Following the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, the visual arts sector is able to reopen, with museums and public galleries joining commercial galleries that reopened in June. But while those in the sector might hope for a return to pre-lockdown normality, a quick recovery looks uncertain: a recent report from the Creative Industries Federation suggests turnover in museums and galleries sector will have shrunk by £740m, while freelance employment has more than halved. How will this changed environment affect the making and showing of visual art in the near future? And in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests, when many art organisations are rethinking how they relate to artists, audiences and wider political issues, will the lifting of lockdown prompt radical changes in how art organisations understand their cultural and social roles?
Speakers: Chris McCormack, writer and associate editor of Art Monthly; Harold Offeh, artist; Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery; Fatos Ustek, Director Liverpool Biennial. Chair: JJ Charlesworth, Senior Editor, ArtReview.
Image: Fiona Banner, Full Stop 2003
Photo: Jo Stockham