There’s a distinct emphasis on art on this blog in the last few days. This post concerns an event I came across on Saturday afternoon in one of the open spaces in the massive Arndale Centre.
The BBC has been busy going around the country documenting every painting of importance that they have been able to find. The ones on show in the country’s galleries are but the tip of the iceberg. There are many more in storage in vaults belonging to the galleries, rarely viewed by the public. The great stately homes, in the British countryside, of the rich and titled are another important repository of great art. Many decorate the walls of the companies and other institutions while some are in private homes.
212,000 have been found. I suspect this is but a percentage of what there is but it’s a good start. The BBC have loaded the pictures and information about the pictures online. It must have been a massive endeavour but it’s the kind of thing that the BBC does really well. Now all 212,000 are there for anyone to view at the click of a mouse from anywhere in the world. You can explore by artist or gallery or be guided through a selection by an art historian or by a favourite celebrity who is just showing off their favourite pictures. Check it out:
There’s been a lot of exposure about the project in the media and they have started doing events like this to publicise the new website. In the Arndale Centre they were doing an event. They were inviting shoppers to spend a few moments painting part of a collective work of art. They had chosen one by local artist L.S. Lowry of an industrial scene in early 20th century Manchester.
They had cut a copy of the picture into squares and each person had to reproduce it on a larger square. The squares were then reassembled together so the picture was reproduced. Well sort of… They must have stolen this idea from my primary school teacher. She was into art in a big way. We would study an artist and do drawings and paintings in different media and she would do this thing where she would cut up a picture for us to paint onto a larger piece and then assemble them all together. This reminded me of my primary school days…
Here are some pictures of the event going on….