Sky Arts launches Rankin campaign
Monday, August 16 2010, 09:39 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,

Sky Arts has signed world renowned photographer Rankin to provide images for a bold new project to transform UK streets into "the biggest gallery in Britain".

Launching this morning, the Street Galleries project will take over every billboard, poster, bus-stop, phone box and advertising space on the main streets of six major UK cities to exhibit specially-commissioned photos by Rankin.

Covering a range of art forms - from ballet to modern art to literature - the striking images will transform Birmingham's New Street, along with Parker Street/Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, Newcastle's Blacket Street, Liverpool's Renshaw Street, George Street in Edinburgh and London's Tottenham Court Road.

"It's the first time anyone has attempted an art takeover of six major cities, and I'm really excited to be a part of it," said Rankin.

"I hope it makes people think about the relationship between art and advertising; to stop, if just for a moment, and see something striking, different and beautiful."

Sky Arts channel director John Cassy added: "Sky Arts Street Galleries is unlike anything we have ever done before. We want to encourage people to see art everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places."

The Street Galleries project will be accompanied by a behind-the-scenes documentary, titled Rankin: Sky Arts Street Galleries, which will be aired on Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 2 tonight at 6.30pm.

Users can also browse the photos at the Sky Arts website via an online gallery featuring interactive images and exclusive footage from the making of the documentary.

The Rankin campaign follows a series of high profile coups by Sky Arts, including the channel's sponsoring of Anthony Gormley's Fourth Plinth project at Trafalgar Square and an agreement with Lord Melvyn Bragg to revive The South Bank Show.