ISIS Arts is an international visual and media arts producer. Founded in 1991, for twenty-five years we have run an international programme of commissions, residencies and events, bringing together excellent artists to reflect a place and its people.
Founded by co-directors Sharon Bailey and Clymene Christoforou, our core ethos is to support artists to facilitate international and inter-cultural exchange and to engage as wide an audience as possible in dialogue with artists and artworks.Our programme actively promotes the UK’s diversity through developing work that seeks to reveal the hidden, the silent or the forgotten, giving voice to the marginalized and access to audiences where access is geographically or culturally restricted.
Through artistic exchange and commissions we draw threads between communities of difference and explore international common ground with partners across several continents,using digital media as a creative tool.
Our projects physically and virtually cross barriers, and are presented in diverse community situations, relevant to their context and content, creating artworks of international relevance and local significance. Historically our projects are developed with culturally diverse communities for whom the work is their first engagement with the arts in the UK, and we are particularly interested in continuing to reach audiences that might not otherwise experience contemporary art.
Over the last 25 years we have engaged more than 500 artists, working with partners in 55 countries in an international programme of productions, residencies and events. Our highly-developed skills in advocacy and mentoring have enabled us to deliver training to over 7200 individuals and in the last 10 years we have supported 47 international residencies, contributing significantly to the development of artists’ practice. We have also initiated 56 commissions that give voice to marginalized communities reaching live audiences of over 95,000.
We are strong political advocates for the value of the arts, building relationships with politicians from Newcastle to Gothenburg, from Blyth to Brussels. We work with our MEPs, the British Council and the European Commission to deliver programmes embedded in shared beliefs and ambition. We are specialists in European cultural development, bringing the Beyond the Obvious European conference to Newcastle Gateshead (2014), acting as expert advisors on the European Commission’s working group on Intercultural dialogue in the Public Space (2016) and as arts advocates in Kyiv, San Sebastian, Stockholm and Rijeka (2015-17).
Our programme is based on promoting dialogue between the local and the global, working with communities, artists and organisations to share our humanity and celebrate our difference.
We are based in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. We have a digital facility, serving artists in the region and energetically promote an interdisciplinary approach to the use of new media in the arts.
Download a copy of our latest annual report here.