Giant Photo Mosaic Unveiled for FORMAT21 Festival


09 February 2022

Giant Photo Mosaic Unveiled for FORMAT21 Festival

Photos on QUAD’s building Derby launches 10th edition of FORMAT International Photography Festival

This week a giant photo mosaic has been unveiled on the outside of QUAD in Derby as part of the #massisolationFORMAT project at FORMAT21 International Photography Festival.
Created and produced by The People’s Picture for FORMAT21, the photo mosaic is composed of a total of 180,574 photos from the exhibition #massisolationFORMAT.

#massisolationFORMAT was inspired by the 1937 Mass Observation project, FORMAT invited people to use the hashtag #massisolationFORMAT to create a visual record of the Covid19 crisis on Instagram. This mass-participation project, set up at the beginning of the March 2020 lockdown, received over 40,000 photo submissions from over 90 countries, sharing people’s experiences living through a pandemic. The images came from a wide range of people – photographers, professionals, amateurs, members of the public – and came together as a large scale photo mosaic to commemorate this moment in history, and celebrate our collective emergence into the ‘new normal’.
The photograph Lovers was shot by Argentian photographers Luisa Magdalena and Nahuel Alfonso and inspired by Renè Magritte’s painting Les Amants.
[Lovers] was selected to be the focal point to unite the huge selection of images, encapsulating the feeling of hope that so many of us have clung to over the past year and gives us a glimpse into the intimacy, friendship, laughter and love that is awaiting us as we begin to exit the pandemic.” – Louise Fedotov Clements, FORMAT Director
Lovers is selected from over 40,000 images as the focus image for the #massisolationFORMAT giant photo mosaic to be presented at the FORMAT21 international photography festival.
The Lovers photo mosaic will be produced in four ambitious conceptions for FORMAT21: a giant public space vinyl print installation at QUAD in Derby and a physical exhibition featuring curated friezes at Derby Museum and Art Gallery an online interactive 180 giga pixel zoomable image and on an online multiplayer exhibition. See here for the online image:
The Lovers photo mosaic appears as a giant outdoor print wrapped around the outside of QUAD, Derby’s centre for contemporary art and film. The mosaic has been produced and installed by vinyl specialists Prolific on to high quality durable exterior vinyl. The production of the giant mosaic in its digital and print presentations has been organised and overseen by The People’s Picture.
The project #massisolationFORMAT has been produced by Louise Fedotov-Clements, Niamh Treacy and Debbie Cooper from FORMAT/QUAD with support  from Janine Derbyshire, Jonny Hill, Laura Phillips, Derby Museum and Art Gallery and Paul Lowe, Brigitte Lardinois, Oisín Davies, LCC/Photography and the Archive Research Centre. With thanks to: Derby City Council;  Claire McDougall, Mark Richards, Prolific Graphics;  Arts Council England; The Art Fund 
#massisolationFORMAT is part of FORMAT21: Control
In Derby and online from Friday 12th  March to Sunday 11th  April 2021.

FORMAT is the UK’s leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media. It organises a year-round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally and welcomes over 200,000 visitors from all over the world to its biennale. FORMAT is organised by QUAD in partnership with the University of Derby, with support from Arts Council England. 

Notes to Editors

FORMAT International Photography Festival was established by QUAD in 2004 and is the UK’s leading festival of photography and related media. FORMAT organises a year-round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally.  Previous festival editions have welcomed over 100,000 visitors from all over the world. FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of new work alongside some of the best archives and established practitioners in the world. With comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly International Photography Portfolio Review, FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be.
The biennale edition incorporates Derby’s most beautiful buildings and key landmarks including: QUAD, University of Derby, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Deda, Derwent Valley World Heritage Sites, Market Place and satellite venues in nearby cities. FORMAT is organised by QUAD and DMARC (Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre of the University of Derby) FORMAT21: CONTROL 12th March – 11th April 2021
QUAD is Derby’s centre for art and film, a mixed arts venue based on the Market Place. QUAD is the city’s cultural hub with a three-screen cinema, an art gallery showing the best in contemporary visual arts, digital workshop spaces plus an award-winning Café bar. QUAD has been at the heart of Derby’s cultural scene since it opened in September in 2008 and is internationally recognised for providing quality and excellence in the Arts. QUAD delivers an exciting, innovative and diverse programme which is popular with visitors of all ages, with a reputation in Photography, digital innovation & family friendly events. The venue organises Derby Film Festival, FORMAT International Photography Festival and Summer Nights Outdoor Film Festival. QUAD is a partnership between Derby City Council and Arts Council England.  QUAD is open daily from 10am, for more information please visit:

For further information please contact QUAD’s Marketing and Audience Development Manager Kathy Wilson on 01332 285422 /
The People’s Picture is a photography and technology studio based in London, UK and was founded by visual artist Helen Marshall.
As an artist-led organisation the studio creates innovative photo mosaic artworks and installations at the leading edge of art, design and technology.
The People’s Picture is known for its large scale photo mosaic art installations both online and in the public realm created from thousands of images. They are continually expanding their technology, tools and processes in order to explore the fluidity and changing face of the photographic medium.
Micrio is a product created for interactive documentaries providing  a new way of viewing images online.  The Micrio platform is a tool with which everyone can create their own stories. 
Prolific Graphics are the print partner of The People’s Picture, producing large scale vinyl prints for art based installations.

QUAD is a registered charity.