Scotland’s most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, actor Ewan McGregor and the Kelpies all feature in a new piece of modern art created by Fife artist David Mach to mark the start of six weeks of celebrations for The National Lottery’s 25th birthday.
The trio appear among 25 people, places and projects that have been part of extraordinary things made possible by the Lottery’s existence.
Sir Chris credits National Lottery funding with helping him achieve his Olympic dream, Ewan McGregor, from Crieff, featured in Trainspotting 2, which received £500,000 in support from the Lottery, and the world’s largest equine sculptures at Falkirk’s Helix Park were similarly funded by National Lottery players.
Methil-born artist Mr Mach said he wanted to encapsulate the Lottery’s impact on life in the UK across sports, film, heritage, the arts and community projects.
He said: “For the past 25 years, there is barely a part of our cultural, sporting and community life that has not been positively influenced by National Lottery funding.
“As someone who is involved in charities and institutions, and has artwork commissioned from National Lottery funding, I know the impact it has had on the UK.
“I wanted to help people to get a sense of this impact with this artwork through 25 stories and to have it shown on a local high street for anyone to view is fitting.”
Mach is currently constructing his latest work, Odyssey, at Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, and that will be on display until February.
Six tonnes of DC Thomson newspapers spilling out of a shipping container form the basis of that work, and members of the public have been going along for the past week-and-a-half to see him in action.
Mr Mach was a natural choice for the project, since he has his own strong links to the Lottery.
Some of his most famous pieces were commissioned by the National Lottery, including Train, from 1997, which was nominated for then Turner Prize in Darlington; Big Heids from 1998; and Elevator from 2006.
His new artwork, titled United By Numbers: The National Lottery at 25, is being unveiled on Wednesday and will be exhibited for the day in the window of Booth and Howarth on Mauldeth Road, Manchester, a shop that has been selling National Lottery tickets for 25 years.
Sir Chris, who won six gold medals and one silver for cycling at the Olympics throughout his career, said he was delighted to feature in the piece and admits the National Lottery changed his life.
“Without it I really wouldn’t have achieved the success I did in my track cycling career,” he said.
“It allowed me to train full time without having to worry about getting another job and really focus on my sport.
“When you hear about how many other lives The National Lottery has changed in the last 25 years, from lucky winners to charities that have received funding, it really brings home the positive impact it has had in Scotland and across the UK.”
Others to feature in the image range from the Morecambe Brass Band, one of the first projects to ever receive National Lottery funding, to Idris Elba, governor for the National Lottery-funded British Film Institute.
Renowned artist Tracey Emin, Rio Ferdinand, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Betty Webb, a World War Two codebreaker from Bletchley Park, are also among those included.
The line-up are depicted against a backdrop of National Lottery-funded venues, including Jodrell Bank, the Principality Stadium and Giant’s Causeway.
An online, interactive version of the artwork is available to access at www.unitedbynumbers.co.uk.
List of people, places and icons celebrated in David Mach’s ‘United by Numbers: The National Lottery at 25’ artwork:
1. The Kelpies: The world’s largest equine sculptures in Falkirk’s Helix park were designed by Andy Scott. The Kelpies have received £25million of funding from The National Lottery.
2. Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Dina Asher Smith: Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the gold medal at the 2019 World Championships, breaking the British record. This ranks her sixth on the all-time heptathlon lists. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2018 Commonwealth Games before winning the silver medal at the 2018 European Championships. She also won gold medals in the women’s pentathlon at the 2015 and 2019 European Indoor Championships, and the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Dina Asher Smith is the fastest British woman in recorded history. She is the 2019 World Champion at 200 metres, the 2016 and 2018 European champion at 200 metres and the 2018 European champion at 100 metres. She also won 2016 Olympic bronze and gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships in the 4 × 100 metres relay.
3. Courtney Cooper: Courtney is from Monkstown Boxing Club in Northern Ireland whose #INYOURCORNER project helps improve the health, well-being and employability of young people in the area. The InYourCorner project has received almost £600,000 of funding through The National Lottery.
4. Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson: One of the greatest athletes in history and winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals, received National Lottery funding during her career. One of the UK’s greatest Paralympic athletes, Tanni Grey-Thompson, amassed a remarkable medal haul over 16 years. Over her career she won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds, held over 30 world records and won the London Marathon six times between 1992 and 2002.
5. Dementia Dogs Project: The National Lottery has supported the Dementia Dogs Project, which helps those caring for loved ones with early stage dementia by providing assistance dogs in Scotland. Dementia Dogs have received £314,000 of funding through The National Lottery.
6. The Hendrix Flat: The legendary rock guitarist’s flat at 23 Brook Street, London was permanently restored thanks to £1.2 million in funding from The National Lottery in 2014.
7. James Nesbitt: Star of the film Bloody Sunday, patron of WAVE Trauma, Action Cancer, and Big Telly Company; and Chancellor of Ulster University – all recipients of National Lottery funding.
8. Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton: Gold medal winning Olympians whose careers culminated at London 2012; the games that would not have been possible without National Lottery funding. Sir Chris Hoy is eleven-times world champion and six-times an Olympic champion. With a total of seven Olympic medals, six gold and one silver, Hoy is the second most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time. Victoria Pendleton is Britain’s greatest ever female track sprinter, and one of the most decorated of all time with two Olympic titles to her name and nine world titles. In 2008 she won the sprint in the Beijing Olympics, and in 2012, she won the gold medal in the keirin at the London Olympics, as well as silver in the sprint.
9. Morecambe Brass Band: One of the first-ever projects to receive National Lottery funding. The band was set up by Bernard Vause and is still going strong to this day. Morecambe Brass Band received £47,566 of funding through The National Lottery – they still play with the 24 brass instruments they bought with that funding.
10. Sir Tim Smit: Founder of the popular Eden Project and The Big Lunch, which were both made possible thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. Eden Project have received £60 million of funding through The National Lottery.
11. Giant’s Causeway: The National Lottery Heritage Fund supported the building of a Visitor Centre at the Giant’s Causeway that provides a beautiful view of the North Coast landscape and facilities. Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre has received £3 million of funding through The National Lottery.
12. Ray and Barbara Wragg: After winning £7.6m on The National Lottery, Ray and Barbara Wragg are some of the most generous winners after giving away £5.5m, mostly to charities in Sheffield.
13. ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’ soldiers’ (also far right): We’re Here Because We’re Here, by Jeremy Deller, was just one part of a large-scale cultural programme marking the Centenary of the First World War. The National Lottery invested £15 million over five years for this programme overall.
14. Tracey Emin: Tracey Emin’s artwork has been exhibited at National Lottery funded galleries across the country, including at The Turner Contemporary Art Gallery in her hometown of Margate.
15. Gurinder Chadha: English film director whose film ‘Bend it Like Beckham’, starring Keira Knightley in her break out role, has become one of the UK’s best loved films and is just one example of the films funded with National Lottery funding through the BFI, awarded £945,000.
16. Jodrell Bank: Supported by The National Lottery, the First Light Project conserves the heritage of Jodrell Bank for future generations, thanks to £12.1 million of funding from The National Lottery.
17. Edna Smith: A volunteer for 15 years with the National Lottery funded charity Home-start. Edna has helped hundreds of families recover from post-natal depression. Home-Start have received over £1 million of funding through The National Lottery.
18. Ewan McGregor: Actor who featured in Trainspotting 2, one of the first productions to benefit from Creative Scotland’s Production Growth Fund of £500,000 supported by The National Lottery.
19. Rio Ferdinand: Pundit and former England footballer whose ‘Rio Ferdinand Foundation’ which exists to help tackle social issues, is part funded by The National Lottery. The Rio Ferdinand Project have received £668,000 of funding through The National Lottery.
20. Suffragettes: The National Lottery has supported projects across the country exploring the history of the suffragette movement, including the 2015 film, Suffragette (£1m); The Face of Suffrage artwork and the East End suffragettes project.
21. Idris Elba: Award-winning actor, writer and producer. With the help of £1m National Lottery funding he made his directorial debut in 2018 with ‘Yardie’.
22. Betty Webb: Betty is a 96-year-old veteran of Bletchley Park. In 2011, The National Lottery helped restore the decaying huts in which Betty and other codebreakers worked. Bletchley Park have received £5 million of funding through The National Lottery.
23. The Principality Stadium: Ahead of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, £46 million of National Lottery funding was secured to build Cardiff’s iconic stadium.
24. Paul Sinton-Hewitt: Founder of parkrun, the free weekly 5K runs open to all enjoyed by over 2 million people across the UK, National Lottery funding has significantly supported parkrun to allow communities to benefit from free, weekly, social activity in open spaces. Parkrun have received over £3 million of funding through The National Lottery.
25. Krystal Lowe: Dancer for Ballet Cymru, which received funding from The National Lottery allowing them to expand its outreach work with local communities. Ballet Cymru have received around £930,000 of funding through The National Lottery.