As you will have seen from local news, thousands of London school children from Year 3, including The Raglan Schools, took part in a huge art project created by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, together with Tate Britain.
Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, together with Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction, this November unveil one of the most ambitious visual portraits of citizenship ever undertaken in one of the world’s largest cities. Using the medium of the traditional school class photograph, this epic installation brings together images of tens of thousands of Year 3 pupils from across London. It offers us a glimpse of the city’s future - a hopeful portrait of a generation to come.
Over the last year 1,504 of London’s primary schools with Year 3 pupils – including State, Independent, Faith and Special schools, Pupil Referral Units and home educated children – agreed to have their classes specially photographed by a bespoke team of Tate photographers. Every one of the resulting 3,128 class photographs, depicting two-thirds of the city’s entire population of seven-to-eight-year olds, are brought together in a large-scale installation lining the walls of Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries and free for all to visit.
Mapping a picture of the present, McQueen’s remarkable artwork captures a milestone year in a child’s personal development - the moment when they become more conscious of the world beyond their immediate family. It is a critical time for them to develop confidence in all areas of life, to understand more about their place in the changing world and to think about the future. Depicting rows of children sitting or standing alongside their teachers and teaching assistants, Year 3 reflects this moment of excitement, anticipation and hope. As a record of the journey from childhood through adolescence to adulthood, it is also a poignant but provocative reminder of how lives are shaped and formed.
Alongside this, some class photos have been chosen to display on billboards around the capital. Although our school was not chosen for a billboard, you can see our class photos as part of the main exhibition in the Duveen Galleries (Section 8) at Tate Britain until 3rd May 2020. The children involved in the project (now Y4) will be visiting the exhibition in March 2020.