As part of its ongoing work to safeguard the cultural heritage of sculpture across the nation, Art UK is urging as many people as possible to propose a design. If accepted, the sculptural image will then accompany the only two existing emojis with any relation to the art form – the Easter Island head and Statue of Liberty.

In gaining recognition for sculpture in modern, mainstream culture, Art UK hopes it can encourage a new wave of people to engage with the medium.

“The competition supports Art UK’s mission to bring sculpture into our everyday lives,” noted Andrew Ellis, the organisation’s Director. “We hope it will inspire some great designs, more interest in sculpture, and lively discussions about the art form.”

Art UK’s sculpture project was established with the goal of turning the UK into the first country in the world to offer a free-to-access online photographic showcase of its publicly owned sculpture. Around 100,000 sculptural artworks are believed to be without records, images or online access, with many at risk of being lost forever.

The three-year Art UK project focuses on public works, whether in collections or outdoors, from the last 1,000 years.

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Emoji competition rules

Applicants must submit a single (72 x 72 pixels) colour PNG image of their sculpture emoji design to [email protected] by Friday 9th August 2019.

The assembled panel of judges will then review all entries before whittling them down to a shortlist of four designs. These final four will then be put to a public vote on Art UK’s Twitter account.

The successful design will then be put forward as a sculpture emoji for consideration by the Unicode Consortium, the all-powerful emoji organisation.

The panel judging the submissions is made up of; artist Cornelia Parker RA; Clare Lilley, Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park; visual artist Rana Begum; Tabloid Art History, a social media blog and zine which ran between 2016 and May 2019; and Art UK’s own Ferren Gipson, Social Media Marketer and host of the Art Matters podcast series.

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