John Dugger, 'Sports Banner' 1980
John Dugger
Sports Banner 1980
Acrylic and drawing on canvas and wood
support: 1220 x 2005 mm
displayed: 1610 x 2000 x (80) mm
Presented by E.J. Power through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1980© John Dugger. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2002

It was seven years ago that London beat Paris by 54 votes to 50, to be given the opportunity to host the Olympics.

Since then it has taken an excavation of the equivalent of 160,000 tonnes of soil to build the aquatics centre, twice the height of Mount Everest in steel cables for the Velodrome roof, the biggest forklift truck in the entire UK to build the media centre, and an 80,000 capacity stadium which, after the event, will become housing for 6,000 people. It all begins this Friday when an expected global audience of more than a billion people will be watching the opening ceremony.

John Dugger has made banner art since 1974, usually large banners for political gatherings or for the theatre, gymnasiums and other places of recreation as well as commercial and industrial sites. His first sports banner was made in 1975 as a preliminary for his Wu Shu Kuan banner made for the Flaxman Sports Centre in Brixton, South London.  For Dugger, the large-scale banner can be seen as ‘a portable-mural-without walls’. Banners are a practical way of bringing art to public places, cheaper and faster to produce than murals on walls, easily stored and transported, quickly installed and simple to maintain.

I’m sure we’ll see some home-made banners over the next few weeks in London. Are you going with a banner?


Strip-Banners are everywhere. They serve to function in just about every aspect. But where is Banner Arts? Very disappointed that John Dugger was not involved in 2012 publicity. His knowledge and experience in events like this one surpasses and exceeds that/those of the more celebrated participants. This particular Sports Banner together with the Wu Shu Kwan piece both represent the absolute essence of everything 2012 is supposed to be about,

I love this guy's work - Banner Arts has always been way ahead of the curve of design trends - The Wu Shu Kuan banner that was mentioned above looks like it was created yesterday... Glad to see this under-appreciated artist get some well earned recognition