John Constable’s The Hay Wain, Sir John Everett Millais’s Ophelia and Lowry’s Coming Home From The Mill are among a series of classic artworks being given a modern makeover to highlight some of the most pressing problems facing the world today.
The Hay Wain has been reimagined as if Constable had painted the picture in the summer of 2022, when Britain and Europe witnessed record temperatures.
The once lush riverside scene is rendered barren, surrounded by scorched earth, in a new version which clearly warns of the dangers of global warming.
And Sir John Everett Millais’s Ophelia in the Stream is reworked to reflect the pollution of Britain’s rivers, streams and waterways which dominated the UK news cycle this summer.
The re-imagined artworks were created by digital artist Quentin Devine.
Richard Wilson’s The Thames near Marble Hill, Twickenham illustrates the devastating impact fly tipping can have on the British countryside – as shopping trolleys, mattresses and assorted household junk are added to the scene.
George Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte illustrates the epidemic of urban loneliness which has come to light following Covid-19, with the original large crowds reduced to a lone man sat with head bowed in quiet contemplation.
Finally, Lowry’s acclaimed Coming Home from the Mill is reconfigured to show a single worker reflecting the change in working patterns and again highlighting the issue of social isolation.
The artworks are being displayed until 17 November at Samsung’s flagship shop in Kings Cross. The brand is running a competition for young people to suggest ways of improving the world through technology.
Sophie Edgerley Harris, from Samsung, said: “The artworks that Quentin Devine has created aim to illustrate in a unique way the societal topics that young people in the UK today are most motivated to positively contribute to.”
Mr Devine added: “Reinventing the classics with a modern twist was a huge challenge but something of a labour of love- as many of the issues highlighted are close to my heart.
“The pictures highlighting Britain’s past and present, but there is a lot we can do about the future and that is why projects like ‘Solve for Tomorrow’ are so important.”