The new Channel 4 sculpture in all its glory. © Channel 4
Channel 4 has marked the launch of an arts initiative and TV series aimed at promoting public arts projects by unveiling a ‘Big 4’ public sculpture outside its London HQ.
The statue was unveiled on Tuesday October 16 2007 by Culture Minister Margaret Hodge and has been designed by photographer Nick Knight to highlight The Big Art Project, which has seen a series of international artists working with UK communities to develop public art commissions.
Knight’s interpretation of the famous Channel 4 logo stands at 15 metres and is the first in a series of four designs chosen by the TV channel. It sees the 4 logo clad in pictures of the human chest around the heart. The images make the bodies appear to move when the viewer moves around the installation.
“Nick Knight has come up with a bold, brilliant and thought-provoking design, and we very much look forward to seeing what the other artists will produce,” said Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, Arts and Performance at Channel 4.
Knight's work will be followed by designs from celebrated Ghanaian sculptor El-Anatsui and sculptor Mark Titchner, shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2006. The fourth artist will be the winner of a competition open to young arts graduates, run in conjunction with the Saatchi Gallery.
(L to R) C4 Chief Executive Andy Duncan, Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, photographer Nick Knight and C4 Commissioning Editor Jan Younghusband. © Channel 4
“The Big Art Project is an incredibly exciting project and we’re thrilled to be able to mark it in such an original and creative way," added Younghusband. "It’s an important statement of our commitment to working with artists and commissioning new work both off-air and for broadcast. As we’re on a public highway we hope that people will come and engage with the all the work over the next year.”
Channel 4 will be following the fortunes of the public art projects featured in its Big Art Project via a TV series that will investigate the broader debate surrounding national art – from the value of art in the built environment to the motivations and expectations when commissioning public art.
Arts Council England and The Art Fund are the lead partners in Big Art, committing a total of £1m. Other funding bodies, including Creative Partnerships, The Northern Way and Arts and Business, have committed a further £1m towards new work.
In the TV series luminaries including Antony Gormley and Tracey Emin will discuss contemporary art and its impact on communities.