Art is everywhere. No really, it is. Take a look out of the window. Do you see a Bacon at the bus stop? A Constable in the car park? A Turner at the train station?
Over the next two weeks, it’s likely that when you’re out and about on your travels you’ll experience an innovative new UK-wide public art project called Art Everywhere, which sees paintings by artists as diverse as David Hockney and William Hogarth go on billboards and poster sites all over the country.
Showcasing great British art across the UK, Art Everywhere claims to be the largest exhibition of its kind in the world, with art on display across 22,000 sites up and down the land, all chosen through a public voting system.
The spirit of the Art Everywhere project is to make art publicly available, across the UK, for all to see and enjoy. Some 57 works have been selected to appear on a range of sites, from advertising billboards to bus stops and car parks, supermarkets, shopping centres, cinemas and bars.
The Lady of Shalott, by Victorian artist John William Waterhouse, was the most popular choice in the online vote, although many of the choices are more contemporary.
Sir Peter Blake, the pop art pioneer, launched the exhibition by unveiling a poster-sized copy of his work The Meeting Or Have A Nice Day Mr Hockney on an outdoor billboard at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London.
While the top ten features plenty of well-known works, a delve into the full list is well worth it – we particularly like Patrick Caulfield’s After Lunch, She Aint Holding Them Up, She’s Holding On (Some English Rose) by Sonia Boyce and Blotter by Peter Doig. But which ones do you like?
‘Art is for everyone’
Art Everywhere says it expects that 90% of the UK’s adult population enjoy beautiful art instead of advertising for the next two weeks. Damien Hirst, whose artwork Pardaxin features in the list, said: “Art is for everyone, and everyone who has access to it will benefit from it.
“This project is amazing and gives the public a voice and an opportunity to choose what they want to see on their streets.”
Brought out of the galleries and into the streets. Chosen by the public. Art is everywhere. So get out and experience it.
The posters will be on display across the country from today until 25th August.
The top ten chosen by the public
1. The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse
2. Ophelia by John Everett Millais
3. Head VI by Francis Bacon
4. Gassed by John Singer Sargent
5. Man’s Head (Self Portrait) by Lucian Freud
6. The Fighting Temeraire by JMW Turner
7. Five Ships – Mount’s Bay by Alfred Wallis
8. Going to the Match by LS Lowry
9. Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Battersea Bridge by James Whistler
10. Cold Dark Matter by Cornelia Parker