Category Index
Books About Big Art
  • A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    by John Richardson
  • Sarah Lucas: A Catalog Raisonné
    Sarah Lucas: A Catalog Raisonné
    by Yilmaz Dziewior, Sarah Lucas
  • Grayson Perry
    Grayson Perry
    by Jacky Klein
  • Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    by Pim Milo, Kathy Ryan
  • David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    by Marco Livingstone, Margaret Drabble, Tim Barringer, Xavier Salomon, Stuart Comer, Martin Gayford
  • Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    by Robert Leonard, Anthony Gardner, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Blair French, Glenn Barkley
  • Yayoi Kusama
    Yayoi Kusama
    by Midori Yamamura, Jo Applin, Yayoi Kusama
  • Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Prestel Publishing
  • Wall and Piece
    Wall and Piece
    by Banksy
  • Mark Rothko
    Mark Rothko
    by Mr. Jeffrey Weiss
  • Louise Bourgeois
    Louise Bourgeois
    by Robert Storr, Paulo Herkenhoff
  • Damien Hirst
    Damien Hirst
    by Ann Gallagher
Join the Big Picture

A blog that aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing works of art

Historically, artists have always worked big, and nowadays those boundaries are being pushed to the limits.

Large-scale art, whether in the form of photos from the Hubble space telescope, sharks floating in tanks of formaldehyde, rooms full of dots, concrete sculptures cast from Victorian buildings or hand knitted blankets wrapped around trees, large-scale art is all around us. Join the Big Picture aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing these works.

All content by Karla Thompson, an ex-pat Aussie living in East London. When not working on Join the Big Picture she is part of the backbone to the Leonhard Pfeifer brand.

Read an interview about Join the Big Picture here.


Karla Thompson
Creative Partner




Detail of Yarn Bombing UK


Bill Woodrow - Elephant

Bill Woodrow, Elephant 1984 at Tate Britain

British sculptor Bill Woodrow has had a pretty interesting career, working with found and collected materials, and for his work Elephant 1984, discarded world maps, car doors and assorted body panels and a vacuum cleaner. 


In an extract from the catalogue for Elephant, the artist writes,

"Before the winter I had come across a shutdown car breakers yard in Bermondsey and had salvaged from it maybe fifteen or sixteen car doors and assorted body panels. These had been stacked outside my studio for five or six months and I remember one of the strongest things about them was their colour, especially in the wet weather. Being the nearest material to hand they were carried into the studio to hopefully become the elephant."


"Anyway, it just so happened that at about the same time as salvaging the car doors, I found in a rubbish skip, a complete set of wall maps, the type used in schools, very large and printed on strong cloth. Zimbabwe was called Rhodesia and there seemed to be lots of pink bits everywhere so I guess they were discarded for being politically out of date. Rolled up and neatly stacked they stood in the corner of the studio, a difficult material, not exactly forgotten but just waiting. The maps of Africa and South America had an ear shape and a rough symmetry which first suggested their use. Their value in terms of content in shaping how the sculpture developed was not immediately apparent."


"… finally produced a sculpture of an elephant lifting a modern automatic weapon from a water hole. The doors forming the banks of the water hole.”

London SE5
18 July 1985

Bill Woodrow - an extract from the catalogue for Elephant


Jann Haworth's big beads... 

Jann Haworth Beads and Background
Screenprint on plastic, 5 printed plastic beads, synthetic material and nylon rope
Tate Britain

US pop artist and pioneer of the soft sculpture, Jann Haworth’s sewing and upholstered sculptures explored the boundaries imposed on women of her time. She is best known for her work on The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover co-created with her first husband Sir Peter Blake.


Jake and Dinos Chapman wooden good-ness 

Jake Chapman 1966, Dinos Chapman 1962

The Chapman Family Collection 2002
34 wooden sculptures, metal, horn, coin, bones and shells

Displayed on plinths and lit dramatically the wooden masks and idols seem at first to be treasures from far-away-lands – and extraordinary collection of ethnographic objects – only to be revealed as a modern version of worship to the fast food gods.

Whilst not obvious at first, the carvings of hamburgers, the ‘hamburglar’ character, fries, flaming red hair and finally Ronald himself, the infamous golden arches are carved out all to clearly as you walk through the 34 carvings.

Indeed the supposed sources of these ethnographic treasures – Camgib, Seirf and Ekoc – can revealingly be read backwards as 'Coke and Fires' and 'Big Mac'.  The catalogue numbers assigned to each object – such as CFC76311561 and CFC77227084 – are the telephone numbers of McDonald’s branches in central London.

Currently on dispaly at Tate Britain.


Translated Vase

Yeesookyung, Translated Vase, 2012
Ceramic shards, aluminium, epoxy, 24k gold leaf

Korean artist Yeesookyung’s work Translated Vase is an exquisite arrangement of broken ceramic pieces that have been re-arranged and re-imagined into organic bulbous sculptures.

Her work delves deep into Korean consciousness, though reminds me of a Japanese art called Kintsukuroi, the practice of fixing broken pottery with a lacquered resin sprinkled with gold powder. The end result more beautiful and/or appealing in some cases that owners deliberately smashed their treasured vessels so that they could be ‘fixed’.

Kintsukuroi – broken is better than new – applies to Yeesookyung’s Translated Vase. The broken pieces used as the starting point were finely crafted treasures already, but broken and re-imagined Yeesookyung has transformed them into new heights of beauty and elegance that are uniquely breathtaking.


Ghada Amer - Baisers #1

Ghada Amer (b. 1963), Baisers #1, 2012. Gold leaf bronze

Egyptian born, French educated and now resident in New York City, Ghada Amer is a contemporary artist working on an international scale. Describing herself as a painter – she is most know for her erotic paintings – she is more a multimedia artist whose entire body of work, be it sculpture, embroidery or painting is infused with her strong ideology and aesthetic concerns. Themes such as celebrating the female, the foolishness of war and violence as well as an overall quest for formal beauty are all expressed through her work.

Baiser #1 is a beautiful, intricately detailed, golden egg-form with sublime images of faces kissing woven through the surface pattern. The word ‘Baisers’  is French for kissing, though these days it is more commonly used as a derogatory word for ‘making love’. I like the juxtaposition of a vuglar word for the name with such a beautiful form; something Amer is strongly associated with.

Ghada Amer (b. 1963)
Baisers #1, 2012
Gold leaf bronze

By Kukje Gallery (Korea) at Frieze London 2103

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