Cries & Whispers was the title given to a selection of twenty large paintings and drawings purchased for the Council’s collection during the 1980s.

British painting enjoyed a remarkable revival during the decade and the exhibition’s aim was to show the strength and vitality of contemporary art in this medium. The artists chosen had all made their reputation during the 80s and represented some of the best of the new talent. However they were by no means a homogenous group. They were not from a single generation nor did they share a common style or approach. Some, such as Lisa Milroy, Steven Campbell, Tony Bevan and Christopher Le Brun had already become well known from international exhibitions; whereas others, such as Mark Wallinger and Ansel Krut, were comparatively recent graduates from art school.

As the title of the exhibition suggested, the images were diverse in mood. Works ranged from the impassioned and didactic to the quiet and mysterious; and from the witty and eccentric to the mournful and unsettling. Subject matter too was varied, with some artists choosing to comment on contemporary culture and politics, yet other taking personal relationships and experience as starting point.

A catalogue, with an assay by Lewis Biggs and entries on the works, was published by the British Council. ISBN 086355 063 0

A leaflet (Spsnish only) was published by the Instituto Britanico and the Junta de Castilla y Leon.