The Art Fund takes Queen and Country to the Barbican

  • 3 June 2008

This week sees The Art Fund's tour of Queen and Country move onto the Barbican where it will coincide with the National Theatre of Scotland's multi-award-winning production Black Watch.

Queen and Country was created by Steve McQueen, official war artist and winner of Camera d’Or at Cannes Film Festival this year, in collaboration with 137 families whose loved ones have lost their lives in Iraq. The artwork commemorates British servicemen and women who have lost their lives in the conflict, and consists of a cabinet containing a series of facsimile postage sheets each one dedicated to a member of the armed forces killed in Iraq. The artist hopes that an official set of stamps will eventually be issued by Royal Mail.
The work will be on display at the Barbican until 27th July, to coincide with Black Watch between 20th June and 26th July. The play is based on interviews with former soldiers who served in Iraq and reveals what it means to be part of the legendary Scottish regiment, what it means to be part of the war on terror, and what it means to make the journey home again.

Louise Jeffreys, Head of Theatre at the Barbican, said: “We are proud to bring Queen and Country to the Barbican to run alongside the National Theatre of Scotland’s award winning production Black Watch. These highly evocative creative responses to the Iraq conflict illustrate powerfully the immense personal cost to those involved. We are pleased that we can offer audiences the opportunity to see this poignant exhibition and magnificent performance together.”

Further venues around the country will be announced shortly. Admission will be free at all venues, and visitors will be invited to take part in Steve McQueen’s vision and sign The Art Fund’s online petition asking the Royal Mail to issue the stamps. For details and updates on tour dates and venues and to sign the petition visit

Queen and Country is part of the Imperial War Museum’s permanent collection, following its presentation by The Art Fund in November 2007 with a full grant of £60,000.


Notes to editors
1. The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art.
2. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections.
3. Recent achievements include: helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008 with a grant of £1million; putting together a unique funding package to ensure Dumfries House in Ayrshire and its contents were secured intact for the nation in July 2007; and running the ‘Buy a Brushstroke’ public appeal which raised over £550,000 to keep Turner’s Blue Rigi watercolour in the UK.
4. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit