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Record-breaking mosiac puts 113,000 people in the picture.

Byline: By Shahid Naqvi

If a picture is worth a thousand words then it would be difficult to over-estimate the value of this record-breaking mosaic made up of 112,896 individual images.

The massive work of art unveiled in Birmingham over the weekend was created from personal photographs submitted by people from across theWest Midlands.

When viewed from afar, the pictures of people and places merge to form a giant image of Black Country amateur boxer Arthur James Bunce taken during the 1920s.

The mosaic, which was on display outside the Thinktank museum of science at Millennium Point on Saturday, is the culmination of an arts project called The Big Picture.

Measuring 857.3m2, the photographs of different shades and colour were carefully selected to recreate the 1926 photograph of Mr Bunce, from Tipton, in a training pose.

Big Picture project manager Kerry Endsor said: "We are delighted to have secured the world record for the largest photo mosaic, on behalf of the thousands of people across the West Midlands who submitted their photos to be part of this record breaking campaign.

"The aim of The Big Picture was to encourage as many different people of all ages and interests to get involved, to help create a detailed piece of social history. The final mosaic is a fascinating insight into the lives and loves of the people of the West Midlands. We know from the thousands of photographs we received that sport plays a huge part in the lives of people living in this region, so I think its particularly fitting that the selection of the final image has enabled us to celebrate our sporting heritage with this amazing transformation."

Artist Helen Marshall was commissioned to lead the final phase which involved turning the submitted photographs into the image of Mr Bunce. She worked with mosaic specialists Polly Tiles to finish the project.

The boxer, who had fourteen children, died in 1987 at the age of 78. The old photograph of him was submitted by his granddaughter, 17 year old Lucy Moore, from Tipton.

She said: "This photo is so important to my family. I never got to meet my granddad but he and my nan were always at the heart of our family.

"My brother Michael even has the photo tattooed across his back. My family have always been very proud of our Black Country roots, my Grandfather especially, so this is a great tribute to him."

The Big Picture was organised by Birmingham-based Audiences Central for Arts Council England, West Midlands. To view images sent into the Big Picture, or to explore the mosaic in more detail, log on to www.inthebigpicture.co.uk.

Elsewhere in the region, about 80,000 visitors were expected to attend the Sandwell Community Show at Sandwell Valley Country Park today and yesterday.

The event included experts from BBC Radio's Gardening Question Time, a free circus and a transference of the flag ceremony yesterday to mark the official hand over of the Olympics from Beijing to London.

The Bank Holiday weekend also sees London's annual Notting Hill Carnival take place.

The three-day event which started on Saturday was accompanied by a major police operation to reduce knife crime at the celebration costing pounds 6 million.

shahid.naqvi@birminghampost.net

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The Big Picture project at Millenniun Point where Lucy Moore's contributed images were turned into this Guinness world record-breaking image of a Black Country boxer
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 25, 2008
Words:573
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