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 team creates new opportunities for the UK design sector around the globe, through collaboration and exchange; promoting deeper understanding of ourselves, our world and each other through design.
  • 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’s Music team works with over 100 countries to connect British musicians, educators and industry people with their counterparts and audiences around the world, providing opportunities to share knowledge and experience different cultures.
  • Visual Arts - British Council Visual Arts  connect the UK’s visual arts sector with professionals internationally, focusing predominantly on staging and supporting contemporary art projects in areas of the developing world. 
  • Literature - The Literature team focuses on creating international opportunities for emerging and mid-list writers; building an international network for the next generation of literature producers; and raising awareness of UK literature areas of strength that are less well known abroad.
  • 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 celebrates the innovation, diversity, creativity and excellence of UK film around the world. We also offer international opportunities to UK film professionals, and broker creative relationships between UK filmmakers and their 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