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NEWS: Ridley Scott Portrait To Go On Show At The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

A portrait of acclaimed film director Sir Ridley Scott is going on show at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The portrait is on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of its COMING HOME initiative, which sees portraits of iconic individuals being loaned to places across the UK with which they are most closely associated.

Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries at Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, said: “Sir Ridley Scott was born in the North East and it’s an honour to be able to display this drawing of him at one of the region’s most popular art galleries.”

Scott was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear in 1937 and his films include Alien (1979), Thelma and Louise (1991) and Academy Award-winning drama Gladiator (2000). He was knighted in 2003 for services to the film industry and in 2018 received the BAFTA Fellowship Award.

The drawing which will be on show at the Laing Art Gallery is by Nina Mae Fowler and is part of a larger series that the National Portrait Gallery in London commissioned of leading film directors.

Julie Milne added: “This work is particularly fascinating as the artist has captured Scott’s face and his reactions as he watched a film that has special significance to him.”

The artist captured the portrait of Scott with his face lit only by the light of the screen in an otherwise darkened space. Scott chose to watch the scene from a film that was a major turning point for him and his relationship to cinema. The title of the portrait, "29:04:37", refers to the exact film frame the director is watching when Fowler captured his portrait.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery said: “We are delighted to lend "29:04:37" (Sir Ridley Scott) by Nina Mae Fowler to the Laing Art Gallery as part of our exciting new COMING HOME initiative. We hope that sending portraits ‘home’ in this way will foster a sense of pride and create a personal connection for local communities to a bigger national history; thus helping us to fulfil our aim of being truly a national gallery for everyone, in our role as the nation’s family album.”

The initiative will be supported by an online learning programme for teachers and schools. This will include two virtual CPD opportunities with Art Consultant Susan Coles, and a Portrait Challenge which can be set as classroom or home learning.

COMING HOME has been made possible by the National Portrait Gallery, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, generous contributions from The Thompson Family Charitable Trust and funds raised at the Gallery’s Portrait Gala in 2017.

Visit npg.org.uk to find out more about COMING HOME.


"29:04:37" (Sir Ridley Scott) by Nina Mae Fowler will be on show at the Laing Art Gallery until 27 March 2021. The Laing is currently closed as part of the national lockdown therefore the portrait will be on display when the gallery is able to reopen.

Admission is free, donations are welcome.

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