Sir Antony Gormley encourages people to display artwork in windows

Plan to turn UK into huge art gallery: Sculptor Sir Antony Gormley launches exhibition encouraging people to display artwork in front windows to ‘counter the gloom of the pandemic’

  • Opening theme, chosen by British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, will be animals
  • National Gallery, V&A Museum, Tate and the NGS asking people to make artwork
  • The displays can be put up on front windows, front doors, balconies or gardens
  • Great Big Art Exhibition’s next theme will be portraits, chosen by Sonia Boyce

Sculptor Sir Antony Gormley has launched an exhibition encouraging people to display artwork in their front windows to ‘counter the gloom’ of the Covid pandemic. 

The National Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland are asking people to make the artwork.

The opening theme, chosen by Sir Gormley, who is famous for the Angel Of The North, will be animals.

Artworks – drawn, painted, sculpted, built or created with other materials – can be put up on front windows, front doors, balconies or gardens.

Artwork depicting animals, created by Raymond and Leonard, is displayed in the window of a house in Acton, London, to launch The Great Big Art Exhibition

Artwork created by Shalomy, aged 10, Benjamin, six, and Stephanie, eight, displayed in the windows of a row of houses in Acton. Arts venue Firstsite came up with the initiative 

Sir Antony Gormley, pictured above, who is famous for the Angel Of The North, chose the opening theme, which will be animals

Artists such as Sir Anish Kapoor, Jeremy Deller and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei will select a different theme each fortnight.

The next theme of The Great Big Art Exhibition will be portraits, chosen by Sonia Boyce, and artworks can be made of anything.

Sally Shaw, director of Firstsite, the arts venue in Colchester, Essex, which came up with the idea, said: ‘The doors to our collections and galleries might be shut but our imaginations are forever open.

‘Making, showing and experiencing art has created so much joy, connection and solace for many thousands of people.

‘I can’t wait to see a brand new nationwide art gallery appearing before our eyes in coming days, weeks and months. This is sure to be an incredible expression of people’s creativity.’

Organisers said ‘people can work as individuals or as a community, by joining up ‘virtually’ with their street, school, temple, church, shopping centre or football team to produce a memorable and exciting artwork’.

Romey, Iggy and Louie (pictured left to right) holding up their artworks which will be displayed in the front window of a house in Acton as part of the art exhibition

Louise seen displaying one of her artworks, which depict animals. Sally Shaw, director of Firstsite, said: ‘This is sure to be an incredible expression of people’s creativity’

Iggy and Romey (left to right) displaying their artwork in the front window of a house in Acton. The next theme of The Great Big Art Exhibition will be portraits, chosen by Sonia Boyce

Artworks from the nation’s galleries and museums can be used as a template or for inspiration and will be put online.

It follows a viral #rainbowtrail trend that aimed to spread hope and positivity during the first lockdown taking off throughout the UK last year, with children across the country displaying rainbow paintings in their windows.  

The #rainbowtrail initiative pledged support to staying inside during the coronavirus pandemic along with the hashtags #stayhomesavelives and #staysafestayhome.

Dedicated to helping NHS staff, youngsters from all corners of Britain displayed their artwork in windows, with parents sharing pictures on Twitter, along with passers-by admiring them during their daily jog.

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