Sky Arts goes ‘Free to Air’

Sky Arts went free-to-air (FTA) on 17 th September 2020. Sky Arts is the UK’s only channel dedicated to the arts and culture; and by going FTA, they hope to bring more of the arts to more people.
To celebrate this launch, Sky Arts has commissioned 38 pieces of landscape art. Each of the pieces represent a significant landscape or landmark chosen from across the UK and each of them have been produced by finalists from Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year.  
Taken together, the 38 sites represent the enormous diversity across the UK, and the power of art in all its different forms to offer new perspectives.

Sky TV got in touch with me at the beginning of August to discuss being a part of the project. After a couple of briefing meetings on the phone I had my list of commissions:

  • St Fagan’s Castle, Cardiff
  • Swing Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • The Pineapple Pub, Kentish Town
  • Aylesford Bridge, Aylesford
  • Astley Hall, Chorley
  • Roker Lighthouse, Sunderland
  • Covered Market, Oxford
  • The Pier, Bournemouth
  • The Swan with Two Necks, Pendleton
  • Harbour Arm, Folkestone
  • Hythe Quay, Maldon
  • The Boot Pub, St Albans

Some of the subjects I was able to visit or already had my own reference sketches and photographs such as the Covered market in Oxford. Other subjects were simply too far away to visit in the timescale and due to the current pandemic. Sky provided some photographs for me and even Google Streetview was brought into action.

I didn’t really have a plan of attack but decided I would complete the drawings of each subject before applying watercolour. Below I have linked a number of very short time lapse videos to show the drawing process. Each video is labelled.

Here are the final twelve pieces as they were presented to the MP’s of each constituency represented by the landscapes and landmarks.

A short biography of each artist and the virtual exhibition of all of the pieces produced by the artists can be found on the Sky TV website here:

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