In 1997, Bartlett collaborated with Artangel on a solo performance work The Seven Sacraments Of Nicolas Poussin, developed the following year into a dramatic oratorio. In 2006, he participated in an event with George Chakravati as part of the latter's Artangel project To the Man in My Dreams.
Since his first novel – Who Was That Man? A Present for Mr. Oscar Wilde (1989) – Neil Bartlett has explored Wilde's works, life, and influence through writing, the staging of Wilde's works for theatre and radio, and In Extremis: A Love Letter (2000), an original play commissioned by National Theatre for the 100th anniversary of Wilde's death.
One of the leading actors of his generation, Ralph Fiennes has received numerous awards and nominations for his diverse work across film, theatre and television. Fiennes is a UNICEF ambassabor and patron of the eponomyus Constant Gardener Trust, set up by the cast and crew during filming in Kenya. His most recent London stage role was Richard III at the Almeida Theatre.
The first woman to play King Lear professionally on the British stage, Kathryn Hunter's physical presence and range has led her to not only play roles typically reserved for male actors, but metamorphose into that of other creatures. An Artistic Associate at the RSC, she debuted as director with a touring production of Othello.
Ragnar Kjartansson, combines stage traditions with experiments in endurance to create opulent, ironic performances and video installations. These durational experiences, push past the anxiety and ennui of repetitious situations to convey a state of joy and transcendence. Kjartansson is the youngest artist to have represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale.
Maxine Peake is renowned for the many roles she has made her own in television, film, radio, and on stage, including a radical reworking of Shakespeare's Hamlet in which she played the title role. She memorably performed a version of Shelley's The Masque of Anarchy for the Manchester International Festival in 2015.
An internationally acclaimed performance poet, Lemn Sissay's Landmark Poems, one of which was unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu, are installed throughout Manchester and London. His autobiographical drama, Something Dark, dealing with the search for his family after being fostered was adapted for radio, winning a Race in the Media Award.
Poet, writer and music legend Patti Smith first read Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis as a teenager, since when she has cited the writer in performances and listed his books amongst her favourites. In 1989, similarly separated from someone she loved, Smith wrote in a letter to artist Robert Mapplethorpe, “You drew me from the darkest period of my young life,” so composing an uncanny parallel with the title of Wilde’s letter, which translates from the Latin as “from the depths”.
Award-winning novelist Colm Tóibín first collaborated with Artangel on the publication accompanying Die Familie Schneider. He later recorded his stay on the Roi des Belges for A Room For London. Tóibín has edited and introduced a new selection of Oscar Wilde's prison letters and poetry in Penguin Classics, De Profundis and Other Prison Writings. His novel Brooklyn was recently adapted into an Oscar-winning film.
Ben Whishaw, an established stage and film actor, has made a métier of portraying the damaged and damned with emotional volatility and candour: from Keats to John Proctor. Whishaw is the youngest actor to secure a reprised role as Q in the James Bond series.
Artist Ai Weiwei was famously detained in China, then released to house arrest in 2011, his passport confiscated. Some of Ai’s best known works are installations – commenting on creative freedom, censorship and human rights – sparking dialogue between traditional Chinese modes of thought and production, and the contemporary world. A retrospective of his work was held at the Royal Academy, London in 2015.
Inspired by her parents – both deeply involved in the campaign for Bangladeshi independence – award-winning author Tahmima Anam's Bengal Trilogy, chronicles three generations of a family from the Bangladesh war of independence to the present day. The research for her books comes partly from interviews conducted with family members and Bangladeshis who experienced the conflict.
Anne Carson first worked with Artangel as a Writer in Residency for Vatnssafn/Library of Water. Carson gave a reading of her poem Cage a Swallow Can’t You But You Can’t Swallow a Cage, written with Bob Currie during their residency. Her first book, Eros the Bittersweet, was named one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time by the Modern Library.
Joe Dunthorne is a critically acclaimed Welsh author whose debut novel Submarine, the story of a dysfunctional family in Swansea, was translated into sixteen languages and adapted for film by Richard Ayoade. His second novel, Wild Abandon, the tragicomic story of an imploding commune in South Wales, won the Encore Award.
Deborah Levy emigrated to England from South Africa on the release of her father, a member of the ANC and political prisoner of apartheid. She often weaves themes of identity, exile, and dislocation into her award-winning narrative fiction, plays and radio adaptations. Levy was nominated for the Booker Prize for Swimming Home in 2012.
Danny Morrison, secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust and former National Director of Publicity for Sinn Féin, served eight years’ imprisonment in Long Kesh during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. During this time he contributed articles to An Phoblacht and An Glór Gafa / Captive Voice, having since authored several novels and anthologies.
Gillian Slovo's memoir Every Secret Thing: My Family, My Country is an account of her relationship with her parents, both heavily involved in the anti-apartheid movement. She co-authored the internationally staged play Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, collecting first-hand accounts from ex-prisoners and relatives of the detained.
Binyavanga Wainaina, Director of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College, responded to a wave of anti-gay laws in Nigeria by publicly outing himself in his short story I Am a Homosexual, Mum, calling it the lost chapter of his memoir One Day I Will Write About This Place.
Award-winning author Jeanette Winterson first collaborated with Artangel on Longplayer as a participant in the Long Conversation, marking the project's 10th anniversary. She later recorded material written during her stay on board A Room For London. Winterson's genre-bending and highly individual novels, memoirs and books for young people herald her as one of the most original voices in contemporary British literature.