The Big Picture

The Big Picture was a record breaking art project from Arts Council England West Midlands supported by the BBC, developed and delivered by Audiences Central. The Big Picture was kindly sponsored by Jessops and Linford. The record-breaking work of art included 112,896 photos, and measured 857.3m2, the size of three tennis courts. It was unveiled outside Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum at Millennium Point. The image selected from the thousands of submission was a vintage image of a Boxer.


People from all over the region took part in The Big Picture project, and for many it has changed the way they think about photography and the arts. Here are some of the stories from just a few of the thousands of people who participated in the project. The stories have been compiled by Fiona Handscomb, Freelance Writer. Eight photos were shortlisted to become the final image of The Big Picture. The eight photos were selected for their unique boldness, fascinating stories, and their suitability to be reproduced into the huge scale work of art. Lucy Moore’s image of her grandad was the winning photo. Lucy Moore, 17 from Tipton submitted a portrait of her grandfather to the Big Picture. The photo was taken in 1926 and is a portrait of Arthur James Bunce at the age of 17, when he was an amateur boxer. Arthur, who had fourteen children, died in 1987 at the age of 78, but the photo has continued to be an inspiration to Lucy and her family.

“I didn’t get to meet my Grandad, but the picture is cherished by all of us and my brother, Michael, even has it tattooed across his back. My grandparents were very much at the centre of our family. Since my Nan died a couple of year’s ago it’s caused the family to drift apart as some of us have moved further away. I hope that if the photo does become the face of The Big Picture it will help to bring us closer together again.” – Lucy Moore

“This is a very gritty and unusual photograph for its time. It represents a boxer but it is graceful and beautiful. It is a fantastic historical motif for the West Midlands.” – Helen Marshall

We were proud to be the sponsors of such a large project that celebrated people’s relationship with photography in such an innovative way.

Jessops Spokesperson

Thousands of people from across the West Midlands are joint-world record holders, after taking part in an ambitious arts project to create the largest photo mosaic in the world.

BBC Spokesperson

Every single one of these funny, touching, bold and beautiful photographs were then used to create the worlds largest photo mosaic – making everyone who submitted a photo a joint world-record holder.

Birmingham Science Museum Spokesperson

Summary ‘The Big Picture’

The Big Picture was a record breaking art project from Arts Council England West Midlands supported by the BBC, developed and delivered by Audiences Central. The Big Picture was kindly sponsored by Jessops and Linford. The record-breaking work of art included 112, 896 photos, and measured 857.3m2, the size of three tennis courts.

Between January and June 2008 people from all over the West Midlands picked up their cameras and mobile phones to take and submit an incredible 112,896 photos to The Big Picture. They were then turned into the World’s Largest Photo Mosaic.

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. The Arts Council support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Thinktank, a world-class family attraction at Millennium Point in Birmingham, is an innovative science museum offering an entirely new experience. The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcasting statutory corporation. Its main responsibility is to provide impartial public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. Jessops Europe Limited is a British photographic retailing company. It was founded in Leicester in 1935 by Frank Jessop and traded under the name of The Jessop Group Limited. British entrepreneur Peter Jones invested several million pounds into the company and formed Jessops Europe Limited.


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