New British Art was formally constituted in 2009 when it was based at the old KODA studios in the Grangetown area of Cardiff. During the preceding period at KODA many graduates were supported after college with free studio space and showing opportunities. Artists such as Kim Simons, Tom Harrup, Will Woon, Rachel Bennett, Becky Whitmore and Gareth Williams used this time to develop portfolios for applications to Masters courses or for exhibitions.
New British Art received funding from Stiwdio Safle to commission John Minton to make a film and document the Blue Bell Hangar project. Further funding was received from Cardiff Fine Art Research towards a publication. The group was then shortlisted to represent Wales at the 2011 Venice Biennale and was given an award by the Arts Council of Wales to develop the project, Sal Venezia.
In 2013 the group received further Arts Council funding towards the Exchange project.
Founder members Mark Halliday & Caroline Taylor had previously set up earlier projects in other parts of the UK. In 1996 they formed the Staffordshire Experimental Sculpture Workshop, based in studios in rural Waterhouses. With A4E Lottery and European funding they were able to purchase equipment, run a series of workshops for children and FE students and exhibit sculptures as part of a touring show called Limestone Landscapes. The group was commissioned by Blue Circle Cement to make a commemorative sculpture at their works in Waterhouses.
In 1994, Mark and Caroline set up Residency for Space, a project in Birmingham that placed artists in free studio spaces in schools in the city, in return for spending time working with children at the school as artists in residence.
New British Art continues to work towards developing its base into Workshop for Wales, a facility that artists, makers, crafts practitioners and others can use to enhance their skills and knowledge through workshops, courses and peer to peer activity. The vision for the Workshop for Wales includes project space for artists, facilities for residential working and an exciting programme of events creating a new cultural hub in this rural environment.