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Welfare State International, "Street lanterns in Ulverston," Ulverston, UK, 2003

Welfare State International

Welfare State International was a collective of radical artists and thinkers who explored ideas of celebratory art and spectacle between 1968 and 2006. The organization pioneered the art of celebration and ceremony, exploring personal as well as public occasions. The company's name was originally 'The Welfare State', offering art for all on the same basis as education and health.

Under the Welfare State umbrella, a group of engineers, musicians, sculptors, performers, poets and pyrotechnicians developed site-specific theatre in landscape, lantern processions, spectacular fireshows, community carnivals and participatory festivals. They worked to create meaningful and truthful celebrations of life-milestones, such as births, deaths, and weddings. A physical archive for WSI's work exists within the Theatre Collection at Bristol University.


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