Crowded Room Wisbech

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‘Crowded Room Wisbech’

Celebrating Our Community

The ‘Crowded Room’ project is a truly collaborative process which uses contemporary art practice to celebrate the importance of the individual and their place in the community. Tim Mann, the artist, uses different aspects of the human form to record an individual’s presence within a large-scale portrait. The resulting work of art demonstrates that whilst each participant is different, in terms of appearance and character, as humans we are all integral to the world and are fundamentally all the same.

Tim Mann is a professional visual artist who works almost exclusively with the figure to celebrate the human. Having trained at Norwich School of Art, he has worked both in the UK and overseas for the last 28 years. Tim has delivered the ‘Crowded Room’ projects in locations around the UK and Ireland and the latest, ‘Crowded Room Stamford’ was a huge success, which saw more than 6,200 people taking part in his largest project to date. A short film about ‘Crowded Room Stamford’ can be found on You Tube at

Tim also creates additional works of art during a ‘Crowded Room’, using participant’s hands, markers or counters to complement the main portrait.

Tim’s ambition was to take the ‘Crowded Room’ project into different areas of Wisbech to celebrate each individual and their place within a community. He recognises that, whilst everyone has somewhere that they call home, sometimes circumstances dictate that they have to move and become part of an alternative community, whether on a temporary or permanent basis.


The objective is to encourage and enable those who live, work or study in Wisbech, as well as visitors to the town, to participate in the project, celebrate their own importance and acknowledge their place within a community.

The secondary purpose is to encourage participants to develop an interest in contemporary art, either by engaging with the work, becoming part of the portrait or by assisting Tim in the creation of the main, and complementary, works of art. Film and photography will also be used to record the making of the portrait and local students will be invited to join the team to help create all of the pieces, which will then be exhibited.


Tim and Jenny Ward, his Project Manager, are engaging with local councils, businesses, organisations, schools, community leaders and members of the public in Wisbech to determine the most appropriate way to deliver the project, taking the environment and any special circumstances into account. Representatives from these organisations then become Tim’s local champions and will help him in a variety of ways, to ensure its success.This group of Champions is growing daily and already includes the teams from the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, the Rosmini Centre, the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust, Fenland District Council and the Wisbech Community Development Trust. 

Tim and his team conducted pre-visits to Wisbech over weeks commencing the project and worked with the local champions to identify the most appropriate locations to create the artworks and engage with participants. The local primary schools, secondary schools and college committed to the project.

The team also delivered workshops as part of the project, to encourage those who attend to try different art practices, learn more about Tim and his work, and to develop a better understanding of their place within the community.

The ‘Crowded Room Wisbech’ project took approximately 6 weeks to complete, in the autumn of 2017. Using about thirty different venues to fully engage with his audience he reach a staggering figure of 10,017 outlined participants covering most of Wisbech in the process.  There is also potential for Tim to return at a later date to add to the portrait, as it is a living work of art which can evolve over time.

Discussions taking place to determine how, and where, the final portrait and accompanying artworks will be permanently displayed within Wisbech once they are completed. It has already been agreed though that the exhibition of all the works will be held in the Wisbech and Fenland Museum from 26th November 2017 until the 28th February 2018.

This was a fantastic opportunity to create, and be part of, a living work of art which highlights the importance of each participant as an individual within a specific environment. The final portrait is a unique picture, which tells a story about a moment in time within Wisbech.

The hope is that the process will encourage participants to think about their own importance, and that of others, and how they fit in within the community, and in wider society. They could also consider how they might use this self-evaluation as part of their own personal development.

The project encourages someon to take an active interest in the arts, which could lead to them to visit other exhibitions, undertake further training courses or consider working within this career field.


Tim would like to thank everyone for their support especially the champions that took a leading role in The portraits success.

 ‘Crowded Room Wisbech’ Champions




 Humans of Wisbech



Links to External Articles


BBC Radio Cambridge Tim Mann interviewed about Crowded Room Wisbech

Friday Bridge Primary School News

Brewers Decorating Centre News

Students from the College of West Anglia in Wisbech become part of major Artwork for the town.

How many sitters are required to make a portrait? For ‘Crowded Room’ artist Tim Mann, the answer is as many as 10,000 by Aldo Ierubino, arts officer at Wisbech and Fenland Museum