Cathy Wilkes | Untitled, 2019 (detail) | Mixed Media | Dimensions variable | Photo: Cristiano Corte ©

British Council. Courtesy of the Artist, The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels.

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council's mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. We find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts, to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with the UK. 

Explore our global areas of work in the arts

  • Architecture, Design, and Fashion - The British Council’s Architecture Design Fashion (ADF) department creates links between designers and cultural institutions around the world, through a diverse range of projects across the three disciplines. 
  • Creative Economy - The Creative Economy team works with the next generation of artists and creative entrepreneurs around the world to tackle today’s challenges.
  • Music - The British Council Music team works with the organization's global network of arts managers and partners to plan, resource, deliver and evaluate high-impact arts projects involving professional artists and organizations from the UK.
  • Visual Arts - British Council Visual Arts is a dedicated team of specialists committed to promoting the achievements of the UK's best artists abroad.
  • Literature - The Literature team in the UK work together with the arts managers in British Council offices in more than 100 countries around the world to create programmes that help to build important connections and increase mutual knowledge and understanding.
  • Theatre and Dance - The British Council's Theatre and Dance team promotes the best of contemporary UK performance and develops relationships with other countries through projects such as tours, workshops, and collaborations.
  • Film - British Council Film is the link between UK films and filmmakers and new international audiences. Together with the British Council’s global network overseas, we work to profile the innovation, diversity, creativity, and excellence of British films around the world, and work to find opportunities for creative exchange between UK filmmakers and international counterparts.
  • Cultural Skills - The Cultural Skills team provides knowledge and trust to support a programme of capacity building which addresses local issues and links the cultural resources of the UK with those of other countries.
Banner by Ed Hall, courtesy of the British Council Collection

The British Council Collection

Since 1938 the British Council has been collecting works of art, craft, and design to promote abroad the achievements of the very best British artists, craft practitioners, and designers. The Collection has no permanent gallery and has been referred to as a 'Museum Without Walls'. A remarkable gallery of more than 8,500 works of British art can be viewed in our online collection