Best of British talent in Derby

A festival dedicated to the UK’s best young creative talent will feature work by more than 70 artists, performers and writers in Derby this month.

UK Young Artists’ 4th National Festival will be staged at 15 venues and in the streets of Derby city centre over four days from November 3-6.

All events are free and include performances, exhibitions, educational workshops and masterclasses.

The work by some of Britain’s brightest young talent ranges from the playful and witty to challenging and provocative, as the artists explore themes such as cultural heritage, consumer culture, social media and the internet, gender issues, and storytelling across all art forms.

The festival takes place every two years and is the only British cross-arts festival that specifically focuses on artists aged 18-30. It alternates between Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.

Previous participants in the festival have continued on to successful careers, including Rachel Maclean, the video artist recently selected for the British Art Show 8; Hetain Patel, the internationally-acclaimed performance and sculptural artist who has had shows at major institutions such as Tate Modern, the Southbank Centre and Sadlers Well; and Liz West, who creates large scale light installations, was commissioned to create new works for Britain’s 2016 Olympic House in Rio, and has exhibited nationally at the Natural History Museum in London, Leeds Art Gallery and the Cornerhouse, Manchester.

This year the festival will highlight Derby’s cultural venues and create a ‘crucible of creativity’ in which the public can see the stars of tomorrow in unusual settings.

The venues include the University of Derby, Markeaton Street building; Derby Theatre; the Market Hall; Derby Cathedral; Derby Museum and Art Gallery; Pickford’s House; Baby People – the music venue and studio in Foreman Street and The Maypole Theatre in Brook Street.

Michelle Bowen, UK Young Artists’ director said: I love the idea of audiences discovering new work in unexpected places and spaces; seeing the familiar in a new way. UK Young Artists are excited to return to Derby following the inaugural National festival held back in 2010, and this year’s festival is promising to be our best yet.”

This year up to ten young artists who are showing in the festival will be selected to represent the UK at the Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée in Tirana, Albania, next year.

Go to for a full programme of events.