Hockney exhibition is one of 50 shows celebrating France-UK friendship

The programme of cultural events across France will showcase work from British and French participants

A new David Hockney show called ‘Normandism’ at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen is part of the British Council’s programme

Published March 27, edited April 2

Around 50 exhibitions and performances are being held this year to mark 80 years in France of the British Council, the UK organisation that promotes British culture and the English language abroad.

The shows will bring together French and British participants and range across dance, theatre, music, cinema, visual arts, literature, architecture and design.

The programme, called Imaginons ensemble, aims to have a youthful focus, with many young artists involved.

Read more: French photographer who captured US history gets retrospective in Nice

Reinforce links through art

British Council France, the organiser, says it is “now, more than ever, crucial that France and the UK reinforce our links, work together and cultivate solutions”.

See all events at the British Council website.

Events this month include, from April 26-28, films by John Akomfrah, who is representing the UK this year at the prestigious Venice Biennale, at the Centre Pompidou; an exhibition of artwork about friendship called ‘Friends in Love and War’ at the Cité Internationale in Lyon; and a new David Hockney show called ‘Normandism’ at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen.

The celebrated British painter has been living in a village in the pays d’Auge since 2019.

Read more: Artist Hockney revels in Normandy lifestyle

Read more: David Hockney’s ‘A Year in Normandy’ show

120 since the Entente Cordiale was signed

April 8 also marks 120 years since France and the UK signed the Entente Cordiale (‘friendly understanding’), a series of bilateral agreements settling disputes over colonies and foreign policies.

Postcards were printed in 1904 showing Britannia and Marianne dancing together in celebration.

While the details are largely forgotten, it is remembered as a turning point for UK-France friendship after almost a millennium of conflict, paving the way for alliance in World War One.

The phrase is still evoked to refer to friendly relations, especially between the British and French.

Related articles

American photographer Annie Leibovitz honoured in France

Eight French roundabouts with bizarre statues

Oscar-nominated Anatomy of a Fall is masterclass in multilingual life