Spectacular light show project transforms Wrexham shopping centre

A shopping centre was transformed into a massive canvas for some of the world’s greatest works of art.

The Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham was chosen as just one of 28 iconic locations across the UK as part of the Your Paintings project.

Your Paintings is a website showing the entire UK national collection of more than 210,000 oil paintings.

Images of the many publicly owned artworks were simultaneously projected onto UK buildings and landmarks.

Other locations includeed Exeter Cathedral, Liverpool’s St George’s Dock, Northern and Ireland’s Carrickfergus Castle.

The projection showed four paintings of huge national interest ranging from Vincent Van Gogh’s instantly recognisable Sunflowers in the National Gallery to lesser known works depicting life in the UK such as The Clay Pits, 1923 by Cornish painter Harold C. Harvey.

Each spectacular light show included three art works from the region in which they were shown including, at Eagles Meadow, artwork for a British Railways poster of Cardiff Castle, 1960 by Ronald George Lampitt.

The projections mark the start of a month of exhibitions and events organised by the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation to celebrate the completion of Your Paintings, a website showing the entire UK national collection of oil paintings: bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings

Hundreds of oil paintings, which have not been seen by the public in generations, have now gone go on show at galleries, museums and civic buildings across the UK until February 28.

The show at Eagles Meadow was given the seal of approval by members of the public.

Musician, Laura Dickinson, 33, a member of the popular Wrexham band and community choir, Heal the Last Stand, supports anything that adds to the town’s rich and diverse culture.

She said: “The projection is fascinating and a great idea. It certainly made me stop and want to learn more about the website. It’s a great idea and wonderful to see Wrexham’s Eagles Meadow chosen alongside other major locations for the launch of something so big.

“It can only help put the town on the map. I’ll certainly be taking a look at the bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings website.”

Wrexham couple Nigel and Angela Hughes and their children, Elen, 16 and Lewis, eight, stopped to take a look at the projection as they made their way to an Eagles Meadow restaurant for a family meal.

Nigel Hughes said: “It’s good to see something different and I am glad to hear that Wrexham was chosen as one of the locations for the projection.”

Andrew Ellis from the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) said: “No other country has ever embarked on such a project to make accessible online its entire collection of oil paintings.

“The result is an extraordinary rich and varied virtual gallery of paintings with styles and subject matters to suit all tastes and interests. Anyone can now contribute to the project by tagging paintings so the paintings can be searched in future. Tagging is easy, fun and really quite addictive!’

Saul Nassé, Controller BBC Learning said: “The idea we could put on virtual display all the UK’s paintings was madly ambitious, but thanks to a brilliant partnership with the PCF, we’ve realised that ambition.

“Your Paintings is a thing of beauty and I’m hoping the events we’re rolling out right across the country are going to inspire thousands more people to learn about these wonderful paintings.”

Eagles Meadow Manager, Kevin Critchley was delighted to welcome the BBC’s projection team to the site.

He said: “The whole idea of the bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings website is wonderful and we were delighted that Eagles meadow was chosen as the location for one of the projections alongside so many illustrious and iconic locations around the UK.

“I am also thrilled our shoppers and visitors had the opportunity to witness the projections and learn a little about the nation’s collection of oil paintings.”

To see and tag Your Paintings and find out more about visiting participating galleries, museums and public buildings, visit: bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings

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