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  • Writer's pictureSarah

Be part of the Great Big Art Exhibition - counter the Covid gloom

It wasn't so long ago that we were putting paintings of rainbows in our windows to celebrate the hard-working staff of the NHS. I thought that my gin bottle rainbow was rather more fun than a drawing!

Time has moved on, and we are are being invited to make works of art to put up in our front windows, on front doors, balconies or gardens to create the nation’s largest ever exhibition – a celebration of creativity to counter the gloom of the pandemic. These can be drawings, sculptures, paintings or even art installations.

The idea is to keep this dynamic with a new theme being chosen each fortnight by a leading artist. Anthony Gormley is kicking it off with animals as his theme, and has provided an instruction sheet on how all the family can make animal sculptures. Other artists choosing themes include: Sonia Boyce (who has chosen portraits as her theme), Etel Adnan, Simone Fattal, Anish Kapoor, Tai Shani, Jeremy Deller, David Shrigley, Ai Weiwei and Ryan Gander.

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. Imagine creating our own Cloud Gate in Croydon! Though Chicago can keep its weather; it was -8 that morning one January, which is why I'm the only person there!

Presented by Firstsite, Colchester to celebrate its 10th anniversary and supported by the Plus Tate Network which includes leading museums and galleries across the UK, artworks can be made of anything. Plus Tate Network members include the Tate Modern, Tate Britain and South London Gallery in Peckham.

Firstsite will be making key works from across the UK available for download – to use as a template, for colouring in or as an inspiration.

Additionally the Directors of the National Gallery, Tate, British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, V&A, National Museums Liverpool, Royal Academy of Arts, the Ashmolean Museum, The Courtauld, The Wallace Collection, Arts Council Collection and museums and galleries across the country have selected works which they think will be inspiring.

The Great Big Art Exhibition launches on 28 January 2021 and will run through to the end of April 2021.

If you fancy taking part visit Firstsite (link below) for instructions and creative resources.

The Great Big Art Exhibition is supported by Arts Council England.

What will you create?

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