The National Gallery bringing art outdoors to Trafalgar Square

Tuesday, 10th August 2021


Inside Out is a brand-new free festival, produced by Westminster City Council and partners, that brings art, entertainment, and culture outdoors to the streets of Westminster. The launch on Tuesday 10th August sees The National Gallery bringing art outdoors to Trafalgar Square’s North Terrace with an open-air exhibition of 20 outstanding life-sized replicas of some of its most famous and treasured paintings.

On display for all to experience will be some of the Nation’s Favourite paintings including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1888), Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire (1839), Botticelli’s Venus and Mars (1485), Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne (1520-3) and John Constable’s The Hay Wain (1821). The reproductions of popular masterpieces, around 1 to 2 metres wide, will be instantly visible to members of the public entering the iconic square. The pop-up exhibition will be accompanied by Sketch in the Square, a programme of free, daily alfresco art activities with a strong emphasis on mindfulness and wellbeing, which has been created especially for the occasion.

Sketch in the Square and Pop-Up Gallery

In the coming months, Londoners and visitors can discover events, workshops and installations as part of the Inside Out festival including; an expansive 1400 sqm floor painting by artist Lakwena on the roof terrace above Temple Underground Station, a pride of life-sized lions for the Tusk Lion Trail, an illuminated art trail in collaboration MTArt Agency which will debut in Autumn, including works by Robert Montgomery and Lauren Baker, and the return of the hugely successful West End LIVE on 18th and 19th September in Trafalgar Square.

Other highlights from Inside Out festival include:

‘The Piccadilly Art Takeover’ a unique cultural partnership between the Royal Academy of Arts and Art of London, one of the largest public art takeovers the capital has ever seen, an explosion of colours and creative expression transforming the streets of the West End with 30 hanging flags and 13 pedestrian crossings taken over by five Royal Academy artists in the area around Piccadilly

Pop-up Painting in the West End, from by the team behind Mayfair Art Weekend, presenting an opportunity to join professional artists in pop up locations across the West End for a day of al fresco painting

Covent Garden will present an outstanding immersive installation by artist Chila Burman. Taking over the historic Market Building in August, Burman will bring her vast neon sculptures into the South Hall of the Market Building, transforming the space into a giant neon wonderland

The National Portrait Gallery will present an open-air exhibition of pioneering women on Villiers Street, while Soho’s The Photographers’ Gallery will be coming outside with a free vintage photo booth, with all portraits forming a forthcoming outdoor gallery in Ramillies Street

● The Art in Mayfair sculpture trail in September, presenting works from prestigious artists including Gavin Turk, Sophia Vari, and the iconic ‘Love’ sculpture by Rober Indiana which will be located in Berkeley Square

● A series of walking tours will be launched in collaboration with Open City. Find out more about the buildings that are home to the West End’s most celebrated cultural organisations in these tours exclusively for Inside Out Festival

● The soon to be pedestrianised Strand Aldwych, has a host of activities in the pipeline for Inside Out Festival, with an exciting collaboration between Westminster City Council, Northbank BID, Somerset House and Vans to be announced soon

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Westminster Council and the Inside Out festival, as it gives us the chance to showcase some of the Nation’s favourite paintings out in the open for everyone to enjoy. By bringing a series of life-size replicas onto the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square, all visitors to the area can enjoy a taste of the treasures we have inside the National Gallery.”

Cllr Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council, said:

The Inside Out festival is a huge celebration of arts and culture on the streets of Westminster. We’re delighted to be working with the National Gallery and other partners to showcase the rich cultural heritage which our city has to offer. We have an exciting calendar of activity happening over the coming months that we hope will encourage visitors back into the Westminster as part of our vision for the safe and successful reopening of our city.”

The Inside Out festival forms part of the wider Westminster Reveals campaign to encourage visitors to return to the city’s streets and enjoy London’s famed cultural scene; connecting celebrated talent and communities. This major initiative and phenomenal series of events sees Westminster City Council bring together renowned cultural institutions and visitor attractions like never before as well as iconic hospitality locations and retail destinations such as Regent Street, Oxford Street, Mayfair, Carnaby, Paddington, Belgravia and Little Venice.

The City of Westminster stretches from Pimlico in the South to St John’s Wood in the North, Temple in the East and Bayswater in the West. | @westminsterreveals | #westminsterreveals

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