The Arts Institute – public arts programme

The Arts Institute. Artists from Tjanpi Desert Weavers let their tjanpi sisters fly, Papulankutja, Western Australia, 2015. Image: Annieka Skinner, Tjanpi Desert Weavers

We are delighted to invite you back to in-person events at The Arts Institute. Learn more about safely visiting our venues.

The Storytelling season

Storytelling is as old as humanity itself. Whether shared through word, image, sound or performance, the uniquely human act of sharing tales provides us with understanding, context and perspective.

This season we invite you to delve into a rich programme of cultural events exploring the narratives which continue to shape our idea of the world. From the unique four-day festival celebrating the Expressionism movement through film, music and visual art, the indigenous Australian narrative of the Songlines exhibition, to academics from Cambridge, Glasgow, Leiden, Oxford and Plymouth sharing their investigations of the traditions of distributing knowledge, creation stories, visionary storytellers, and the diversity of cultures, lands and languages.

The Arts Institute is the curated public arts programme of the University of Plymouth which plays a pivotal role in building culture and art in the city and South West region, supporting established, new and emerging artists from around the world.

It comprises The Levinsky Gallery, a space for engaging, contemporary artworks; the Jill Craigie Cinema which screens a diverse range of classic films and contemporary cinematic masterpieces; a cutting-edge theatre and dance programme in The House; musical performances and concerts, and a year-long series of fascinating talks that open up a world of art, literature and history.

Open to everybody.

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The Arts Institute's public programme promotes audience engagement, access to the arts, and directly supports emerging and established artists' careers. Please consider a donation to support development and delivery of our programme.


Thank you.

Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters

21 October 2021 – 27 February 2022 | The Levinsky Gallery and The Box

This award-winning exhibition takes visitors on an epic journey that traverses three states, three deserts and some 500,000 square kilometres, travelling from west to east: to places in the deserts of the Martu, the Ngaanyatjarra and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) peoples. Using the power of contemporary art, performance, song, photography and multimedia, Songlines shares ancient stories from the world’s oldest continuing culture.

Learn more and book tickets

Seven Sisters Songline 1994 by Josephine Mick, Ninuku Arts © the artist/Copyright Agency 2020. Image: National Museum of Australia

Seven Sisters Songline 1994 by Josephine Mick, Ninuku Arts © the artist/Copyright Agency 2020. Image: National Museum of Australia

Expressionism: Emotions Unchained

12–19 March 2022

Our festival Expressionism: Emotions Unchained offers a unique integration of pivotal music, visual art, and film of this energetic and vibrant artistic era of unbounded influence. You are invited to join us for four extraordinary evenings with world-leading artists, including Robert Taub, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Kokoro Ensemble, Alison Wells, the Marmen Quartet and Erika Baikoff.

Learn more and book tickets

Celluloid Psychology series

31 January–28 March 2022

The popular series returns with three films each introduced by the University’s psychology experts; Before I go to Sleep, Five Broken Cameras and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The films highlight the importance of memory in the creation of our personal histories, documentation and representation during conflict and how the images we hold in our minds form our sense of self and others

Learn more and book tickets

Christopher Durston Memorial Lecture 2022

15 March 2022

Dr Nadine Akkerman, joins us from Leiden University to discuss early modern womens’ biographies with her talk, The Biographer’s Tale. Nadine explores how they add new perspectives to old lives and allow new ways to reconsider events, and argues the need for a new type of biography.

Learn more and book tickets

Everything [but the girl]

23 March 2022

2Faceddance Company return with an unforgettable triple bill of emotionally charged, lung-busting physicality, packed with raw energy and exceptional movement.

Learn more and book tickets


Join the Arts Institute conversation on Twitter:

Word is...

  • t "Some truly incredible works here; and well worth a visit." Mark Jessett
  • f "Blissful sheer escapism." Alexandra Miranda
  • t "Fantastic opportunity to see established and up and coming artists! Amazing space." Jason Brownlee
  • . "Absolutely stunning exhibition. Thank you so much for bringing it to Plymouth." Carly Seller on 'Thinking Tantra'
  • t "Was a very fascinating talk from a very fascinating man" @LilMussRuin on 'In Conversation with Peter Greenaway'
  • A "A hidden gem"

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