Steve McQueen

Tate Year 3 Project

Tate Britain and across London
NOW 18 September 2018 - 31 May 2020
Visitor information

A unique portrait of an entire age group of London’s citizens: its Year 3 pupils. Created by Steve McQueen and produced in partnership by Tate, Artangel and A New Direction

Since September 2018, Year 3 pupils in each of London’s 2,410 primary schools were invited to have their classes photographed. 1,340 have already signed up and gained access to the learning resources and free online course available to pupils and teachers.

The resulting artwork will go on display in a vast installation of the photographs in Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries from November 2019 until May 2020. A parallel outdoor exhibition organised by Artangel – and spanning London’s 33 boroughs – will give passers-by a glimpse of the future of their city.

Year 3 is a pivotal year in a child’s development and sense of identity. The project will capture this moment of excitement, anxiety and hope through the medium of the traditional class photograph. Children sitting or standing in rows alongside their teachers will become part of an epic picture of the city’s present and an intimation of its future.


Image: Year 3 and their teachers and teaching assistants at Mayflower Primary School, Tower Hamlets, 2018. Photograph: Matt Greenwood.

Video: Radzi Chinyanganya

2 minutes 33 seconds
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Video: Radzi Chinyanganya introduces Year 3

Well, the idea is to photograph 3rd years in every school in London. To have an overview of London and to some extent of our future. To have a visual reflection of the people who are going to make this city work I think it's very very important and in some ways kind of urgent. — Steve McQueen

Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya introduces the project, meets current pupils of Steve McQueen’s own primary school, Little Ealing, and encourages teachers to join the other schools that have already signed up.

Steve McQueen describes his inspiration for the project and its scope.

This video is also available to watch on YouTube.

About Steve McQueen

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Steve McQueen

Artist and director Steve McQueen first collaborated with Artangel on Carib's Leap/Western Deep, an immersive cinematic installation which premiered at Documenta in 2002 and then on the Tate Year 3 Project which began in 2018.

Perhaps best known for his heavy-hitting feature films Hunger, Shame, and the 2014 Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, these movies are just one element of his long-standing conceptual video art practice which has seen him win awards like the Turner Prize in 1999 and the Caméra d'Or at Cannes film festival in 2008. 


Images: Steve McQueen (left) and his Year 3 class at Little Ealing Primary School in 1979. Photographer: unknown; (above) Portrait of Steve McQueen. Photograph: John Russo.

N.B. Every effort has been made to contact and gain approval from the individuals in Steve McQueen's 1979 class photograph. If you have any new information or are featured in the image, please contact

Production Credits

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Production Credits

The project is curated by Clarrie Wallis, Senior Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain; James Lingwood, Co-Director, Artangel; and Cressida Day, Managing Director, Artangel; and is produced by Erin Barnes and Gemma Clarke, ArtsMediaPeople.

Image: Class photoshoots at Mayflower Primary School, Tower Hamlets 2018. Photograph: Matt Greenwood, Tate. 



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Who made this possible?


Year 3 is a partnership between Tate, Artangel, and A New Direction, supported by Joseph and Abigail Baratta and De Ying Foundation, with media partner BBC London and film partner Into Film.

Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and by the private patronage of The Artangel International CircleSpecial AngelsGuardian Angels and The Company of Angels.