A new arts project to encourage people to vote will launch across the country this spring, with five new works of art created especially for a billboard campaign in the run up to the general election. Artists Bob & Roberta Smith, Fatima Begum, Janette Parris and Jeremy Deller have each created works inspired by democracy and the word VOTE and today launched a crowd funding campaign to ensure their project reaches as many people around the UK as possible.
A national competition also launches today to find a fifth artwork created by a first-time voter (aged 18 23) to join the four already created on billboards around the country in April. A panel including the four artists will select the winning artist who will receive £500 as well as the inclusion of their work in the campaign.
Matthew Couper, project director for Vote Art
said: If youre an artist or interested in culture, you care about expressing yourself. Surely one of the most basic but vital forms of self-expression is the act of voting and making a choice about the people who lead the country. We hope the artwork created will inspire people to vote, to think about creativity and to appreciate some outstanding creative practice.
Ten commercial billboard sites have been secured to date, all near galleries, museums or places of cultural interest including the Baltic, Gateshead and Turner Contemporary, Margate. A funding campaign hosted by the Art Funds Art Happens scheme will seek a £10,000 of additional funding which if successfully raised, would enable the campaign to be seen on up to 20 more billboard sites in towns and cities around the UK. People who give through the Art Happens scheme will receive a range of rewards according to the scale of their donation, including postcards, limited edition artworks and studio visits.
At least 10,000 postcards will be printed and distributed to arts venues across England, and there will be an exhibition of work created for the project held at Peckham Platform (opening 2 April), with a party to celebrate election night on 7th May when the exhibition closes.
Artist Jeremy Deller said: Political parties put up posters asking you to vote for them; we are putting up posters, just asking you to vote. Elections are a once-in-every-five-year opportunity for everyone to make a choice, and I think we should take the chance by the horns. Youth of Britain rise up and vote!