Take One Picture

National Gallery to display Take One Picture artworks outdoors throughout the UK

Image: Take One Picture exhibition artwork displayed on Ocean Outdoor's screen at Holland Park Roundabout, London © The National Gallery, London

Artworks created by primary schoolchildren as part of the National Gallery’s 25th annual Take One Picture exhibition will next month be displayed on large digital screens in six UK cities.

More than 60 digital billboards in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester will showcase the works, as a result of a partnership between the the National Gallery and Ocean Outdoor.

The original 25th anniversary Take One Picture exhibition was stifled by the outbreak of Covid-19 and so has not been seen by anywhere near the number of people the institution had hoped. To remedy this, the images will be on show in city centres and roadsides for two weeks between 1st and 15th March.

Changing Hammersmith Frieze by Year 5, West London Free School Primary, London artwork by mock-up for Oceans Outdoor billboard © The National Gallery, London

What better way to celebrate the creativity of young people than through the joy of outdoor spaces in their own neighbourhoods?

Chris Standish, Head of Brand Partnerships at Ocean Outdoor

Take One Picture

Each year schools focus on one National Gallery Collection work and create their own artworks responding creatively to various elements. This can be the painting’s themes, subject matter, historical context or composition.

The latest instalment’s focus painting is Men of the Docks (1912) by American painter George Bellows, depicting 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.

A diverse array of responses to the latest Take One Picture brief will be broadcast via Ocean Outdoor screens, with schoolchildren’s works encompassing cityscapes and complex themes such as immigration and opportunity.

“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?” asks Chris Standish, Ocean Outdoor’s head of brand partnerships.

George Bellows, Men of the Docks (1912), Oil on canvas, 114.3 × 161.3 cm © The National Gallery, London

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

“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.”