Artists Antony Gormley and Grayson Perry, Art Fund director Stephen Reuchen and Innocent drinks co-founder Richard Reed were all gathered at Waterloo station yesterday morning to celebrate the launch of Art Everywhere 2014. First launched in 2013, this edition is bigger and better, the project will last six weeks. Mounted all over the UK, displaying 30,000 artworks on billboards and poster sites to share the nation’s favourite art. As the UK’s largest outdoor exhibition, the project aims at engaging with the country’s population : curated by different art professionals and creatives, 25 artworks out of 70 were selected by the public trough a vote gathering 38,000 participants via Facebook. The most popular works were Hockney’s My Parents (1977), Dora Carrington’s Far mat Watendlath (1921), Laura Knight’s Ruby Loftus screwing a Breech-ring (1943) followed in 4th position Grayson Perry’s The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal (2012). In London, Waterloo Station and Piccadilly Circus are the major spots where you will be able to admire these pieces.
Grayson Perry and Antony Gormley – who designed a digital artwork free to download for the occasion – were there to celebrate a summer of art and support the project. They insisted on the interactive value of such an initiative, stating that art is about sharing, especially today where art must be participatory and engage with its audience : everything can be art, as long as it is social, Perry says. Focused on proving that democracy doesn’t necessarily has terrible taste, Art Fund director Stephen Reuchter highlights the fact that it is necessary that every art remains public, hoping Art Everywhere will encourage more and more people to visit museums and galleries all over the country.
When asked if the project risks to turn art into a commodity, Grayson Perry laughed : isn’t it a commodity already ?! For him and Gormley, it’s all the contrary since here it is more about the reproduction of real works that are not for sale, the project standing as a non-profit organisation. Art Everywhere is about honouring a legacy and proving the UK is full of creativity and has a great visual sense as well as a taste for both classical and contemporary art, echoing Antony’s saying that visual taste is just like reading and counting, it is something that should be learned at school. Then, much more than a celebration of art, it is also a celebration of the UK as the natural home of art where art is truly of everyone, for everyone and within everyone. At least from 21 July to 31 August.
Words/Photo Lea Bourgeteau © Artlyst 2014
The Shortlist by Popularity :
David Hockney, My Parents, 1977 • Dora Carrington, Farm at Watendlath, 1921 • Dame Laura Knight, Ruby Loftus screwing a Breech-ring, 1943 • Grayson Perry, The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, 2012 • Stanhope Alexander Forbes, A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach, 1885 • Michael Andrews, Melanie and Me Swimming, 1978-9 • George Frederic Watts, Ellen Terry (‘Choosing’), 1864 • Augustus Leopold Egg, The Travelling Companions, 1862 • Patrick Caulfield, Pottery, 1969 • John Hoyland, Memory Mirror, 1981 • Rose Wylie, Early Memory Series No.2: Doodle Bug, 1998 • Eileen Agar, Slow Movement, 1970 • Julia Margaret Cameron, lago (Study from an Italian), 1867 • Gilbert & George, Existers, 1984 • John Constable, Study of Cirrus Clouds, c.1822 • Edward Collier, Trompe l’oeil with Writing Materials, c.1702 • Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, Coalbrookdale by Night, 1801 • Ivon Hitchens, A River Pool, 1951 • Henry Moore, King and Queen, 1952-3, cast 1957 • Hans Holbein the Younger, A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (Anne Lovell?), 1526-8 • William Blake, The Circle of the Lustful, 1824-7 • Gillian Wearing, Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say I’M DESPERATE, 1992-1993 • Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, Queen Elizabeth I (‘The Ditchley portrait’), c.1592 • Ben Nicholson, 1940-42 (two forms), 1940-42 • Marc Quinn, Self, 2006