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Bob and Roberta Smith RA at the William Morris Gallery

Published 15 October 2015

Bob and Roberta Smith’s exhibition of his recent campaigning art finds a natural home at the London gallery dedicated to designer and radical socialist William Morris.

  • “William Morris was after a more equal society,” Bob and Roberta Smith says about the nineteenth century designer, writer and socialist activist, whose legacy is celebrated at the award-winning William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, north-east London.

    Morris was a proponent of arts education for all. “He understood that he had something - he had power with his brush or printing block, and he wanted to extend that to everybody,“ says Smith. The cause of arts education is one that the Royal Academician has championed tirelessly in recent years; he even stood as an independent candidate against former Education Secretary Michael Gove in this year’s General Election.

    Smith has taken over key spaces in the elegant Grade II listed Georgian building – from a special exhibition area to the cafe and staircase – with examples of his campaigning art of recent years, including an appeal to the candidates in the 2016 London Mayoralty race (see gallery below).

    In this video, he introduces the key themes of the exhibition and talks about why he thinks art is important both politically and on a universal human level.

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    An introduction to the exhibition

    Bob and Roberta Smith introduces his exhibition ‘Art Is Your Human Right: The Artistic Campaigns of Bob and Roberta Smith’ at the William Morris Gallery.