In 2017 the arts face big challenges, and with them an opportunity to rethink the social value of creative endeavour. The arts have been a common ground for interaction between different cultures for centuries. As the world enters a new era of division, it is imperative that we recognise that the arts can be an unparalleled tool for social integration and personal development.
The Brexit vote has created an atmosphere of uncertainty. The biggest questions ahead concern the free movement of talent, access to EU cultural funding and cross-border collaboration on cultural policy. These issues hold the power to reshape our cultural life, in Britain and across the continent.
Another major issue on a global scale needs our attention: the lack of free, high-quality arts education. We need to find a way to provide universal access to creative learning as a fundamental human right, especially for children and young adults.
I’m driven by the need to rectify this collective failing, and conscious of my responsibility to create and promote projects with social value. If as artists we reflect more keenly on what our work can do for others, this will lead us into a more pragmatic and collaborative future.
The world is changing rapidly. All the different artistic fields need to work together to create the environment needed to achieve our full creative potential. In this objective, as in the future of the arts more broadly, exponential technological change will be hugely important.
Technology has changed the way we see and interact with the world. We are already being influenced by this in the arts, and we are moving towards a new dimension in artistic creation.
I’m with Dostoyevsky. I dare to believe that, one day, artistic beauty will save the world.