Mayflower Primary, Tower Hamlets - Photo credit Tate

Mayflower Primary, Tower Hamlets - Photo credit Tate

1,340 schools have already signed up to take part in one of the world’s most ambitious contemporary art projects, conceived by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen. Schools can still join by registering at before 5 April 2019.

Since being announced on 18 September 2018, over 55% of all the schools in London with Year 3 pupils have now confirmed they will be taking part. Through a partnership between Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction, all these classes are being specially photographed to create a mass portrait representing an entire age group of Londoners. Over the course of this academic year, an estimated 65,000 seven and eight-year-old children will be photographed for the project.

Steve McQueen said: ‘This project is extremely close to my heart. When we first announced it I had no idea how people would react, but the response has been amazing. I’m truly moved to see so many schools from across London sign up so quickly and I’d like to thank them all for helping to make this idea a reality.’

Each and every London primary school with Year 3 pupils is invited to take part. By registering at they can choose a date and time for a Tate photographer, briefed by McQueen, to visit their school and take their class photo. Specially created learning resources can be downloaded, allowing pupils to further explore the work’s key themes of belonging, identity and citizenship within the curriculum. Teachers across the country will also be able to explore a free online course created by film education charity Into Film. Entitled Developing Literacy: A Journey from Still Image to Film, the course launches on 18 February 2019 at

From November 2019 to May 2020, the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain will be taken over by a vast installation of the photographs, free for all to visit. It will be a celebration of the tens of thousands of young people who will make London their own in years to come, and a meditation on the social forces and personal developments that shape our lives. Artangel, who are renowned for producing extraordinary art in unexpected places, will also create an outdoor exhibition of class photographs across each of London’s 33 boroughs, giving passers-by a glimpse of the future of their city.


About the project

Steve McQueen: Year 3 is a partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction, supported by Joseph and Abigail Baratta, De Ying Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Dana and Albert R. Broccoli Charitable Foundation, with media partner BBC London and film education charity partner Into Film. The project is curated by Clarrie Wallis, Senior Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain; James Lingwood, Co-Director, Artangel; and Cressida Day, Managing Director, Artangel; and is produced by Erin Barnes and Gemma Clarke, ArtsMediaPeople.

About Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen was born in London in 1969 and currently lives and works in London and Amsterdam. He is one of the most renowned artists and filmmakers of his generation, creating works to be shown in gallery spaces as well as four cinematic films: Hunger (2008), Shame (2010), the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave (2013) and most recently Widows (2018). Solo exhibitions of his work have been held around the world, including a major retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Schaulager, Basel in 2012-13. He won the Turner Prize in 1999, represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2009, and was awarded an OBE in 2002 and a CBE in 2011.

About Tate Britain

Tate Britain is home to the world’s greatest collection of British art, with displays and exhibitions that span from 1500 to the present day. It is one of four Tate galleries around the country which together attract around eight million visitors each year and is part of a wider network of partner institutions – the Plus Tate network – which champion the visual arts in the UK. Tate manages a growing national collection of over 70,000 works of art, acquired and cared for on behalf of the public and shown in venues throughout the UK and across the world. Visit

About Artangel

Artangel produces and presents extraordinary art in unexpected places in London, the UK and beyond. For over 30 years Artangel has generated some of the most talked-about art of recent times, including projects with Clio Barnard, Jeremy Deller, PJ Harvey, Roger Hiorns, Michael Landy, Steve McQueen, Rachel Whiteread and Taryn Simon. Appearing anywhere from empty prisons to underground vaults, daytime TV to the sky at night, Artangel produces art that surprises and inspires and wouldn’t be possible within the confines of a gallery. Artangel is generously supported by Arts Council England and the private patronage of Artangel International Circle, Special Angels, Guardian Angels, and The Company of Angels. Visit

About A New Direction

A New Direction is a London-based non-profit generating opportunities for children and young people to unlock their creativity. It works directly with schools, cultural organisations, local authorities and businesses, campaigning for better policies that serve children and young people, delivering joint events and projects to reach a broader audience, and connecting young people to mentors, work experience and inspiration. A New Direction is part of a national network of bridge organisations, funded by Arts Council England via the lottery. Visit

About Into Film

Into Film puts film at the heart of children and young people's educational, cultural and personal development. More than half of UK schools engage with the programme of Into Film Clubs, special cinema screenings, and resources and training to support classroom teaching. Alongside rich online content for young audiences, this provides 5-19 year olds with inspiring opportunities to learn about and make film, and develop a passion for cinema. Into Film is a not-for-profit organisation supported principally by the BFI (through the National Lottery), Cinema First and Northern Ireland Screen. Visit

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organisation focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation, corporate and personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

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High resolution press images can be downloaded from Tate's Dropbox. This link will expire when the exhibitoin has closed.