The Barbican centre’s popularity has boomed since the introduction of its free exhibitions

The manager of the Visual Arts at the Barbican Centre said the free exhibitions were the main reason for the art centre’s popularity.

Within Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue, ‘The Curve’, one of the Barbican’s exhibition spaces, is always free.

Manager Ann Berni said: “When we launched the first Curve commission back in 2006, it was really important to us that it was a free exhibition space, the whole centre has been a lot more popular since it began.”

Ms Berni also said the free exhibitions were important to “introduce rising artists to the broadest possible audience.” Last year’s ‘Rain Room’ installation had daily queues of up to 12 hours because of its popularity. “They’re happy to wait because it’s free” said Tom Benfield, a spokesperson for the centre.

“It’s events like these that encourage visitors to look at other exhibitions within the centre too, even ticketed ones” Said Ms Berni. This week’s opening of ‘momentum,’ a free light exhibition, has already had “over 10,000 visitors.”

Featured image by Graeme Maclean


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