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'Andrew Gray Aged 7 and Inge’s Patchwork Quilt, 2009' by Alasdair Gray
Copyright the artist. Courtesy the artist and Sorcha Dallas

British Art Show 7:
In the Days of the Comet


The British Art Show is widely recognised as the UK's most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art. Organised by Hayward Touring, it takes place every five years and tours to four different cities across the UK.

British Art Show 7 opened in Nottingham in late 2010 and then toured to London and Glasgow.

In Plymouth the exhibition was displayed from 17 September until 4 December 2011 across five different venues. The show was delivered by the Plymouth Visual Arts Consortium (PVAC) and was supported by Plymouth City Council and Arts Council England.

Curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton, British Art Show 7 featured work by 39 different artists, all of whom were chosen for their significant contribution to contemporary art during the last five years. It included sculpture, painting, installation, drawing, photography, film, video and performance. Many artists created new works especially for the exhibition, which evolved as it toured to its different locations.

British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet used the motif of the comet to explore and draw together a set of concerns that threaded their way through the practices of the selected artists. Throughout time, comets have represented themes such as change, the measuring of time, historical recurrence and parallel worlds. With this in mind, the exhibition had a particular focus on the way artists use history to illuminate the present and anticipate the future.

The exhibition was backed by an extensive range of events including talks, film screenings, music, performance, family events and creative activities for adults. PVAC also commissioned new works by British Art Show 7 artist, Steven Claydon and local artist, Beth Emily Richards. It also organised a two-day symposium which looked at the challenges and opportunities faced by the contemporary art world.

In addition, the exhibition was visited by thousands of school children and students thanks to a dedicated education service run by staff from the participating venues.

Plymouth Venues

British Art Show 7 could be viewed as one exhibition across the following Plymouth venues between 17 September and 4 December 2011:

Peninsula Arts Gallery

University of Plymouth
Roland Levinsky Building
Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA

01752 585050
Peninsula Arts Gallery website

Plymouth Arts Centre

28 Looe Street
Plymouth PL4 0EB

01752 206114
Plymouth Arts Centre website

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AJ

01752 304774
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery website

Plymouth College of Art Gallery

Tavistock Place
Plymouth PL4 8AT

01752 203434
Plymouth College of Art Gallery

The Slaughterhouse

Royal William Yard

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