His work shows a copy of Turner’s masterpiece, The Fighting Temeraire, 1839, by Joseph Mallord William Turner, in the collection of the National Gallery in London. A slash in the painting carries a notice “25% cut” and underneath the work a caption reads: “If 25% were slashed from arts funding the loss would be immeasurable.”
Turner referred to The Fighting Temeraire as “his darling”, refusing to ever sell it until he finally donated it to the National Gallery. When the nation was asked by the BBC to nominate the greatest painting on show in the UK’s museums and galleries it came first with 25% of the votes.
The title of Mark Wallinger’s new work is “Reckless”. He explains: “I describe the cuts as a reckless adventure. In fact temeraire means reckless in French and by removing the obsolete ship from the scene I am rendering the painting wreckless.”
The campaign was launched on 10 September with a new video by David Shrigley and a campaign poster by Jeremy Deller, Scott King and William Morris. Each week the work of a different artist, created in response to the campaign, will be released.
Supporters of the artists’ campaign are being asked to sign a petition which will be sent to the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. It points out that it has taken 50 years to create a vibrant arts culture in Britain that is the envy of the world and appeals to the government not to slash arts funding and risk destroying this long-term achievement and the social and economic benefits it brings to all.
The campaign is being organised by the London branch of a national consortium of over 2,000 arts organisations and artists dedicated to working together and finding new ways to support the arts in the UK.
Get free email updates
Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]