Great art work marks Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Lancashire Art Commission is announced as the nation celebrates 70 years of her reign

By Michelle Blade
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 3:45 pm

This year – 2022 – marks the momentous occasion of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – marking 70 years of service to her people and the Commonwealth.

The Queen also holds the title of the Duke of Lancaster, and therefore has a special relationship with Lancashire and the people who live here.

This is the first time in British history that a monarch has marked a platinum jubilee, which presented a unique opportunity for an artist to create a work that will encapsulate the moment.

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The Queen pays a visit to Lancaster and Bilsborrow. (2015).

Taking inspiration from the Lancashire industrialists and philanthropists of the past, who donated great artworks that have lasted through the ages in galleries like the Harris, Lord Shuttleworth and a collective of local business leaders and cultural professionals have come together to commission a new artwork that celebrates this extraordinary moment in our civic history.

Lord Shuttleworth said: “Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a unique historical occasion that allows us as her subjects an opportunity to express our thanks for 70 years of continuous service to the nation. Not only has it provided great constitutional stability but also defined our nation to the world.

“The commissioning of this great artwork will give the people of Lancashire a legacy to celebrate this major event.”

Following an open call, it has been announced that Jamie Holman, an artist born and practising in Lancashire, has been selected to create the artwork.

Jamie Holman, an artist born and practicing in Lancashire, has been selected to create the artwork for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Jamie has recognised the significant change that has occurred throughout the Queen’s reign but that the constant throughout this period has been the service of the monarch, a monarch who has sat with every Prime Minister from Churchill to Johnson and has devoted her life to the nation.

Jamie will record 70 people, all of whom are aged 70 and have been alive as long as the Queen has been on the throne. By recording their memories of both the large, and small memories of their lives, he will produce a beautiful, poetic multi-channel soundscape installation that tells the story of the Queen’s reign, our diverse Lancastrian communities and the extraordinary individuals who best remember her lifetime of service.

He will thread their stories, as told by them, with archival footage to create a narrative that will accompany seven large tapestries, each depicting 10 years of the monarch’s service to her people.

These works will form a contemporary visualisation of these collated interviews, as he ‘weaves people’s stories’ with a nod towards global traditions of commemorating our past in textile from the Bayeux Tapestry to The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries.

A portrait of The Queen by Sir Herbert James Gunn celebrating Coronation Day 1953 (photo: Steve Finn/Getty Images)

Jamie Holman said: “As an artist, I’ve found myself interrogating history through the lens of personal narratives, whether that’s through my now personal ancestry, or a unique story of an individual who has stood against the odds.

“I find ways to tell that story or question the beliefs an era has left as a legacy. Often my work explores working-class stories, so this is a new venture for me, but I’ll apply the same logic to this commission.

“I want to make this a capsule of more than our monarch’s 70 years - but for 70 years of her people.”

The footage and the narrative will be available internationally and will accompany the tapestries which will be hung in a place yet to be decided in Lancashire for all to enjoy.

The artworks will be sponsored by public donation and sponsorship. Major sponsors will be highlighted alongside the artwork.