Martin Creed Rings Out For London Olympics

Turner Prize-winning artist and musician Martin Creed, will be executing a live sound piece on 27 July 2012 at 8:00 BST

The piece titled, “Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes” will synchronize a three minutes performance throughout the UK to celebrate the first day of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is all part of the London 2012 Festival, and will welcome the 205 nations to the UK.

The work was previewed at Christ Church Spitalfields, East London, Throughout history bells have traditionally been rung to mark special moments in time. For example, the Romans used bells to announce special celebrations and processions, bells were rung across the UK to mark the end of World War II and, in the past, the bell at the Tower of London was rung as an alarm to warn of attack.

This London 2012 Festival commission will give people across the UK the opportunity to be part of a work by a Turner Prize-winning artist and thousands of people are needed to help make this happen.

By the time 27 July 2012 is reached, as many people as possible will be encouraged to ring all kinds of bells and start the day to celebrate the beginning of the Games.  Everyone can take part – from ringers of the largest church and town hall bells, through to hand bells, school bells and bicycle bells.  From the bell ringing community, to community groups, clubs, and individuals with a bell – all are encouraged to participate in this UK-wide celebratory performance. Sign up at or via from today (4 November 2011). 

Across the UK people are encouraged to discover bells around them and get involved by registering them to be part of the project. On the website, bell ringers can sign up their bell towers to be part of the performance, and anyone curious to learn more about the performance can register to receive updates, find out how they can get involved and see where the bells will be ringing on the day. It is quick and easy to register and is an amazing opportunity to be part of London 2012’s history. Further ways to become involved will be announced in the run-up to the London 2012 Festival which opens on 21 June 2012.

Everyone who signs up to take part in the project will receive an exclusive Martin Creed ringtone available from March 2012.

Each person’s experience of hearing this piece performed will be individual, dependent on where they are and what they are doing at that time, making it both a personal and a communal celebration.

‘It’s by people and for people. On the morning of the opening of the Games it’s a massive signal that something is happening. ‘
Martin Creed

This work is part of the London 2012 Festival, which is the finale of the four-year Cultural Olympiad and is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor. It has been commissioned by Discovering Places, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad campaign to inspire the UK to discover their historic, built and natural environment.

Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, said: “The commission shows the Festival’s commitment to world-class artists and to the values of participation. Martin Creed’s wonderful idea gets everyone involved in the opening day of the Games not just as an audience but as an integral part of the work.”

Martin Creed was born in Wakefield, England, in 1968, and from 1986-90 attended the Slade School of Art in London. In 1993 his Work No. 81, ‘a one inch cube of masking tape in the middle of every wall in a building’ was installed in the offices of the London firm, Starkmann Ltd, and since then Creed has had numerous solo exhibitions and projects around the world. Words and music have always been an integral part of Creed’s practice. From the artist’s point of view ‘talks are works and words are work’. Using few notes and words Creed delivers compelling messages in tracks such as ‘Words’ and ‘Thinking / Not Thinking’. Work No.673 was commissioned for the opening of an exclusive fashion collection in 2008.


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