Generating GIFs for the Tate Britain

Tate3 2

Combination of Sir William Quiller Orchardson, The First Cloud 1887, and 

David Cox, A Windy Day 1850.
Art Work of the Month :: February 2014

The Tate Britain has asked the public to join in on a great collaborative project that will be exhibited on Friday, February 7th 2014. They want us to get to know the museum and the history of works that it makes accessible to us. We can always visit the museum in person, or even online, but this particular project gave us the opportunity to engage even further with the works. They asked us to animate them. That’s right, we had permission to choose from any of the works that are on view in the Tate’s 1840’s room. This is an exciting collection of paintings and sculptures. Perhaps as an artist you have a dream of having your work shown in a major museum? Well, this was a pretty nice and fun opportunity to join in on, and it altered the way I perceived how my own work may be shown in a major museum. If you don’t know what an animated GIF is, where have you been? Take a visit to and cruise the database, you will not be disappointed. You can view the Tate’s 1840’s works here –

Here are the rules that the Tate issued for the submission process –

My friends and collaborators over at #giffight jumped in full force, check out our collective works here ::

The Works I Submitted

Obviously, I jumped in, and in several ways. The GIF above allowed for me to work with two paintings while juxtaposing one of my own recognizable graphic images, the monitor head figure. This project activated a new awareness on how to use the imagery. It was the first time I added art history based content into the existing work. I find that the contrast of the old and the new work very together well. Watching the ceaseless strokes of oil paint in contrast to moving images as they pixellated captured my interest. It further induced appreciation on how techniques have changed over time. Not only historically, but in my own work as an artist.

The first 2 GIFs below allowed for me to continue my ongoing collaboration with my friend NYC Artist Jilly Ballistic check out our ongoing series of collaborative works here – 

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Collaboration with Jilly Ballisitc & David Cox, A Windy Day 1850.


Collaboration with Jilly Ballisitc & Joanna Mary Wells, Portrait of Sidney Wells 1859.


Albert Moore, A Garden 1869. Variation #1.


Albert Moore, A Garden 1869, Variation #2.


George Frederic Watts, The Minotaur 1885.


Walter Greaves, Old Battersea Bridge 1874.

Over the last few years, and now more than ever we see a continued trend of major museums reaching out to the public to create collaborative projects that aim to engage in new ways. They want to reach new audiences and generate possibilities for new forms of community based participation. We see terms like “art labs” being used and facilitated. The process and outcomes are transparent and shared. That is a great energy to work with. I say bravo to Tate on this project.

Check out the picts sent in via the Tate Britain during the Show. (picts courtesy of the Tate, 1840’s GIF party)

1840s GIF Party -  image by Greg Sigston

1840s GIF Party 2 -  image by Greg Sigston

1840s GIF Party 3


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