Football & Art — A Perfectly Unexpected Combination

The power and importance of sport is a comforting constant across most of the world and something during these particularly hard times which can be a huge escape for so many people. Whether it’s our great game of football or tennis, cricket or rugby this is something so many follow and really do even need in their lives.

Not many people would probably connect football and art, but why not? It has been featured in art throughout the centuries as something so many relate to. It is the beautiful game, certainly involves substantial money and there is so much to see, capture, love and re-create in this game and the people who love it. Many clubs are not unaware of this and Tottenham football club is one of these. When their amazing new stadium was built they incorporated an art gallery into their plans which was great to see.

Set in the shop area of the stadium in Warmington House, which was listed so thankfully couldn’t be demolished it is so fitting that Spurs renovated the house and it has become a beautiful Georgian home dedicated to football and its surrounding culture.

This gallery was the brainchild of Eddy Frankel, Time Out London’s art chief art critic, ‘I had the idea of having a window gallery on Tottenham High street because I liked the idea of fans walking to the match and encountering many empty buildings are crying out for some art.’ I would say that most fans probably sadly completely miss the gallery as they fill their bags with scarves and Son tops but it is there for those that look a little more!

Photojournalist David Hicks spotted this connection in his ‘About Own Goals photo collection ‘ I wanted to remember the roots of football and how it all starts with kicking a ball around and then finding any flat surface to erect a goal or two. This gallery was shot around the world to offer a flavour of the beautiful game at its primary level that brings happiness to so many. A truly global sport that even the Americans are getting the hang of! By the way, there are people wo now believe football was invented in China in 476 BC. The rest of us think it was England in the 18th Century’ — which we know is the reality, in fact I think Parkers Piece in Cambridge!

Sport is something that can have a huge influence on so many of us from a young age and last forever on our mental and of course physical health. Children learn so much from sport, the ability to want to win, to work well in team sports, as well as how to lose and to learn from these loses to move forward and improve. This series of my images expresses the power of football to infiltrate all cultures and no matter what the standards, what the equipment basically all that is needed is a ball and two post points.

Football originated as a working man’s sport and that is never forgotten and although the money gets extraordinarily high as the professionals move up in the leagues, so many of the top footballers come from working classes and appreciate the influence they can have on people with their attitudes, views and behaviour. The power these talented men and women players have to influence is immense and something most players value highly. So if an art gallery in Tottenham helps to celebrate this through art this is great and can only get more and more popular amongst not only football but all sporting venues. This collection of photographs from David Hicks, captures football across the world from dusty old car parks to desert hilltops, beaches and lush green parks, highlighting how nothing can stop this game from being played, whether with a tennis ball or rolled up jumpers to the beauty of the top grounds, this game unites, bonds, creates memories, makes friends and is a complete Aladdin’s cave of potential subject matters to be explored in the beautiful world of art. Art & Football — we love it!

Written by: Lisa Freeman

After twenty-five years as an experienced arts PR, Lisa is now further expanding her focus within the art world to develop PR and Marketing campaigns within all sectors of arts and culture, from art galleries to exhibitions, as well as individual artist campaigns and charity art foundations.

Read our related blogs:

Does Anyone Go To A Football Match To View Art?

Art Club Series 3 Returns With Grayson Perry



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