A NATIONWIDE exhibition launched at a Colchester gallery is set to beam hundreds of artworks to digital screens across the country’s shopping centres.

The Great Big Art Exhibition, a celebration of creativity across the UK, was started by Firstsite as a way of encouraging the public to get involved in creating art during lockdown.

While the doors to the gallery remained closed, Firstsite invited people to make their own artworks and use their front windows, gardens, balconies and outdoor spaces to share their efforts in a nationwide gallery.

New themes were introduced each fortnight, centred around animals, portraits, colour, flowers, humour, drawing the future and performance.

Gazette: Firstsite launch of exhibition

More than 5,000 artworks were posted on social media during lockdown by people from across the country, including posts from Canada, France and Portugal.

Works are currently on display on a digital wall in Firstsite until September 5.

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Until Sunday, July 25, a selection of artworks created by the public will appear on hundreds of Clear Channel screens up and down the UK. Firstsite director Sally Shaw said: “When the doors to our collections and galleries closed our imaginations very much stayed open.

“Making, showing and experiencing art has created so much joy, connection and solace for many thousands of people through this difficult time.

Gazette: Firstsite Director Sally Shaw. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd..Firstsite Director Sally Shaw. Photograph by Jayne Lloyd..

“I can’t wait to see these incredible expressions of people’s creativity being shared right across the UK.”

Firstsite received almost £700,000 earlier this year to support the public launch of its tenth anniversary programme.

The funding supported the launch of the Great Big Art Exhibition, Michael Landy’s headline exhibition the Essex Archive, plus an outdoor sculpture park and staff development.

For more information about Firstsite, follow the gallery on social media or visit firstsite.uk.