01/04/2012
FACE BRITAIN
brief
London, UK based The Projection Studio, headed by visual artist Ross Ashton, designed and created the record-breaking video artwork featuring 32 animated mosaic portraits of HM The Queen that is being projected onto Buckingham Palace this week. The ‘Face Britain’ project was instigated by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and brought to life by PhotoBox. It has enabled over 200,000 children to make their faces famous on the front of one of London’s most iconic landmarks. It is also the first time that video projections have ever been used on the front of the Palace.
execution
The video montage of the 32 portraits is attempting to break the Guinness World Records Title for the Largest Collaborative Artwork, that is the most artists working on the same art installation. The previous record stands at 28,267 artists. Children aged 4 – 16 were invited to produce their own self-portraits by Face Britain encompassing all levels of skill and in any medium, including drawing, photography, textiles, painting and graphics. These were uploaded to PhotoBox. Ashton came up with the idea of animated mosaics. He worked with Moscow-based Boris Glazer to create a bespoke version of his Mazaika software to encode all the photos and then compose the 32 images of The Queen from the 200,000 or so self-portraits that were submitted.
results
Ashton says, “I am hugely proud and absolutely delighted to be involved in this collaboration, and naturally it’s a great honour to work directly for the Prince’s Charities. There have been plenty of creative and technical challenges and it’s very satisfying to get the opportunity of pushing the boundaries and breaking new ground”. In addition to the Buckingham Palace projections, the 32 portraits are being simultaneously shown for 24 hours on BBC Big Screens in 18 public locations nationwide. Face Britain celebrates the UK’s children and young people in the run up to HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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