Art That Made Us

BBC2 / Passion

Leading British creatives, including Anthony Gormley, Simon Armitage, Cornelia Parker, Thomas J Price, Shani Rhys James, Lubaina Himid, Ryan Gander, Eddie Izzard, Amanda Levete, Tai Shan Schierenberg and Michael Sheen join cultural historians including Clare Lees, James Hawes, Temi Odumosu, Heather Jones, Jonathan Sumption, Murray Pittock and Nandini Das to explore key cultural works that have shaped the history of the British Isles

Art That Made Us is a landmark eight-part series for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer to broadcast in April 2022 alongside a range of programming across BBC digital platforms and a nationwide festival.

Through 1500 years and eight dramatic turning points, Art That Made Us presents an alternative history of the British Isles, told through art.  A company of renowned contemporary artists and thinkers encounter historic artworks from across the home nations that inspire them, inform their work and take us to the heart of moments of historical flux. These are paintings, sculptures, writing, design and music, created in turbulent times in our islands’ story, some surprising, some well-known but seen afresh. Together our artists trace a story of innovators and rule breakers who, by daring to create something different, helped redefine the culture of the British Isles again and again.

The series is produced in collaboration with the Open University and is accompanied by Brilliant Isles, a book of the series by James Hawes, published by Old Street.