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Cockneys could ring changes for 2012 Olympics

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 05 October 2010

Martin Creed, shortlisted for Artists taking the lead in the London region for his project The Big Ring. Artists taking the lead is the Arts Council's flagship programme for the Cultural Olympiad 2012 © Graham Jepson

Martin Creed, shortlisted for Artists taking the lead in the London region for his project The Big Ring. Artists taking the lead is the Arts Council's flagship programme for the Cultural Olympiad 2012 © Graham Jepson

COCKNEYS all over East London could be ringing their own bells to signal the start of the Olympics—if the Arts Council grants a £500,000 commission to one artist. Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed wants to celebrate the opening of the 2012 Games by asking East Enders to ring any bell they can find, from bicycle to church bells, as quickly and loudly as possible for three minutes

By Victoria Huntley

COCKNEYS all over East London could be ringing their own bells to signal the start of the Olympics—if the Arts Council grants a £500,000 commission to one artist.

Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed wants to celebrate the opening and closing of the 2012 Olympics by asking East Enders to ring any bell they can find, from bicycle bells to church bells, as quickly and loudly as possible for three minutes.

He also wants to design a new Olympic bell to be rung at the medal ceremonies during 2012 Games being staged in East London and at future Games to be cast at the East End’s famous Whitechapel bell foundry.

STREET CORNER

Martin’s Big Ring’ project would involve thousands of people ringing bells on every street corner and welcoming the Olympics to East London, if he is awarded the grant.

He is one of five artists shortlisted to compete for the Cultural Olympiad’ commission, with the winner getting the cash to create their artistic vision.

The projects range from works to celebrate London’s famous transport network and historic buildings, to mass participation ideas like Marin’s.

The shortlisted artists, including musician Nitin Sawhney and celebrity blogger Alfie Dennen, each now receive a development grant up to £5,000 to turn their ideas into comprehensive plans. The final commission will be decided in October.

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