“The enemies of intellectual liberty always try to present their case as a plea for discipline versus individualism.” 

― George OrwellAll Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays

The freedom of the individual to think independently of state permissions is the founding principle of Orwell’s writings. Perhaps this is why so many visual artists identify with his work. Although he was not a visual artist and art criticism does not figure prominently in his work, George Orwell is one of the most visually descriptive of writers this or any country has produced.

As artists and citizens, we need his intellectual honesty as much now as we ever did; more so, in these times in which activities in the visual arts are seen as a ‘soft option’, and honest political analysis is denigrated as ‘fake news’.

Over the last several months, I have been engaged in more and more discussions about Orwell and the prescience of his ideas. The increasing frequency of these conversations has encouraged me to propose an exhibition as tribute to Orwell. This site aims to be a presentation of contemporary art which investigates ‘Orwellian’ themes in their broadest sense, to any institution or gallery interested in hosting an exhibition. Any such opportunities arising will be posted here. 

If any aspect of Orwell’s rich tapestry runs through your artwork, please see submissions section. I look forward to hearing from you.

SUBMISSIONS:                                                                                                                             All Artist’s submissions on theme will be posted on this blog-site. The aim is to provide a bank of high quality, innovative artwork from which any venue or gallery will  be able to select work for an exhibition on this theme. By submitting, you are allowing images and descriptions to be used to promote the project through social media and direct correspondence with any interested gallery. Submission is free; there may be a hanging/administration fee when any opportunity to exhibit arises. By contributing to the online gallery you are not committing yourself to any future exhibiting obligations.

Please submit:

Up to 4 Images in jpeg, about 1mb file size. [Work in progress is welcome at this stage]

together with

a] brief biography, and

b] why Orwell and his work are relevant to your art practice [about 500 words each]

Send to:         smokingbrush@btinternet.com

glenn ibbitson c

The title of this blog comes from the layout of BBC Broadcasting House. Orwell’s wartime broadcasts to India emanated from Room 101; Arts broadcasts were delivered from a room two doors down the corridor….