Re-Creations project takes Van Gogh into new places

Guernsey born artist Tina McCallan is bringing here Re-Creations project back to Guernsey thanks to funding from the Guernsey Arts Commission and in conjunction with our Community Arts Programme.

The on going project is designed to “inject art into the backbone of Guernsey society by going directly into in the workplace and other environments where the arts may not be a part of everyday life”.

Artist Tina McCallan, will facilitate the Re-creation of the masterpiece Village Street by Vincent Van Gogh in the Adult Disability Day Service and Guernsey Prison this December.

A temporary art studio equipped with an easel, canvas, palettes and oil paints will be set up and participants are invited to paint a square on a collaborative canvas. The project is designed to enhance communication, give a sense of achievement, raise self esteem and ignite an interest in the arts and artists.

The finished painting will be owned by and displayed by those who worked on it for all the participants and visitors to enjoy. The same painting by Van Gogh will be re-created in several other workplaces around the island in an experiment to see how different or how similar the finished results are.

Tina said: “Van Gogh was chosen as he is an iconic artist, someone whose path was not an easy one. His work shows that genius can come out of struggle.”

Find out more about Tina and her work on her website,, or her Facebook page.

About the project, by Tina McCallan

The work arose out of the idea to explore a sense of “egoless-ness” in painting. Usually a painter will spend hours in a studio producing works which are identifiable as his/hers. They are then sold and highly prized for their individual style. I wondered what would happen if I invited other people to paint my paintings for me. I would provide the skeleton in the under drawing and divide the image into a grid as the Old Masters did.

I then researched Old Master workshops and was surprised to find that the some of the Old Masters didn’t actually paint all their pictures, they had assistants. The idea formed that I would too have assistants but they would all paint one square each and all be credited in a democratic way.

Since then I have completed many projects. Each one is unique depending on the location, the event and the participants. The work relates to Nicholas Bourriaud’s theory of Relational Art.

He says Relational Art is: “a set of artistic practices which take as their theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relations and their social context, rather than an independent and private space.

“In Relational Art, the audience is envisaged as a community. Rather than the artwork being an encounter between a viewer and an object, relational art produces inter-subjective encounters. The artwork creates a social environment in which people come together to participate in a shared activity.”

I am interested in reaching audiences which don’t often go to galleries by creating projects in public places and in places of work. My aim is to create a whole gallery of re-creations, a kind of alternative collection of Old Masters where each work was created by “ordinary people”.

Although no one can doubt the power, skill and mystique of the Old Masters,  especially as many ancient techniques are now lost to us, the work I make in collaboration both pays homage to and pokes fun at them. Although made from a patchwork of styles and talent the end result can often be dazzling.


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