Edinburgh art chosen for world’s ‘largest show’

Martin Creed's modern artwork which adorns the National Gallery of Mondern Art. Picture: National Galleries of Scotland
Martin Creed's modern artwork which adorns the National Gallery of Mondern Art. Picture: National Galleries of Scotland
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TWO Iconic Edinburgh artworks are to feature in what has been billed as the world’s largest art show.

The famous oil painting Reverend Dr Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch by Sir Henry Raeburn and modern artwork ‘Work No. 975: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT’ by Martin Creed will form part of the Art ­Everywhere exhibition.

The event will see the ­country’s best-loved art showcased across Britain on ­thousands of poster and ­billboard sites.

All of the entries were nominated by the public.

The figure of the serene skater will come as no surprise to many – given the National Gallery situated masterpiece it is often cited as one of Scotland’s best loved artworks. But the neon lettering of the work which adorns the National Gallery of Modern Art is seen as a more offbeat choice – and a sign the public is ­becoming more experimental in its ­artistic tastes.

Either way, Edinburgh arts impresario Richard De Marco believes the nationwide free art show is a fantastic idea.

He said: “This exhibition is a step in the right direction.

“The best possible image of art in Scotland in my mind is Reverent Dr Robert Walker Skating on Duddingtson Loch and I’m glad it’s going to be placed where the public are to be found – outside art galleries.

“Art should not be limited to galleries, it should indeed be everywhere.”

The project is the brainchild of Innocent smoothie millionaire Richard Reed, who said: “This is a joyful project with no agenda other than to flood our streets with art and celebrate the creative talents and legacy of the UK.”

The fortnight-long celebration will see nearly 60 British artworks plastered over sites normally occupied by fee-paying advertisements.

In keeping with modern tech, all of the colourful public artworks will be fully interactive allowing people to find out more about the painting and artist via their mobile phone.

The ambitious plan has also won backing from the Tate, the Art Fund and the world’s richest artist Damien Hirst, 48, who sprang to fame when he suspended a shark in formaldehyde. He 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.”

The public’s top ten range from John Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott to the ­sculptural installation Cold Dark Matter by Cornelia Parker.Around 90 per cent of the UK’s adult population will see the works.

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund said: “Art Everywhere is putting beautiful images of the best of ­British art directly onto the streets of towns and cities across the nation.”

Art Everywhere will run from August 12-25.

Frame by frame analysis

The 57 artworks chosen by the public included:

1. John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott, 1888

2. Sir John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1851-2

3. Francis Bacon, Head VI, 1949

4. John Singer Sargent, Gassed, 1919

5. Lucian Freud, Man’s Head (Self Portrait I), 1963

6. JMW Turner, The Fighting Temeraire, 1839

7. Alfred Wallis, Five Ships, Mount’s Bay, c. 1928

8. LS Lowry, Going to the Match, 1953

20. Sir Henry Raeburn, Revd Dr Robert Walker (1755 - 1808) Skating on Duddingston Loch, c. 1795

56. Martin Creed, Work No. 975: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, 2008