Press release

University partners with National Gallery for Jeremy Deller project marking Bicentenary

Published on 17 August 2023

The Triumph of Art, the National Gallery’s commission to round off its Bicentenary year, has today announced the partners it will be working with, to develop, produce and deliver the project.

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Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller will be celebrating festivals, gatherings, and art in the public realm, in this UK-wide work.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD), part of the University of Dundee, has been named as the Scottish partner in the project, the first time the National Gallery has had a formal partnership with an art school or college.

Pernille Spence, Programme Director for Fine Art in DJCAD, said, “We are tremendously excited to be working with the National Gallery and Jeremy Deller on this project, which will be a UK-wide celebration of art.

“This will lead to events happening here in Dundee leading up to the final events in Trafalgar Square.”

The Box in Plymouth, Mostyn in Llandudno, and The Playhouse in Derry/Londonderry have been named as the partners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

These organisations mark a significant expansion in the National Gallery’s partnership strategy, including for the first time a performing arts venue in The Playhouse, as well as the first formal partnership with an art school (or college) in DJCAD.

The Triumph of Art, including its constituent research and public programme, will be developed with close links to the communities and geography of all partners. Each will research, develop and stage a local element, before the collaborative projects will join together. Deller has been researching and cataloguing events on the Square as a history of celebration, commemoration and demonstration, collecting countless instances of joy and art in activism. The Triumph of Art will culminate in a major event on Trafalgar Square in July 2025, drawing to a close the NG200 year-long festival of art and looking to the start of the Gallery’s next century.

Jeremy Deller said, “I’m looking forward to working with partners across all four nations to create something epic to mark the Gallery’s 200 years.”

Emily Stone, Project Curator at the National Gallery, said, “We couldn’t have found better partners to work with for this commission – they represent a fantastic combination of history and heritage, and emerging talent. Researching places of joy and gathering has unearthed some very exciting ideas that showcase both individuality and common ground across the UK. We’re excited to bring together local communities with an unparalleled celebration in Trafalgar Square.”

Notes to editors

About Jeremy Deller

Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, London) studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute and at Sussex University. He began making artworks in the early 1990s, often showing them outside conventional galleries. In 1993, while his parents were on holiday, he secretly used the family home for an exhibition titled Open Bedroom. 

Four years later he produced the musical performance Acid Brass with the Williams-Fairey Band and began making art in collaboration with other people. In 2000, with fellow artist Alan Kane, Deller began a collection of items that illustrate the passions and pastimes of people from across Britain and the social classes. Treading a fine line between art and anthropology, Folk Archive is a collection of objects which touch on diverse subjects such as Morris Dancing, gurning competitions, and political demonstrations. The Folk Archive became part of the British Council Collection in 2007 and has since toured to Shanghai, Paris and Milan.  

In 2001 Deller staged The Battle of Orgreave, commissioned by Artangel and Channel 4, directed by Mike Figgis. The work involved a re-enactment which brought together around 1,000 veteran miners and members of historical societies to restage the 1984 clash between miners and police in Orgreave, Yorkshire. In 2004, Deller won the Turner Prize for Memory Bucket (2003), a documentary about Texas. He has since made several documentaries on subjects ranging from the exotic wrestler Adrian Street to the die-hard international fan base of the band Depeche Mode.  

In 2009 Deller undertook a road trip across the US, from New York to Los Angeles, towing a car destroyed in a bomb attack in Baghdad and accompanied by an Iraqi citizen and a US war veteran. The project, It Is What It Is, was presented at Creative Time and the New Museum, New York and the car is now part of the Imperial War Museum’s collection. In the same year he staged Procession, in Manchester, involving participants, commissioned floats, choreographed music and performances creating an odd and celebratory spectacle. During the summer of 2012 Sacrilege, Deller’s life-size inflatable version of Stonehenge – a co-commission between Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and the Mayor of London – toured around the UK to great public acclaim. 

In 2013 Deller represented Britain at the Venice Biennale with a multi-faceted exhibition titled, English Magic. Encompassing notions of good and bad magic, socialism, war, popular culture, archaeology and tea, the exhibition gave a view of the UK that was both combative and affectionate. His First World War memorial work - We’re Here Because We’re Here (2016) and the documentary Everybody in the Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984–1992 (2019), have influenced the conventional map of contemporary art. Most recently Deller has published Art is Magic, a book that documents key works in his career alongside the art, pop music, film, politics and history that have inspired him.

About Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) is part of the University of Dundee and is one of the UK’s top art and design schools.

The College is ranked Number 1 in Scotland and in the Top 10 in the UK (Complete University Guide 2024). 

In the UK Research Assessment Framework 2021, research at DJCAD was rated as top in the UK for Environment and top in Scotland for Impact.

About the National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of the greatest art galleries in the world. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the Gallery houses the nation’s collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the late 13th to the early 20th century. The collection includes works by Bellini, Cézanne, Degas, Leonardo, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Dyck, Van Gogh and Velázquez. The Gallery’s key objectives are to enhance the collection, care for the collection and provide the best possible access to visitors. Admission free. More at 

More information and book tickets for events at

About The Box, Plymouth

The Box opened in September 2020, the result of an ambitious £47m regeneration project which has transformed Plymouth’s former City Museum and Art Gallery, Central Library and St Luke’s church. We have already welcomed over 575,000 visitors.

With a vision focused on ‘reimagining the future through the past’, a programme that combines the best of contemporary art with significant art, natural history, human history, film, photographic and archive collections, plus social, retail, education and research spaces, The Box is a fantastic resource for the city and the South West. Working with artists and audiences, we are committed to shaping civic pride, finding creative ways to engage with those who are least able to access culture, and using our distinctive blend of museum, gallery and archive to ask questions about and explore the issues relating to the world we live in.

About The Playhouse

The Playhouse is one of the most vibrant theatres and arts organisations in Northern Ireland, established to meet the needs and aspirations of people and communities at a time of conflict.  We have since grown to become a national asset: an award-winning producing theatre, an empowering centre for learning and a global leader in the arts and peaceful change. We matter to our locality and to the international communities we connect with and we continually innovate to offer a space to make meaning and a place that’s here for good. We believe in inclusion, in inspiring creativity and opening up the imaginative world of theatre, dance, art and music for everyone to enjoy. The Playhouse is core funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, and Community Relations Council.


Socials: @playhousederry


Jonathan Watson

Senior Press Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489