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The Future is Fragile—Agnes Denes flies the flag for Healing Arts above Tate Britain

The Future is Fragile, Handle with Care, 2021 flag by Agnes Denes Agnes Denes, courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects & Culturunners

Passers-by strolling on the pavement outside Tate Britain in London today will see a distinctive flag flying in the wind above the celebrated gallery. US artist Agnes Denes’s flag—emblazoned with the message The Future is Fragile, Handle with Care—marks the conclusion of Healing Arts London and the launch of a global 2021 Arts & Health Campaign: a “call to action” launched by the World Health Organization, the nomadic social enterprise Culturunners, and a coalition of cultural partners to counter the mental health crisis of isolation, anxiety and bereavement caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Denes's flag calls out for the urgency of a global response not only to Covid-19 but also to climate change,” says a statement. The film of the flag-raising ceremony is due to be released today at 16.00 GMT; Denes' majestic intervention also marks the launch of The Future is Unwritten Artist Response Fund, a project supporting artist-led initiatives worldwide including two programmes in Iraq—in partnership with Community Jameel (Art Jameel’s sister organisation)—aimed at sustaining traditional cultural practices. Tune in and watch Denes’ flag being hoisted above Tate Britain (or pop down to Millbank for a glimpse of the piece which has been raised half-mast in memory of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh).

The Future is Fragile, Handle with Care, 2021 flag by Agnes Denes Agnes Denes, courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects & Culturunners.