Images of publicly owned artworks will be projected onto the side of University Place at The University of Manchester this evening.

University Place 
The event launches a nationwide celebration of Your Paintings – a BBC website showing the entire UK national collection of over 210,000 oil paintings.

Between 4.30pm and 10pm the projections will be made onto 28 iconic buildings and landmarks around the country including University Place, Exeter Cathedral, Carrickfergus Castle in Northern Ireland and George’s Dock Building in Liverpool.

They will show four paintings of 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 light show will also contain three paintings specific to the region in which they are shown including Coming from the Mill, 1930 by L. S. Lowry.

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: 

Hundreds of oil paintings, which have not been seen by the public in generations will go on show at galleries, museums and civic buildings across the UK from February 8 – 28.

Due to limitations of exhibition space, 80% of these works are normally held in storage and not easily visible to the people who own them – the UK public.

Andrew Ellis from the Public Catalogue Foundation 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 that the paintings can be searched in future. Tagging is easy, fun and really quite addictive!”

Your Paintings:
Your Paintings is a website which aims to show the entire UK national collection of oil paintings, the stories behind the paintings, and where to see them for real. It is made up of paintings from thousands of museums and other public institutions around the country. Your Paintings is a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (a registered charity) and participating collections and museums from across the UK. To help the PCF and BBC identify and catalogue what can be seen in each painting, the public is being invited to ‘tag’ the paintings with information.

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