Paint the Town in Sound


An Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme Exhibition.


Paint the Town in Sound, an online exhibition exploring the timeless relationship between art and music and the direct links forged between musicians and artists.

The exhibition has been curated in collaboration with Mercury Prize nominated Sunderland band Field Music and takes their own collaborations as a starting point to explore wider themes.

Featuring artwork by artists including Helen Cammock, Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, Evan Ifekoya and Susan PhilipszPaint the Town in Sound questions how we engage in acts of self-portraiture through music, be this through songwriting, use of visual art or associations to music subcultures. The artworks in the exhibition offer a fascinating insight into the musical heritage of the region providing a route to examine our own cultural identity and its relationship to class, politics and place.

Artists included in the exhibition: Simeon Barclay, Peter Blake, The Bunker, Helen Cammock, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, Iain Hetherington, Graeme Hopper, Evan Ifekoya, Bob Jardine, Steve Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Mark Leckey, Andy Martin, Pauline Murray, Vinca Petersen, Susan Phillipsz, Narbi Price, Splash Addict (Susie Green and Simon Bayliss) and Bob and Roberta Smith.


Sunderland Culture's exhibition webpage.


Online Exhibition

Head to the Sunderland Culture website to explore a range of resources, including a downloadable Family Takeaway pack, featuring artist designed activities, ideas and some incredible artworks to help you explore art, music, words and sound at home.

Paint the Town in Sound is also available to view as a 3D walkthrough using the player below. This virtual experience enables you to explore the physical exhibition as if you were there, at any time, remotely on a digital device.

How to use the virtual exhibition tour:

• Click on the blue box on the landing screen below to enter.
• Once inside the virtual exhibition, you can move forward and backwards by clicking on the white circles on the floor.
• To navigate left and right, click and hold down your mouse button (or equivalent) and drag left or right.
• Click on the (i) icons next to the artworks to bring up more information about artists or art pieces.
• To watch the videos, click on the play icons.

For Mobile & Full Screen Viewing: Click Here.


Further information on system requirements and how to access the virtual tour can be found here.

If you have any technical issues or require further assistance, please get in touch by email:

Artist in Focus: Evan Ifekoya

In our latest educational film, Evan Ifekoya, whose work features in Paint the Town in Sound, invited the Arts Council Collection into their studio at Gasworks in South London to discuss their works in the collection, how they are collecting their own archive, and their wider practice. 

Evan Ifekoya is a London-based artist who through sound, text, moving image and performance places demands on existing systems and institutions of power, to recentre and prioritise the experience and voice of those previously marginalised. Sound plays a fundamental role in their work.

Their practice considers art as a site where resources can be both redistributed and renegotiated, while challenging the implicit rules and hierarchies of public and social space. Through archival and sonic investigations, they speculate on blackness in abundance.

Ikefoya explains “I spend a lot of time looking into the archives of artists I really admire, but also archives of the experience of black queer folk. I’m kind of interested in the resonances, the connections and the distinctions between how we have lived and how we continue.

Watch the full film below.


The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.