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Figures from the art world discuss what constitutes as art today

“All forms of art must co-exist”- so were the words of 2004 Turner Prize winner, Jeremy Deller at ‘ART Now’, an event which took place at the Gallery on 26 March. The conceptual artist joined Peter Bazalgette, the Chairman of the Arts Council, Liz Gilmore, Director of the Jerwood Gallery and the Gallery’s new Deputy Director, Andrew Macdonald, to chair a debate with a sold out audience of 140.

What makes art today? Critics, collectors, galleries, curators, politics, the public – or artists? This was just one of the questions raised and discussed in the lively discussion. The four guest speakers spoke freely on issues such as accessibility, taste and what actually constitutes as art in the 21st century. Talk turned from Michael Gove’s decision to remove art for the national curriculum, to Grayson Perry’s tapestries and even the economy of Margate!      

Here are a couple of quotes that provide a glimpse into the range of topics covered…

"Honesty, integrity and truth is the language of artists and as a curator I have to give artists space - and a voice” - Liz Gilmore

"Our mission is to get art for everyone, just look at Grayson Perry who has now become a national treasure. His six tapestries are now travelling around the UK. And look at Jeremy, his bouncy castle of Stonehenge has been bounced on by 331,000 people!” - Peter Bazalgette

“Steve McQueen who won an Oscar - and the Turner Prize - after having a state funded education, would probably not have been able to do that today due to fees - we must remember that public money creates tomorrow's artists.” - Peter Bazalgette

“Galleries provide a context for artists. Technology has always had a role but my favourite medium is people.” - Jeremy Deller

The event is just one of the celebrations of the 60 years of Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery.