When Your Paintings launched at the end of last year, the mammoth BBC project illuminated more than 200,000 paintings for the public to enjoy and annotate online. It will light up more history tonight by projecting some of those artworks onto 28 landmarks, from Exeter Cathedral to a shop window in Northern Ireland’s Donegal Square West.
Each projection will blaze four paintings onto well-worn walls. Vincent Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers is one of them, but there is also room for less well-known, more domestically resonant depictions, such as The Clay Pits, a work from 1923 by the Cornish painter Harold C Harvey.
© Estate of Beryl Cook, CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
They have been chosen according to the region they are visiting, meaning that a British Railways poster of Cardiff Castle will be sent to Wales, and Monarch of the Glen, the 1851 work by Edwin Henry Landseer, will appear in Scotland.
“The idea that we could put all the UK’s paintings on virtual display was madly ambitious,” said Saul Nassé, the Controller of BBC Learning, calling the initiative with collaborators the Public Catalogue Foundation “brilliant”.
“Your Paintings is a thing of beauty and I’m hoping the events that we’re rolling out right across the country are going to inspire thousands more people to learn about these wonderful paintings.”
Rita Duffy, whose painting, Renee Meenely’s Window, will loom near to the shop it was originally based on, admitted she had not seen the work since 1984.
“It was certainly a shock to hear the painting has been hanging in the university for all these years,” she said, calling herself “thrilled” at its large-scale emergence.
“As an art student I must have been rather naïve. I didn’t get a penny for the painting – I think it was just taken by one of my lecturers.”
A wide range of events, including public art sessions this weekend, are scheduled as part of Your Paintings. Visit the online events page to find one near you.
© National Gallery, London
© University of Ulster / Rita Duffy
© The Lowry Collection, Salford
© Frances Broomfield, Warrington Museum and Art Gallery
© National Museums Scotland