Children’s Drawings Used To Generate Massive Public Digital Portrait Of Charles III

May 8, 2023 by Dave Haynes

There’s been a lot of buzz in the display industry lately about the potential for AI-based generative art, but here’s a very large visual generated from 1,000s of people instead of a super-computing cluster.

A charitable initiative called BBC Children In Need partnered with artist Sam Barnett and the operators of Outernet London to develop and run what was dubbed  The Royally Big Portrait – a huge interactive display in central London with visuals drawn and submitted of King Charles III by members of the UK public ahead of this past weekend’s coronation.

The program went up on the venue’s massive set of high resolution LED screens on May 1, and this is the last day sequence will be running (until 6 pm, if I am reading the website correctly). Visitors to the free, public-accessible venue on the edge of Soho can locate their individual drawing within the portrait using iPads, and see their personal contribution on wraparound screens in the space’s Now Building.

“We think the King and the entire royal family are going to be really thrilled with what we’ve managed to achieve here at Outernet London with BBC Children In Need,” says Alexandra Payne, head of creative at Outernet London. “It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the coronation and really allows all the audiences coming down to interact with the King on our immersive 360-scale interactive screens.”

The visuals incorporate thousands of uploaded submissions from children all over the UK.

This tweet shows how the drawings were applied to visuals that look like sticky notes and how they all kind of drift in to assemble a pop art-style visual of the newly-crowned monarch. I don’t have a fine arts degree so give me a break if this is more representative of some other style.

There is also this Daily Mail video …

The big screens at Outernet were also made available to view the Coronation ceremony on Saturday.


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