Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction invite every primary school in the capital to take part in one of Steve McQueen’s most ambitious works to date
Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, together with Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction, today announced one of the world’s most ambitious contemporary art projects: a portrait of an entire age group of Londoners, capturing tens of thousands of Year 3 schoolchildren from across the capital. Over the next nine months, each and every one of London’s 2,410 primary schools with Year 3 pupils is invited to have those classes specially photographed for the project, with the resulting artwork going on display at Tate Britain and around London in autumn 2019.
This month 115,000 seven-year-olds are beginning the new school year in a new class in London. This is a milestone year in a child’s development and sense of identity, when they become more conscious of the world beyond their immediate family. McQueen’s project will capture this moment of excitement, anxiety and hope through the traditional medium of the class photograph, depicting rows of children sitting or standing alongside their teachers and teaching assistants. In bringing together so many of these class photos from a single year, the work will embody the diversity of the city in which the artist grew up, as well as the potential of the next generation who will shape London’s future.
Working with creative learning specialists A New Direction, Tate Britain and Artangel today invite every London primary school to register their school at tateyear3project.org.uk. Here they can choose a date and time for a Tate photographer, briefed by McQueen, to visit their school and take their Year 3 class photo. Specially created learning resources will also allow pupils to further explore the work’s key themes of belonging, identity and citizenship within the curriculum, while a live-streamed lesson will be staged in spring 2019 for primary school classes across the country to watch and engage with the project.
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. Tate Modern will then stage a major survey exhibition of McQueen’s work to coincide with the project, open from February to May 2020.
About the project
Steve McQueen: Year 3 is a partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction, supported by Joseph and Abigail Baratta and De Ying Foundation, with media partner BBC London and film 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 the upcoming Widows (2018). Solo exhibitions of this 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 the renaissance 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 tate.org.uk/britain
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 earlier this year, 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 artangel.org.uk
About A New Direction
A New Direction is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to ensure all children and young people in London can develop their creativity and play an active part in the culture and heritage of the city. This means working with partners to ensure that the infrastructure that supports children and young people takes account of their need to play, be creative and experience culture. It campaigns for the value of arts and culture to the lives of all young Londoners, promotes practical ways that schools and other institutions can develop cultural opportunities, and works with arts and cultural partners to ensure the highest quality in work with children and young people. A New Direction is part of a national network of bridge organisations, funded by Arts Council England via the lottery. Visit anewdirection.org.uk
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 intofilm.org
120 schools have already joined the Tate Year 3 Project as ambassadors. They are: Ashmount Primary School, Aylward Primary School, Bannockburn Primary School, Beavers Primary School, Becontree Primary School, Beecroft Garden Primary School, Blackheath High Junior School, Bonner Primary School, Bursted Wood Primary School, Bush Hill Park Primary School, Byron Court Primary School, Charlotte Sharman Primary School, Charville Primary School, Cheam Park Farm Primary Academy, Chingford Hall Primary Academy, Churchfields Junior School, Churchfields Primary School, Columbia Primary School, Colville Primary School, Copenhagen Primary School, Crane Park Primary School, Cubitt Town Primary School, De Bohun Primary School, Downsell Primary School, Drayton Park School, Edward Wilson Primary School, Engayne Primary School, Federation of St Josephs Catholic School, Furzedown Primary School, Gallions Primary School, Hackbridge Primary School, Hallfield Primary School, Harris Primary Academy, Hatcham Temple Grove Free School, Heathbrook Primary School, Heathland Primary School, Hermitage Primary School, Heronsgate Primary School, High View Primary School, Hitherfield Primary School, Hollydale Primary School, Holy Innocents' Catholic Primary School, Holy Trinity Primary School, Horn Park Primary School, James Dixon Primary School, John Betts Primary School, Julian's Primary School, Kingswood Primary School, Lancasterian Primary School, Lansbury Lawrence Primary School, Lark Hall Primary School, Larmenier and Sacred Heart RC Primary, Lauriston Primary School, Little Ealing Primary School, Macaulay CE Primary School, Malden Manor Primary School, Marian Richardson Primary School, Marner Primary School, Mayflower Primary School, Merryhills Primary, Millennium Primary School, Netley Primary School, Normand Croft Community School, North Bridge House Prep School, Northway Primary School, Oakington Manor Primary School, Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, Orleans Primary School, Osmani Primary School, Our Lady of Grace Junior School, Parkfield Primary School, Queens Park School, Queensbridge Primary School, Ray Lodge Primary School, Reay Primary School, Redbridge Primary School, Ripple Primary School, Rockcliffe Manor Primary School, Rokesly Junior School, Rosendale Primary School, Sacred Heart Primary School, Salusbury Primary School, Sellincourt Primary School, South Grove Primary School, South Rise Primary School, Southern Road Primary School, Southwood Primary School, St Agnes' Catholic Primary School, St Andrew’s and St Mark’s CE Junior School, St Dunstan's Cheam CE Primary School, St George's Catholic Primary School, St John Evangelist Catholic Primary School, St John Fisher Primary School, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, St Luke's Primary School, St Mary’s Primary School, St Michael's CE Primary School, St Paul with St Luke Primary School, St Paul's Way Foundation School, St Peter & St Paul Catholic Primary, St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary, Swaffield Primary School, The Belham Primary School, The Bridge School, The Robert Fitzroy Academy, The Study Preparatory School, Torriano Primary School, Trinity Primary Academy, Valence Primary School, Wallington Primary School, Walnut Tree Walk Primary School, West Thornton Primary Academy, Westbourne Primary School, Wickham Common Primary School, Willow Brook Primary School, Woodcroft Primary School, Woodlands Special School, Woodmansterne School, Woodside Primary Academy, and Wormholt Park Primary School.