Steve McQueen launches epic portrait of the future of London on hundreds of billboards across the city

November 2019

Class photographs of Year 3 schoolchildren will be displayed on over 600 billboards across London’s 33 boroughs in a city-wide outdoor exhibition organised by Artangel

#Year3Project

One of the most ambitious visual portraits of citizenship ever undertaken in one of the world’s largest cities was launched today on over 600 billboards across all of London’s 33 boroughs.

Each billboard features a class photograph of Year 3 pupils from a London primary school, taken as part of an ambitious new project created by London-born Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen in partnership with Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction.
From 4 – 18 November 2019 people in London will catch sight of Year 3 classes on 613 billboards on roadsides, railways and underground stations across London. Artangel, who are renowned for producing extraordinary art in unexpected places, have worked with Steve McQueen to create the outdoor exhibition.

Year 3 is considered a milestone year in a child’s development and sense of identity, when 7-and 8-year-olds become more conscious of a much bigger world beyond their immediate family. Steve McQueen’s project captures this moment of excitement, anticipation and hope through the medium of the traditional class photograph, with rows of children sitting or standing alongside their teachers.

The billboards are unveiled today ahead of a vast exhibition at Tate Britain featuring thousands of class photographs of Year 3 pupils, opening on 12 November and free for all to visit.

Steve McQueen said: ” The seeds of this project started 21 years ago with the birth of my first child, a milestone that put my own journey in perspective. My hope is that through the billboards millions of Londoners can reflect on the past, the present and the future not only of themselves but of their city. I am very excited that this portrait of London will be seen by so many people as part of their daily life in this great city that I love.”

James Lingwood, Co-Director of Artangel, added: “Year 3 is a resounding expression of Artangel’s belief that art can be anywhere. It’s a celebration of children and a question to the rest of us – what kind of future are we making for them?”

The Year 3 outdoor exhibition is curated by James Lingwood, Co-Director, Artangel and Cressida Day, Managing Director, Artangel. The Tate Britain exhibition is curated by Clarrie Wallis, Senior Curator of Contemporary British Art and Nathan Ladd, Assistant Curator of Contemporary British Art; and is produced by Erin Barnes and Gemma Clarke.

Steve McQueen Year 3 is a partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction. Supported by Joseph and Abigail Baratta, De Ying Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, with additional support from Dana and Albert R. Broccoli Charitable Foundation, The Garcia Family Foundation, Wagner Foundation and Tate Americas Foundation. With media partner BBC London and film education charity partner Into Film.