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Your chance to carve out a new emoji for sculpture

17 July 2019

Art-loving smartphone users already have emojis for paintings, palettes and pencils, but they'll soon have a symbol for sculpture too. A major new competition launched by Art UK, to mark World Emoji Day, is asking the public to design and vote on a new mini-graphic to represent the art form.

Talthybius, David McGill (c. 1864-1937), The Box (Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives) CC BY-NC

It’s the ultimate public sculpture commission – the chance to design an emoji that will represent the varied and diverse medium on the keypads of smartphone users across the world.

A panel of judges including artists Cornelia Parker and Rana Begum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park programme director Clare Lilley, and blogging collective Tabloid Art History will create a shortlist of four designs which will be put to a public vote on Art UK’s Twitter account.

We hope the competition will inspire lively discussions
Andrew Ellis, Art UK

The winning design will then be submitted to the Unicode Consortium – the organisation which controls the official list of available emojis.

The new sculpture symbol will live in the Objects category, becoming a companion to the famous Moai (Easter Island Rapa Nui figures) and Statue of Liberty emojis in the Travel & Places category.

The competition is inspired by the work Art UK is currently doing to digitise over 100,000 of the country’s publicly-owned sculptures, with more than 5,000 already online. These sit alongside the 200,000 oil paintings from UK collections that are already available to view for enjoyment, learning and research.

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

The competition is promoted by Art UK and creative community The Dots. Find out more about how to enter on the Art UK website.

Reclining Figure, 1975, bronze & wood by Hannah Frank (1908-2008), © the artist's estate. Photo credit: The Glasgow School of Art
Eve, bronze by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). Photo credit: Tracy Jenkins/Art UK
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), 1850-51, plaster by Frederick Thrupp (1812-1895). Photo credit: The Wordsworth Trust | Oor Wullie: Verdant Works Statue, 2016, resin & paint by Pam Kelly (b. 1964), © the artist. Photo credit: Dundee Heritage Trust | Benin Head with Headdress, bronze by an unknown artist. Photo credit: Towner

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