On 27th July 2012, Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes by Turner Prize-winning artist and musicIan Martin Creed, will be performed by thousands of people across the UK for the London 2012 Festival to celebrate the first day of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Anyone can take part by simply registering to ring a bell at www.allthebells.com. The time for the event has been confirmed as 08:12 and the event will be broadcast by the BBC to a potential live audience of over 10 million peopleacross the UK on TV, radio and online - including BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show and BBC local radio stations.
This unique London 2012 Festival commission is the festival’s biggest community project and offers everyone in the UK the amazing opportunity to be part of a work by a Turner Prize-winning artist and London 2012’s history. Martin Creed has said: ‘It’s by people and for people. On the morning of the opening of the Games it’s a massive signal that something is happening.‘
Thousands of people have already registered and the performance has captured the imagination of many organisations, including The Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, The British Army, The RAF, The Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers, The National Theatre, The National Football Museum, The Sports Heritage Network, Discovering Places, Arts Council and Creative Scotland, The Churches Conservation Trust, the Mayor of London, the Archbishop of Westminster, Dame Evelyn Glennie, The British Federation of Youth Marching Band Organisations, Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and many more.
Anyone can take part by ringing any kind of bell for three minutes - from experienced change ringing experts of tower bells to enthusiastic children with hand bells, bicycle bells and doorbells. To get involved all individuals, communities and organisations are encouraged to register at www.allthebells.com and register their interest in taking part on the day or register the own bell ringing event for others to join.
Everyone who signs up will be able to download an exclusive Martin Creed ringtone, Work No. 1372. The Official London 2012Join In App incorporates a line of Martin’s composition as a shake and play feature.
The sound of thousands of bells across the country ringing out at the same time to mark this historical moment will be a thrilling experience and a nationwide celebration.
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: ‘The commission shows the Festival’s commitment to world-class artists and to the values of participation. Martin Creed’s wonderful idea gets everyone involved in the opening day of the Games not just as an audience but as an integral part of the work.’
This work is part of the London 2012 Festival, which is the finale of the four-year Cultural Olympiad and is funded by theNational Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor. It has been commissioned by Discovering Places, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad campaign to inspire the UK to discover their historic, built and natural environment.
Throughout history bells have traditionally been rung to mark moments in time, whether it be bells across the UK ringing to signify the end of World War II, the bell at the Tower of London, rung in the past as an alarm to warn of attack (and still rung today to alert visitors to leave), and back as far as the Romans who used bells to announce special celebrations and processions.
Martin Creed was born in Wakefield, England, in 1968, and from 1986-90 attended the Slade School of Art in London. In 1993 his Work No. 81, 'a one inch cube of masking tape in the middle of every wall in a building' was installed in the offices of the London firm, Starkmann Ltd, and since then Creed has had numerous solo exhibitions and projects around the world.Words and music have always been an integral part of Creed's practice. From the artist’s point of view ‘talks are works and words are work’. Using few notes and words Creed delivers compelling messages in tracks such as ‘Words’ and ‘Thinking / Not Thinking’. Work No.673 was commissioned for the opening of an exclusive fashion collection in 2008. For the work, Creed’s orchestra was seated one behind another on a long, narrow stage running down the length of the space. This was followed by Work No. 955 for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 Work No. 994 was premiered by the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra. Creed has often combined art, talking, choreography and music, specifically in Work No. 1020. Premiered in October 2009 and jointly commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and Freize Art Fair, it is a new work in which Creed has choreographed a piece for five classically trained dancers. The work includes some of Creed’s short films and compositions performed by his own band.