Artangel does it again. One of our favourite arts organisations in the UK, known for spectacular art installations and new commissions usually in unusual or extraordinary spaces, Artangel has over 30 years of providing public art experiences that stay with you forever. Küba, the 2005 show by artist and filmmaker Kutluğ Ataman, showcased 40 television sets and filmed video interviews placed most artfully in the disused Post Office headquarters on New Oxford Street. Breakdown, the 2001 show by artist Michael Landy used the current Primark location on Oxford Street to destroy every single one of his possessions, which he recorded faithfully. Actress/director Miranda July created an interfaith charity shop housed on the luxury fashion floor at Selfridges, a beautiful if temporary, retail experience in 2017 that one continues to hear about in delighted conversations.

Now comes Turner-Prize winner Oscar Murillo's new exhibition commissioned with Artangel, located at his old high school in Hackney, Cardinal Pole Catholic School (though physically, this new gymnasium is not the one Oscar attended as it has since moved after his graduation to a modern purpose designed and constructed building with facilities a lot shinier then he'd attended). In the gymnasium is 40,000 white canvases, all doodled, scribbled and painted on by students - primary and high schoolers - from around the world. Students and schools from Argentina, India, Lebanon, Zambia, Slovenia, Ghana, Japan and Colombia, to name a few, participated in Oscar's wide-scale, archive project - their unconscious spilling out onto these canvases.

Oscar himself has created on-site artworks, whether a desk pileup under golden basketballs, or "Disrupted Frequencies" paintings with his own blue paint strokes interrupting the graffitied canvases themselves. 

Upon leaving the show, one is given a print out of an extended essay, adapted from Oscar's graduate dissertation from his MA at the Royal College of Art from which he graduated in 2012. It takes a critical view of the New Labour Government of 1997-2010s policies of the arts and how it encouraged public institutions to seek private sponsorship amongst other initiatives. So relevant still, given last week's announcement from the Government of their confirmation of funding cuts to go ahead for university arts courses in England, despite strong opposition. The de-prioritisation of creative education in favour of STEM education is of deep concern for all and Artangel is just but one organisation supporting artists consistently to remind us of the need for expression, beauty and creative ways of engaging communities to think about these issues. 

The exhibition is open and free to all, just book your timeslot here.