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Arnolfini - est 1961

Visual Arts South West in partnership with Arnolfini invites artists, curators, arts organisations and audiences to gather for a day of discussions and learning.

The term ‘future-proof’ refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the future, the guarantee of not becoming obsolete.

Visual Arts South West invites artists, curators, arts organisations and audiences to gather for a day of discussions and learning. Join inspiring speakers to work collectively and consider our future amongst increasing precarity, limited access to the arts, the turn away from the European community converging with the rise of fascism, the rapid development of digital technologies, and the climate emergency.

Future Proof will seek to identify and address key challenges of our region while establishing collective survival strategies for the future in perpetually changing conditions. Our speakers will address: post-truth politics and the accelerated aggregation of wealth that obstruct effective responses to ecological decline; the importance of hearing young voices as an essential driving force of social change; pedagogical and activist traditions in collective working; and the resilience, solidarity and care required to sustain diverse artistic and curatorial practices.

This day of learning and coming together is an opportunity to focus on some critical issues that artists, curators and arts organisations in the South West are facing, but cannot tackle on their own. Together we can develop new strategies of support and self-organisation that reflect our needs for the future.

Within the context of Greta Thunberg’s call for an international strike to campaign against climate change on 20 September 2019, we will be working together and investing in regenerative action.

Join us to contribute, be part of and enjoy a day packed full of listening, learning and laughter. Come and claim your stake in this region.


Leeza Awojobi (Artist)

Katie Baron (Journalist, Author and Futurist)

Emily Bull (Creative Producer, Creative Youth Network)

Alistair Cameron, Lizi Hoar and Oliver Sutherland (The Brunswick Club)

Libita Clayton (Artist)

Eliza Gluckman (Senior Curator and Deputy Director, Government Art Collection; Co-Founder, A Woman’s Place)

Tania Kovats (Artist)

Robert Leckie (Director, Spike Island)

Helen Palmer (Director, Palmer Squared)

Anna Rathbone (Artist)

Abigail Reynolds (Artist) 

Simon Sheikh (Reader in Art and Programme Director of the MFA Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London)

Kieran Swann (Senior Programmer, Arnolfini)

Brook Tate (Artist)

Keijaun Thomas (Artist)

Suzy Willson (Director, Clod Ensemble and Performing Medicine)


Visual Arts South West will offer a number of travel bursaries to independent arts professionals attending from Cornwall, West Devon and Hampshire.

To apply for a bursary, please email a short statement (max. 100 words) explaining why you would benefit from attending Future Proof to Nella Aarne at

Access to Arnolfini

The nearest parking is in The Grove Car Park which has a number of accessible bays. The car park is a paid one, but blue badge holders can park for free.

If you feel uncomfortable walking around the building over the cobblestones to the main entrance, we welcome you to call +44 (0)117 917 2300 and request Arnolfini’s front of house team to come and meet you outside UWE on Prince’s Street which leads directly through to Arnolfini. This entrance is card holder only so please call ahead to request Arnolfini staff to meet you. The paving outside is still uneven, but less so than the front of the building.

For further access information send any enquiries specific to the Future Proof event t


Description of the image at the top of the page: The text ‘Future Proof’ is repeated four times down the page against a pink and orange mottled background.