Museums want to create the UK’s “largest ever art exhibition” – taking place in people’s front windows.
The National Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland are asking people to make artwork “to counter the gloom of the pandemic”.
The opening theme, chosen by Sir Antony Gormley, the British sculptor 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.
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”.
Artworks from the nation’s galleries and museums can be used as a template or for inspiration and will be put online.
– The Great Big Art Exhibition will run from Thursday January 28 until April. Information and an activity pack which can be downloaded is at www.firstsite.uk