David Hockney unveils huge public art installation in London

Marie-Claire Chappet
·3-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

One of Britain's most singular and celebrated living artists, David Hockney, unveiled a new video project - displayed on London’s Piccadilly Lights screen - this weekend. The film will be shown every evening throughout the month of May at 20:21 and at the same time online via circa.art every evening.

“What does the world look like?" Hockney asks. "We have to take time to see its beauty. That's what I hope my work will encourage people to do when they see it on the large screens.”

Hockney is the latest of a roster of impressive art talent - from Patti Smith to Ai Weiwei - to stage work on this screen. The project is part of a global collaboration, curated by Josef O’Connor, founder and artistic director of Circa, a bold new platform which showcases digital art in the public space. The unveiling will happen in tandem with other screens across the globe, presented in partnership with Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment program in New York. It will synchronise over 70 electronic billboards, including Coex K-Pop Square, the largest LED screen in South Korea, and Yunika Vision in Japan.

The work is entitled, 'Remember you cannot look at the sun or death for very long' - an animated sunrise intended to denote hope for a brighter future, a sentiment shared across the globe in every sense of the word. It is staged to coincide with the release of Hockney’s new book Spring Cannot Be Cancelled and his Royal Academy exhibition The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 opening 23 May to 26 September 2021.

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

"There has never been a better time for this shining image of hope, which links people across borders and continents to celebrate the arrival of spring," says Circa's Josef O’Connor. "We are especially grateful to David Hockney, a master in exploring the boundaries of new media, for allowing Circa to present his work in such a bold and democratic way, connecting Piccadilly Lights with screens all around the world.”

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A Time-Limited Poster by David Hockney is available to buy on the Circa website until 31 May 2021. Created especially in support of the #CIRCAECONOMY, a response to the world post-Covid, 70 per cent of the profits will be used to commission new culture and help support the creative community through cash grants to artists and institutions. Circa also invites people to support the community by uploading either a video or photo onto social media (#HOCKNEYCIRCA) of a real sunrise in their local neighbourhood and make a donation in support of international and local organisations providing Covid relief. A selection of submissions chosen by David Hockney himself will receive a free poster.

For another advance treat, some of Hockney's works from this very film - and from his forthcoming Royal Academy exhibition - can also be seen exclusively in the June issue of Harper's Bazaar, on sale 5 May.

For more information visit circa.art.


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