Art Night 2021

Posted on 14/04/2021

Art Night will celebrate its fifth edition by taking place in locations across the United Kingdom for the first time this summer, including our very own Eastbourne.

Transforming iconic and unexpected public spaces within London since 2016, Art Night 2021, curated by Helen Nisbet, will stretch 1000+ miles across Scotland, England and Wales, from North to South and East to West as well as even further digitally and physically for international audiences.

For the first time Art Night – will also take place for a month, allowing audiences the opportunity to access commissions, performances and interventions in villages, towns and cities as well as from home.

Rather than a ‘theme’, the 2021 festival is titled Nothing Compares 2 U after the song written by Prince and famously performed by Sinead O’ Connor. This lyric acts as a frame for the programme, not asking artists to respond or fit within it, but instead to use it as a reference point or way of setting the tone. In this case, the reference refers most specifically to a performance by O’ Connor on The Late Late Show in 2019 – visibly older than in her iconic 1990 music video, wearing a hijab and carrying the scars of a career tarnished with controversy and conjecture, at the end of the performance O’ Connor looks directly into the camera and gives a little wave. This quiet moment of self-determination and defiance is the essence of the 2021 programme.

As part of Art Night, the Guerrilla Girls will be presenting their biggest UK public commission to date, The Male Graze. The commission includes a website, online gig and national series of billboards exploring bad behaviour both historically and in the present day. The work will manifest as a series of billboards across the UK including London, Eastbourne, Dundee, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Cardiff, Warwick, Swansea and more.

The billboards will be on display from 18 June to 18 July and in partnership with Art Night’s friends Compton Verney, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Glasgow Women’s Library, g39, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Grand Union, The Tetley and Towner Eastbourne. Art Night will also present this commission in two London sites in Shoreditch and London Bridge.

A series of commissions will also unfold across the month online at as well as the public programme across the UK. The Art Night 2021 artists are: Alberta Whittle, Isabel Lewis, Oona Doherty, Adham Faramawy, Guerrilla Girls, Mark Leckey, Sonya Dyer, Imran Perretta & Paul Purgas, Philomène Pirecki and OOMK.

Developed with the support of Somerset House and the Adonveya Foundation.

Festival events are all free to attend and will take place outdoors, online and have been developed to be COVID-friendly for exhibiting artists and visiting audiences.