Outlines of soldiers from the First World War are projected onto the wall of Folkestone Harbour Station.
© Christopher Wenham, University of Kent
'Walking with Ghosts' an IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund commission in Partnership with University of Kent.

The IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund is a national partnership programme of over 20 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict. Led by Imperial War Museums, the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund was created following the success of 14-18 NOW, the official UK arts programme for the First World War centenary.

To mark the end of the First World War centenary, Imperial War Museums and 14-18 NOW worked together to co-commission the critically acclaimed film They Shall Not Grow Old by Academy Award winner Peter Jackson, which was seen by nearly 5 million people globally. Following the unprecedented success of the film, 14-18 NOW and IWM agreed that a share of the film’s royalties would be used to support a new programme of artist commissions, the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund. A total of £2.5 million is being made available to artists and cultural organisations across the UK.

Through the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, IWM is now working in partnership with cultural organisations from across the UK to commission more than 20 ambitious new artworks inspired by the heritage of conflict and created by world-leading and emerging contemporary artists. These new commissions will forge new opportunities for artistic engagement, bring art to audiences in new and relevant ways by connecting people, places and experiences, and kick-start cultural dialogue as we recover from the wide-reaching impacts of COVID-19.

The commissions will go on public display across the UK between 2022 and 2025.

We are no longer accepting proposals to the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund.

The Commissions

The exterior of the BATLIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, depicting bridge leading towards the building.
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England.

Our five major partners have each been awarded £250,000, while members of IWM’s War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network (SSN) have each received £20,000 towards their commissions.

The commissions explore themes ranging from care work in conflict to the current refugee crisis, and take various forms including gardens, dances, graphic novels and installations.

Find out more about these projects here.