Steve McQueen Year 3

An epic portrait of the future of London - this vast new artwork will be one of the most ambitious visual portraits of citizenship ever undertaken in one of the world’s largest cities


Year 3 Class Photograph. © Steve MᶜQueen and Tate

Steve McQueen Year 3 is a partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction.

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About Steve McQueen Year 3

In September 2018, as part of an ambitious project created by London-born Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, partners Tate, Artangel and A New Direction invited every primary school in London to be part of a giant collective portrait, capturing tens of thousands of Year 3 schoolchildren in a milestone year in their development. The photos would come together in a major new artwork as an epic picture of the city’s present and an intimation of its future.

Year 3 is considered a milestone year in a child’s development and sense of identity, when 7-and 8-year-olds become more conscious of a much bigger world beyond their immediate family. Steve McQueen’s project captures this moment of excitement, anticipation and hope through the medium of the traditional class photograph, with rows of children sitting or standing alongside their teachers.

Ahead of the opening of Year 3 at Tate Britain on 12 November 2019, class photographs of Year 3 schoolchildren were displayed on over 600 billboards across London’s 33 boroughs in a city-wide outdoor exhibition organised by Artangel.


Steve McQueen, Year 3. A partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction. © Steve McQueen & Tate. Courtesy of Artangel. Billboard photographed in situ by Theo Christelis

If you have encountered one of the #Year3project billboards, or have heard about it via the press or social media, you will have heard about us - A New Direction, the creative education specialist organisation that helped engage schools in this monumental and unique project.

But who are we and what do we do?

A New Direction is London's leading creative education agency. As a London-based non-profit, generating opportunities for children and young people to unlock their creativity, we work with schools, cultural venues, local authorities and a range of other partners to support children and young people to be creative and experience culture, while identifying areas of inequality and campaigning for policy change.

Find out more about what we do.

What role have we played in Year 3?

We have played a key role in the delivery and realisation of Year 3, working alongside our partners Tate and Artangel. We have been instrumental in realising the scale of the project, taking responsibility for engaging ambitious numbers of schools in photography sessions across all London boroughs.

Our experience, relationships with, and in-depth knowledge of schools across London has been essential to making this project work at scale.

We understand how schools work and what they need, and have worked to support them at every point along the way to ensure an exciting, safe, positive learning experience for the schools and pupils taking part.

Steve McQueen Year 3 A partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction © Steve McQueen & Tate. Courtesy of Artangel  Billboard location_ PimlicSteve McQueen, Year 3. A partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction. © Steve McQueen & Tate. Courtesy of Artangel. Billboard photographed in situ by Theo Christelis.

Partnership and future commissions

One of our strengths as an organisation is in partnership working with organisations to add value and ensure smooth behind the scenes planning and delivery, leading to the best possible outcomes for schools, children and young people.

A New Direction is always keen to discuss how we can support, advise and potentially partner with organisations on the planning and delivery of large-scale programmes and projects.

Get in touch

How else do we support London schools?

We support schools in a number of ways. Find out more below.