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Art Night Dundee

Internationally renowned contemporary art festival Art Night is coming to Dundee. Over one packed weekend, organisers will present ten major new commissions in civic spaces across the city by internationally significant and emerging artists. The free festival will be brought to Dundee in partnership with Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA). The scheduled date is the evening of the 24th of June, 2023. Art Night will also collaborate with V&A Dundee; Creative Dundee; NEoN Digital Arts; Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) at the University of Dundee; GENERATORprojects; Dundee City Council, Dundee Heritage Trust, and Hospitalfield, Arbroath. 

The commissions will comprise ambitious live events, installations and performances and be presented in well-known Dundee locations, bringing to audiences and participants world-class cultural opportunities in the city. 

Art Night has delivered four editions of the festival in London (2016-2019) in collaboration with major partners such as The Hayward Gallery and the ICA and showing work by globally significant artists such as Barbara Kruger; Joan Jonas; Zadie Xa; Celia Hempton; Mark Leckey; Christine Sun Kim; Frances Stark and Alberta Whittle. One edition took place across the UK and online (2021) during the Pandemic, including an outdoor commission by the Guerrilla Girls in Dundee, which was also installed in further sites across Scotland, England and Wales alongside other works and projects. The Dundee festival will be the first time a full festival has taken place in a city outside London. Since 2019, Art Night has been curated by Artistic Director Helen Nisbet, a Shetland and London-based curator and a team of curators and project workers based in Dundee.

adie Xa, 'Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation' (2019) at Walthamstow Library, co-commissioned by Art Night, Tramway, Yarat and De La Warr. Image by Matt Rowe, courtesy of Art Night

Image Credit: Zadie Xa, ‘Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation’ (2019) at Walthamstow Library, co-commissioned by Art Night, Tramway, Yarat and De La Warr. Image by Matt Rowe, courtesy of Art Night

Art Night Dundee will take place primarily around the city centre of Dundee. Many commissions will be developed in partnership with local communities, and the majority will be developed as co-commissions with local, national and international partners. The festival will employ local artists and arts workers. Some works will be installed longer than the ‘festival’ weekend for audiences to engage with across the summer of 2023. One work will be gifted to a local collection after the project ends, creating a further legacy of the festival in the city. It can be announced now that one commission will be a new work by Turner Prize-winning artist Tai Shani.

Hannah Quinlan Rosie Hastings. Live performance commissioned for Art Night 2019 in Walthamstow Town Square and along the Market. Photo by Rachel Cherry courtesy of Art Night.

Image Credit: Hannah Quinlan Rosie Hastings. Live performance commissioned for Art Night 2019 in Walthamstow Town Square and along the Market. Photo by Rachel Cherry, courtesy of Art Night.

Artistic Director of Art Night, Helen Nisbet said, We are beyond delighted to announce that our first full national festival will be in Dundee. Dundee is an excellent city which is very close to my heart due to formative experiences in the city and the people I’ve met here. Dundee is a tremendous venue for Art Night, it has a vibrant cultural scene and strong social history and we will collaborate with inspiring partners to commission new work by globally important artists and work with local people to deepen our knowledge of the city. Art Night will bring a festival atmosphere to the city and wider area and kick off the summer of festivals in Scotland in 2023. I look forward to telling you more plans soon, including the artists we will work with and more about the gorgeous and rich locations works will take place within” 

The programme will be free to attend, as with every edition of Art Night. Since its inaugural edition, Art Night has also engaged with a wide range of audiences, exhibiting work in everyday places such as libraries, parks and squares, places of worship, shopping centres and car parks. 

Beth Bate, Director, DCA, added, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Art Night to bring this exciting programme of new commissions to Dundee. Our city, with its lively visual arts scene and world class galleries and museums, is a perfect location for Art Night’s first full festival outside London, and we can’t wait to share the full programme with our audiences.”

Art Night Dundee is funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland. 

Kirsteen Macdonald, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland said: “This is a hugely exciting development for Dundee and art lovers across the city and beyond. Art Night Dundee is the result of excellent partnership working across the region combined with the strong artistic vision of curator Helen Nisbet. The festival will provide a unique opportunity to support an exciting group of artists to reach new audiences beyond traditional gallery spaces, reimagining the city and bringing people together in new experiences.” 

Mark Flynn, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “I am delighted that Dundee will be the first venue outside London to host the unveiling of so many ambitious live events, installations and performances developed in partnership with local communities. The city’s reputation as a visitor attraction of choice for its heritage and culture can only be cemented with the announcement of such a prestigious and creative event happening here.” 

The full artist lineup will be revealed later in 2023. 


In 2021, Art Night went national for the first time, engaging with audiences at a range of museums, galleries and outdoor spaces across the UK as well as being open to audiences globally through a series of newly commissioned online works. In 2023, this format will be developed further, and cemented with a biennial festival.. Since 2016 Art Night has commissioned 60 new artworks and attracted 300,000 live audiences, 800,000 digital and an additional 2 million via touring, museum acquisitions and national projects. 

Art Night was set up in 2015 by Philippine Nguyen and Ksenia Zemtsova. The original four festivals took place in partnership with art organisations in different parts of London and were guest curated by leading UK based curators – The ICA and Kathy Noble (2015); Whitechapel Gallery and Fatos Uztek (2016); Hayward Gallery and Ralph Rugoff (2017`). In 2019, Art Night appointed Helen Nisbet as Artistic Director, her first festival took place in the outer London borough of Waltham Forest to coincide with the Mayor of London’s first Borough of Culture before the first national Art Night festival in 2021. 

Art Night invites artists to make ambitious, durational and performative work for

non-traditional public spaces. Previous artists making major new commissions for the festival include Barbara Kruger; Joan Jonas; Zadie Xa; Cecile B Evans; Imran Perretta and Paul Purgas; Linder; Celia Hempton; Mark Leckey; Christine Sun Kim; Frances Stark and Anne Hardy. 

In four years, Art Night has attracted 260,000 live audiences with an additional +2 million through touring, museum acquisitions and longer displays. 50 artists have presented major new commissions, and 150 artists showed work as part of an open call sister programme – the Art Night Open which ran from 2016-2019. 10,000 participants have actively taken part in Art Night projects; these include local residents, community projects, amateur dancers, choirs and young people from 30 different schools. 2.6 million has been raised and invested in artists and the local economy through 120 partners and funders, and with the support of 6 business improvement districts and 8 local authorities. Art Night was featured in more than 650 articles and reached 40 million views on social media since 2016. Art Night is proud of the work done to support those less familiar with contemporary art in attending the festival, 80% of recently surveyed audiences were not familiar with the artists, contemporary art or disciplines experienced. 

Instagram: @ARTNIGHTUK

Art Night is administered by ArtCity Nights, a registered charity no 1164449.