Guest director for next year's Brighton Festival revealed

David Shrigley is to be the guest director for Brighton Festival 2018
David Shrigley is to be the guest director for Brighton Festival 2018

A Brighton-based visual artist is to help shape the programme for Brighton Festival 2018.

David Shrigley, a 2013 Turner Prize nominee, is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on 21st-century society.

Watering can illustration by David Shrigley.

Watering can illustration by David Shrigley.

But while drawing is at the centre of his practice, his work spans an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music.

In September 2016, Really Good, a bronze sculpture of a thumbs-up, was unveiled as the latest incumbent of Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth.

An active member of the Save the Arts campaign, Mr Shrigley recently contributed a series of illustrations depicting the benefits of the arts to health and wellbeing to accompany a parliamentary report on arts, health and wellbeing.

Mr Shrigley said: “The great thing about Brighton Festival is that you see things that are really thrilling and wonderful that you've never heard of before. What I'm looking forward to about the role of guest director is having the opportunity to not only see a lot of stuff and programme stuff but also make some artwork myself and have it presented in the place where I live.

"I think it's a really nice way to communicate with people, to meet people and to invite people to come to Brighton.”

David Shrigley is the first visual artist to take on the role of guest director since Anish Kapoor first took on the role in 2009. Other previous guest directors include the recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest (2017), artist and musician Laurie Anderson (2016), author Ali Smith (2015) and musician Brian Eno (2010).

Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Festival said: “Like Brighton Festival, David Shrigley's work is for everyone. Both powerful and funny, his work manages to navigate ‘high'and ‘low' art and speak to an incredibly wide audience. Alongside his own artwork, he has also joined in championing the power of the arts to help health and wellbeing.

Really Good at the Fourth Plinth by David Shrigley (Photograph: Gautier Deblonde)

Really Good at the Fourth Plinth by David Shrigley (Photograph: Gautier Deblonde)

"We are thrilled that David is bringing his distinctive take to the Festival and the city he has now made his home. We look forward to a programme that we hope will entertain and inspire.”

Brighton Festival 2018 takes place from May 5 to 27,and will feature new work from David Shrigley alongside work from a wide range of international, national and local artists and companies.

The full programme will be announced on Thursday, February 15.