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Steve McQueen invites every primary school in London to have their Year three pupils photographed


Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen (pictured fifth left in the middle row) as a seven-year-old pupil at Little Ealing Primary School in 1977

Turner Prize winner and Oscar-nominated director Steve McQueen is collaborating with Tate Britain, Artangel and A New Direction to embark on one of the most ambitious projects in the history of contemporary art. For a new display at Tate Britain in autumn 2019, Steve McQueen will document the portraits of an entire age group of London-based primary school children over the next nine months.

Tens of thousands of seven-year-olds across London will take part in the series. McQueen will capture the children through the typical class photograph medium; rows of children sitting or standing alongside their teachers, embodying the cultural and ethnic diversity of the capital’s citizens. Year three encapsulates a milestone during a child’s development, it sees a child’s sense of identity blossoming and an increased awareness of the external world beyond their immediate family. McQueen will bring his acclaimed sense of realism to classroom innocence, capturing the feelings of excitement, anxiety and hope to London’s future influencers.

McQueen and his collaborators invite every London primary school to register their school at to book their own specialist photographer. A New Direction, leading creative learning specialists, additionally offer specially created learning resources for their pupils to investigate the work’s main themes of belonging, identity and citizenship within their school curriculum. A live-streamed lesson will also be available for the primary school’s come spring 2019, uniting the country to watch and engage with the project.

The photographs are set to exhibit from November 2019 to May 2020 for free, at the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain. The project will stimulate a wider variety of future research projects including an outdoor exhibition of class photograph across London’s 33 boroughs, whereas Tate Modern will commission a major survey further examining the personal developments that are shaped by the socioeconomic landscape of the capital city.