About Tate London

With four major sites across the UK, Tate exists to increase the public’s enjoyment and understanding of British art from the 16th Century to the modern day, and of international modern and contemporary art. For over eight years we’ve been producing animated films and content to support some of the most significant exhibitions that Tate has to offer. In 2019, we supported the incredible 'van Gogh and Britain' exhibition, bringing together over 50 works by van Gogh to reveal how he was inspired by Britain and how he inspired British artists.




The process

With each and every exhibition we support, we use CoCreation as the vehicle to stimulate our ideas and thinking. We spend time understanding the artists, the story behind their collection, and what the focal points for each exhibition will be. CoCreation uncovered an opportunity to enhance Tate’s objective to encourage people to explore the way in which art is created, to help people develop their own creative potential. Van Gogh was known for his painterly style. His distinct use of colour; brush stroke, and texture was what made it so iconic. This inspired us to explore digital processes to show how a selection of his most famous paintings were created, and bring that to life through animation.



Our exploration took us down an ambitious route, combining a painstaking digital process and frame-by-frame animation. We first had to take the original artwork, carefully removing a series of brush strokes to create a stripped back version of the painting. We then repeated this process over and over again to slowly strip the painting back to the canvas. Once this process was complete, we were able to take each new digital version of the painting and set them up frame-by-frame, in reverse, to give the impression of the painting being recreated in a series of strokes.


Animated film

Some of van Gogh's most famous works were brought together from around the world, and our work centred around his very own self portrait, Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait Autumn 1889; Starry Night over the Rhône; and the very rarely lent Sunflowers from London’s National Gallery. We used our animations to create teaser and promotional films and content to help promote the exhibition through internal and external screens, and online.


Outdoor media

We also created supporting, static outdoor media and print collateral to share and promote the event, and reach the widest possible audience.