerable and struggling to sustain their practice. In response to these challenges, DACS launched the Manifesto for Artists in consultation with thousands of artists, to propose a bold vision of how artists can flourish in the wake of the pandemic and continue to contribute socially, culturally, and economically in the wake of Covid-19.

Sally and Gilane were joined in conversation by artists Harold Offeh and Tai Shani, who both contributed to these innovative projects.

About DACS Presents

Artists frame and represent the world in ways that disrupt our assumptions and inspire new perspectives. This is something DACS wants to celebrate.

Through our public programme of talks and events, we brought people together to hear from important artistic voices. Previous speakers include artists Ryan Gander, Liliane Lijn, Johnnie Shand Kydd, Duggie Fields and Anthea Hamilton.