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Gemma Cairney will delve into the purpose and power of public art as she joins Sky Arts on a mission to create the UK’s next major landmark.

She’ll be joined along the way by two expert judges – curator Clare Lilley and visual artist Hetain Patel – as well as six famous faces, all of them ready to root out the best artistic talent in the region or nation they call home.

Appearing in the series are:

  • Mark Radcliffe: Broadcaster, musician and writer representing the North of England

  • Benjamin Zephaniah: Writer and poet representing the Midlands

  • Russell Tovey: Actor representing the South of England

  • Denise Mina: Crime writer and playwright representing Scotland

  • Charlotte Church: Singer-songwriter representing Wales

  • Michelle Fairley: Game of Thrones actress representing Northern Ireland

Working across mediums varying from ceramics and bronze to LEDs and inflatables, the artists will build, weld and sculpt under the watchful eyes of two expert judges, Clare and Hetain, as well as the celebrity guest judge representing their region or nation. The pressure is on.

At the end of each heat, the landmarks will be unveiled to the local community, who will join the judges to deliberate on which piece best sums up their area. The winning artists will gain a coveted place in the final where they will pitch for a national landmark which one of them will be commissioned to create. The final landmark will be on display in Coventry, UK City of Culture for 2021.

Gemma Cairney commented: “I’ve never worked on a TV programme that I’ve learnt so much in the process of making! I’ve learnt from the artists, the judges and the art itself. Travelling the UK uncovering the different practices and sentiments behind artists wanting to make work for the public has been a fascinating and emotional lesson in the big conversations so many of us seem to want to have after a time where we’ve been confined to our homes and echo chambers.”

Landmark will air on Sky Arts this autumn.


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