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'Protest, 1st April 2009', Nicholas Middleton

Black and white photograph style painting of a protesting crowd.

2010, Oil on canvas, 117 x 203.5 cm

This painting is one of the prizewinners chosen by the judges and was also awarded the Visitor's Choice award prize of £2010.


Listen to a podcast of Nicholas Middleton talking about this painting or read the transcript on this website.

Artist's statement

Timed to coincide with the G20 summit of industrialized nations on 1st April 2009, 5,000-6,000 (1) people demonstrated in London at a number of locations over various issues. This painting depicts the Financial Fools Day protest outside the Bank of England.

Bank of England Special Liquidity Scheme extended by 100bn in October 2008, 185bn lent by February 2009 (2); Credit Guarantee Scheme 250bn; 91.2bn guaranteed by May 2009 (3); Northern Rock cost of nationalization: 26.9bn (4); Bradford & Bingley cost of nationalization: 48bn (5); Lloyds Banking Group 43% (6) publicly owned at a cost of 21bn (7); Royal Bank of Scotland 70%8 publicly owned at a cost of 31.8bn (9) The measures taken to prevent the banking system from collapsing have added an estimated 1tn (10) to public sector debt. This equates to 16,000 per person in the UK. (11)

(1) Home Office briefing prepared for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 02/04/09. Released through FOI request, retrieved from 12/05/10. (2) Public Sector Interventions in the Financial Crisis, Kellaway, Martin, the Office for National Statistics 2009, p81. (3) Ibid, p108. (4) Ibid, p32. (5) Ibid, p44. (6) UK Financial Investments Annual Report 2008- 09, UKFI 2009, p2. (7) Kellaway, Martin, op cit, pp75-77. (8) UKFI, op cit, p2. (9) Kellaway, Martin, op cit, pp 68-69. (10) Ibid, p 79. (11) Based on UK population of 61,414,062, World Development Indicators, World Bank 2008.


Nicholas Middleton was born in London in 1975. He studied at London Guildhall University 1993-94 and Winchester School of Art 1994-97. His exhibitions include 'Defining the Times' Milton Keynes Gallery 2000, 'BP Portrait Award 2004' and 2005 National Portrait Gallery London and the solo show 'Black & White Paintings' Arch Gallery London 2010. He was shortlisted for the BOC Emerging Artist Award in 2002 and has shown seven times in the 'Summer Exhibition' at the Royal Academy of Arts London. He was included in 'John Moores 23' 2004, and won the Visitors Choice Prize in 'John Moores 24' 2006.