Ocean and National Gallery reunite for schools photo exhibition

National Gallery Ocean take one picture

Ocean Outdoor and the National Gallery have teamed up once again to bring the joy of art to the nation’s streets.

The National Gallery and the outdoor ads specialist hooked-up last year (in May 2020) in a partnership that saw famous works from the Gallery’s collection being displayed on Ocean screens around the UK.

National Gallery exhibition

For this new campaign, modern artworks have been created by primary schoolchildren as part of the Gallery’s 25th annual Take One Picture exhibition which had to close in Trafalgar Square after just a few days in line with Government guidance.

At a time when the physical spaces of Britain’s museums and galleries stand silent, the Arts are increasingly turning to innovative digital ways of viewing and experiencing art.

This latest collaboration between the National Gallery and Ocean will be seen on more than 60 digital out of home screens in six cities including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester. 

The campaign breaks for two weeks on March 1.

Ocean said that, where possible, each roadside and city centre screen will display the art of schools local to that region in the hope that students will be able to experience the excitement of seeing their own creations up close, translated into a different, large scale public format.

Some artworks will be shown beyond children’s own local areas to inspire children and art lovers in other communities.

Take One Picture

Each year for Take One Picture schools focus on one National Gallery collection work and create their own artworks, responding creatively to various elements in the painting including themes, subject matter, historical context or composition. 

This year’s focus painting is Men of the Docks (1912) by American painter George Bellows which depicts a wintry river landscape in New York with a view over Lower Manhattan; a group of longshoremen stand with their shoulders hunched to keep the cold at bay, waiting to unload a huge ocean liner behind them.

The artworks showcased on Ocean screens depict a wide range of subjects inspired by the painting: cityscapes and skyscrapers, immigration and opportunity, the riverfront as a place of work and horses as working animals.

Ranging from model ships and towering skyscrapers to painted portraits and letters home, a variety of works reflecting the richness of creative responses to Bellows’s painting will be featured.

Inspiration in tough times

At a challenging moment in time, the exhibition captures the power of creativity and the optimistic spirit of children.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, said: “Art can provide inspiration and solace in these difficult times. 

“While the Gallery doors are closed, we are hugely grateful for this generous gesture from Ocean Outdoor that is allowing us to bring the artworks of schoolchildren from the Take One Picture exhibition in London to the streets of the nation.”

Chris Standish, Ocean’s head of brand partnerships, said: “Once again, our partnership with the National Gallery celebrates Ocean’s Art of Outdoor proposition, this time through the creative work of schoolchildren. 

“As this latest period of lockdown begins to ease and the schools start to return, what better way to celebrate the creativity of young people than through the joy of outdoor spaces in their own neighbourhoods.”