Art, London, and being proud – By Deborah Lynch-Doyle, International Trade Advisor

Art has the power to enrich our lives and the UK economy. It is no surprise that the Centre for Economic and Business Research estimates that the arts and culture sector contributes £7.7bn to the UK national purse.

Affordable Art Fair Milan 2017 – Example of artwork per artist attending

Further, its estimated to attract at least £856m of the UK’s tourist spending, and exports of services from UK-based cultural organisations went up by 13.6 per cent just in in 2014.

London is a key driver for the UK’s arts and culture. London not only hosts world-renowned public art exhibitions including at the National Gallery, the Royal Academy and the Tate, but also a range of renowned independent art galleries. London leads the UK’s visual arts sector, making up 30% of the global art market.

Selling art overseas is not just for world-renowned artists. With international art fairs and e-commerce, artists can start to look internationally for a market for their work. The Department for International Trade (DIT) believes in the importance of exporting, and can help artists export, for example through workshops on e-commerce, or advice on particular markets or business opportunities. DIT continually lists new export opportunities on the website Currently it has 1450 cross-sector opportunities, so it is always worthwhile searching for opportunities to export art.

And now DIT London, is working with the Affordable Art Fair and Go Figurative, to take the works of 16 contemporary London artists* to the Affordable Art Fair in Milan. I’m so proud to have organised this first-of-its-kind collaboration, hosting a stand titled ‘London Calling’, intended to give London artists the chance to gain international attention and sales. The event will be 9-12th February. Further details of the event can be found at:

List of the artists

  • Clare Halifax
  • David Downes
  • David Downes
  • Dee Stanford
  • Gill Smith
  • Keren Luchtenstein
  • Louise Laurent
  • Melissa Scott-Miller
  • Michael Alan-Kidd
  • Michael Wallner
  • Neil Dawson
  • Olha Pryymak
  • Robin-Lee Hall
  • Sara Lee Roberts
  • Serpil Mavi Üstün
  • Thomas Marsh
  • Zoom Rockman


‘The Economic Contribution of Arts and Culture’ Creative Industries Council

‘20 facts about London’s culture’ Mayor of London/ London Assembly

Newable delivers export services in London and the South on behalf of the Department of International Trade.