The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic posters were launched on 4 November 2011 at Tate Britain, and are being displayed as part of the London 2012 Festival next summer, in the run up to the thrilling (depending on who you ask!) events. Predictably, the works produced by British artists such as Tracey Emin and Howard Hodgkin have provoked complaints from critics and the public who seem to agree that London 2012 Olympic posters by graphic designers would have been more appropriate to showcase British creativity.
However, the opportunity to see these posters as artworks in their own right has been completely missed. It’s no surprise that an abstract painter like Hodgkin would use broad blue brush strokes to express the dynamic energy of swimming. It’s also great to see such a strong female contribution to the project, with my personal favourite being Anthea Hamilton’s ‘Divers’ with it’s elegant white silhouette contrasted against ripples of poolwater. The artist also draws attention to the fact that synchronised swimming is the one women-only event in the Olympics.