Walking around a town centre, it’s rare that you take the time to look up.
But a project in Rotherham is seeing works of art placed on the high storeys of buildings to give people a different perspective on art, and their town itself.
The re-branding of Rotherham as ‘Gallery Town’, the UK’s largest open air gallery in a town, has seen more than 100 reproductions of famous art, and original pieces by local artists and students, placed around the town centre over the last two years.
This week sees 25 new pieces added, including a reproduction of Johannes Vermeer’s The Girl with a Pearl Earring on the side of the town’s oldest building, The Three Cranes, and Edvard Munch’s Scream above a takeaway on High Street.
The UK’s most published artist, wildlife painter Pollyanna Pickering, was at the launch of the new pieces this week. One of her pieces, of a tiger swimming, has been placed at the town’s bus station.
Project manager Ged Omar said: “We’re looking to regenerate the area by creating vibrancy by putting these artworks on the walls. If you’re a shopper, or an office worker, you’re exposed to the artwork. You don’t have to go to a gallery to see them.”
The locations of the pieces are varied, and for visitors to the town, start at the railway station, where they are met with a sign saying ‘Welcome to Gallery Town’.
Mr Omar added: “The idea is to get inside people’s heads and change their perception of Rotherham as a place.”