We The People Are The Work is a major visual arts project in Plymouth that explored ideas of power, protest and the public.

The project built connections between the people of Plymouth and six internationally renowned artists through structures that involve people living in Plymouth in generating the ideas and artworks in the exhibition alongside the artists.

Venues across the city ranging from Plymouth City Council’s Council House to the city’s public galleries were animated by a series of new commissioned artworks that explore our engagement with politics and identity. In the wake of recent global events - from Brexit, to the election of Donald Trump as the new president of the United States, to the recent UK general election - the exhibition explored both the shared experiences and social differences that shape our society and our aspirations and fears for the future.

The exhibition was curated by Simon Morrissey, Director of Foreground, who has built a critical reputation for his distinctive approach to involving audiences in the development and realization of permanent and temporary artworks. 

We The People Are The Work explored the ways in which an increasing number of artists are interested in involving the public in the creation or realisation of artworks, the different ways they work with the public and why artists are drawn to work with ordinary people to bring artworks to life. The commissioned artists in the exhibition worked with people in Plymouth to develop the ideas for the exhibition and to develop works where the participation of the public is essential to bringing the artists ideas to life.

These new artworks commissioned especially for and with the people of Plymouth are concerned with ideas of articulation and power – how do we as individuals, as the public, get our voices heard within or against the structures of power that govern our lives and claim to speak for us, the people?


We The People Are The Work is presented by PVAPG (Plymouth Visual Art Programming Group), a partnership between The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, KARST, Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University, Plymouth Arts Centre and The Box, Plymouth. It is part of Horizon, a collaborative two year programme of visual contemporary arts, funded through Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund and led by Plymouth Culture.

For more information about Horizon visit plymouth-horizon.co.uk