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

Entries in London (27)


David Hockney at the RA

Leaving it right until the end of its showing, I managed to catch the David Hockney exhibition at the RA in London last night. Pre-booked tickets had sold out months before, so I was left with the only other option - queuing. I had also heard rumours that the wait in such queues could last up to 3 hours. Oh!

David Hockney - A Bigger Picture Queue
The Royal Academy, London
(21 January – 9 April)

As luck would have it, I was invited to join a friend in the evening before the show closed and we skipped past the queues with her handy fast-track tickets.

Hockney is a prolific painter - in preparation for his show, produced more than 70 works in 2011 in order to fill one of the gallery rooms. The body of work for this exhibition celebrates the artist’s depiction of landscape, in particular, his re-engagement with the Yorkshire Wolds.

The pièce de résistance for me was the work Winter Timber, 2009.

This piece is large – comprising of fifteen canvases (each 91.4 x 121.9cm), making the completed artwork 274.3 x 609.6cm. That is 6meters wide. If the shear size was not enough, the painting has the most vivid use of colour and is breathtaking. In one of the final rooms of the exhibition, the painting popped with great burst of purple and gold.

Completed by a collection of support paintings, this work was part of the “winter timer and totems” room and is the final stage of Hockney’s examination of the cycle of nature, which ends in death and decay.

From the RA Gallery Guide.  “In 2008 Hockney identified a tree in Woldgate, East Yorkshire, that interested him as a potential motif; it was dead but remained erect among the autumnal growth. On returning some time later he found that the tree had been cut down, leaving a long stump, but he saw a nobility in its reduced, sculptural form that made it a compelling subject.

RA Gallery Guide, and book David Hockney - A bigger picture, available from Amazon.

Two other rooms of interest to me were the notorious “iPad” room and the film room.

The Film room featured short soundless movie clips filmed whilst slowly driving down the roads in West Yorkshire, using 9 cameras on a specially constructed grid attached to the bonnet of his jeep. Slightly disjointed, the 9 screens showed wonderful clips of the passing landscape and scenery. The nine-screen films were shown paired together, slightly disjointed, across eighteen screens.

A number of films were brought together, showing the same landscape during different seasons, and shown side by side. The works were tranquil and the room was quiet and peaceful, though full to the brim with Hockney enthusiast’s.

The Sketchbook and iPad room entitled The arrival of spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven). A 52 part work consisting of 51 iPad drawings printed on paper, (67.3 x 50.2 cm or 144.1 x 108 cm) and an oil  painting on 32 canvases (each 91.4 x 121.9cm), 365.8 x 975.4cm.

Working to record the arrival of spring, Hockney produced 52 pieces of work on his iPad from the 2 January through to the 2 June 2011.

From the discussions around me in the gallery, many people had strong opinions on whether working digitally was a good thing or not. Some thought he was being terribly progressive, whilst others (most I would say from the conversations I overheard) were disappointed and thought the work was not as pure an art form as that of his paintings.

Having worked on a digital paint-board for many years myself, I would say that both have merits, though understanding how easy it is to mask, nudge, layer and erase in a painting software package, I prefer his paintings over the iPad work. I think the colours and brush stokes in his painted pieces have more expressive qualities than the "digital brush" tool.

However, pushing boundaries and using new media in new ways is all part of the creative process, and I would hate to see anyone criticised for experimentation. Overall, the body of work was stunning and ?I left feeling inspired and recharged. An a little keen to go back to Yorkshire. Imagine.



Egg round-up

The Big Egg hunt ended today, and as of Tuesday 2 April, will all be in Covent Garden for the finale.

Here is a round up of the final pick of eggs my 3-almost-4-mama year old and I found, in our limited searches of Canary Wharf, The City and Green Park.

In keeping with her love of all things pink-and-still-pinker-until-everything-must-be-the-pinkest, the pink one was the favourite, by far.

Olympia Parc Julian Brown

Other eggs that have made it through the stringent approval process of a 3-almost-4-mama year old are:

The Power of Plants Susan Entwistle

Songthrush Helen Cowcher

Citadel Caio Locke

Chocolate Egg Paul A. Young

3-almost-4-mama year old trying to lick the glass...

Birdie Demelza Hill

Anima Mundi - 'Awakening the soul of the world' Jill Berelowitz


Around the world before bedtime – Big Egg Hunt

Well, The Big Egg Hunt finishes in a week and I still have a stack of eggs to talk about, so it will be eggs, eggs and more eggs over here until after Easter.

We embarked on a family expedition to hunt for the eggs, and found some wonderful works. So here is the fifth egg we found on our journey.

Around the world before bedtime, by Miss Dee, on the round-about at Trafalgar Square.

The egg is painted with a whimsical scene of a little girl, an umbrella and her bear, floating away in the wind. The work is sweet and reminds me of the stories of Winnie the Pooh. Christopher Robin with his umbrella, and Winnie the Pooh blowing away on windy days.

You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” - Winnie the Pooh

Stay tuned for more eggs....



Rara Avis by Rachel Freire

Outside the Royal Exchange buildings EC2 in London, and hand crafted in leather, Rara Avis is my favourite from The Big Egg Hunt collection so far.

Rara Avis, meaning an unusual, uncommon, or exceptional person or thing, has been hand crafted by Rachel Freire using the softest shade of pink with black leather.

Rara Avis, by Rachel Freire from The Big Egg Hunt 2012

I love the texture of the piece, the element of 'craft' and the duality of her 'flowers'. Rachel has recently launched a garment called Nip and Tuck at London Fashion Week Spring 2012, covered in flowers fashioned from the leather scraps of 3,000 Cow and Yak nipples, recovered from tanneries.

This piece has created media outrage with MPs and animal right campaigners, but Rachel has defended her work by saying that ‘They really make you aware of the animal itself.

I create fashion using material that would otherwise end up on the scrap heap.

What I am doing is recycling. The people criticising are clearly clueless about the amount of leather wasted on a daily basis.'

I like the duality of the work indeed. Especially when perched outside Louis Vuitton.

I have searched my photographs of her egg for the slightest protrusion of a nipple and alas, have not been able to spot one. Maybe I will have to go back for a second look.


The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt

London 15.02.12 – 07.04.12


Living in London has its moments. It is busy, rude, grey, expensive, crowded and the public transport system is rubbish. But today, amongst the chaos of Liverpool Street I saw a couple of shiny eggs that made me stop.

Part of The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt, these three eggs are part of a collection of over 200 uniquely crafted eggs, created by leading artists, designers, architects and jewellers, and hidden across the capital.

I have found three, but after reading through the blurb on The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt site, will be heading out on a couple of egg hunting adventures with my daughter.

Egg Cup by Studio Weave at Liverpool Street Station

L'ŒUF by British graffito Pochoir on Bishopsgate

From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow by Loz Atkinson at Liverpool Street Station.

The Faberge Big Egg Hunt is a plan hatched by Elephant Family and Action for Children for a record-breaking egg hunt across Central London to raise money for these two egg-cellent causes!

Follow The Big Egg Hunt on Twitter using #BigEggHunt