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The United Kingdom would not be the same country without its Empire. The British Empire has shaped the world when the United Kingdom started during the 16th century to established overseas possessions and trading posts.
Even if the British Empire's history is deeply linked with wars, conquest and slavery, its legacy is present everywhere and concern us all. Artists have worked on showing the ordinary and extraordinary of this Empire.
Featuring a vast array of objects from collections across Britain, including maps, flags, paintings, photographs, sculptures and artefacts, the exhibition examines how the histories of the British Empire have shaped art past and present. Contemporary works within the exhibition suggest that the ramifications of the Empire are far from over.
The exhibition displays works by artists such as Joshua Reynolds and George Stubbs but also objects including Indian miniatures and Maori artefacts, as well as contemporary works by Hew Locke and Sonia Boyce. Through this variety of artworks from a complex mix of traditions, locations and cultures the fragmented history of the Empire can be told.