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The Great Big Art Exhibition - What Will You Create?

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

It’s always nice to get a COVID related news article that isn’t negative, but it’s especially rare to see a COVID related arts story popping up in the national headlines. So, this article published in the Guardian this afternoon naturally got us a little excited.

The Great Big Art Exhibition has been announced with names such as Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Sonia Boyce amongst its patrons. It’s the brainchild of Firstsite, a Colchester-based arts organisation, and the aim, much like “Grayson’s Art Club” a la the original lockdown, is to get Britain creating during isolation. Channel 4 aren’t engaged presently so we won’t expect to see this on our television screens anytime soon, but with brands like Tate, the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery contributing works, it’s fair to predict this will be the 2021 Winter lockdown cultural highlight.

So, what’s it all about? Well, Firstsite says it will be “the largest exhibition ever staged”, where our balconies, gardens, windows and roofs will become the gallery walls in a series of fortnightly, themed exhibitions, guided by carefully curated packs with contributions from those cultural institutions I mentioned before. Think NHS rainbows but with a tad more variety and hopefully just as much colour and creativity.

Which all sounds pretty fantastic in our opinion so count us in Mr Gormley, where do we sign up? Well, here, as it happens. The first pack is live and whilst there’s no theme for this portion of the exhibition there’s lots of resources to inspire the creative soul.

We’re getting ready to put our own creations in the window and we want to see what Devon has got to offer as well. Consider this our call to arms, we want Devon to put itself on the map for The Great Big Art Exhibition; if the UK was the Tate Modern, Devon would be its Turbine Hall!

So, if you’re in Devon and you’re taking part, get in touch with us. Tag @artizangallery in your #thegreatartexhibition2021 posts on Instagram, email us the works in your windows and share the creative moments you contribute to this UK wide event. If you want to join us in spreading the word as well, drop us an email at

Themes and Dates

Animals: 28 January to 14 February

Portraits: 15 February to 28 February

Colour: 1 March to 14 March

Humour: 15 March to 28 March

Torbay Venues Displaying Your Work During Lockdown

Email us with your work and we'll pass on details for how you can get it displayed in the window of one of these Torbay venues. If you'd like to offer your windows as well, we'd love to hear from you.

  • The Palace Theatre

  • Paignton Picture House

  • Torre Abbey

  • Artizan Gallery

  • Artizan Collective Gallery

Patricia Hedges



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