The image created by the final mosaic was selected from the thousands of submissions. Taken in 1926, it is a portrait of 17 year old Arthur James Bunce from Tipton in the Black Country, training as an amateur boxer.
Arthur, who had fourteen children died in 1987 at the age of 78, but the photo has continued to be an inspiration to his family and was sent into The Big Picture by his Granddaughter Lucy, also from Tipton.
“I didn’t get to meet my Granddad, but the picture is cherished by all of us and my brother, Michael, even has it tattooed across his back. None of my family box, but my Dad and brother are huge fans, my brother especially. He has posters all over his bedroom wall and Ricky Hatton is his favourite!
“My grandparents were very much at the centre of our family. Since my Nan died a couple of year’s ago it’s caused the family to drift apart as some of us have moved further away. I hope that if the photo does become the face of The Big Picture it will help to bring us closer together again.”
Artist Helen Marshall says:
“This is a very gritty and unusual photograph for its time. It represents a boxer but it is graceful and beautiful. It is a fantastic historical motif for the West Midlands.”
Big Picture Project Manager, Kerry Endsor, says:
“The aim of The Big Picture was to encourage as many different people from all ages and interests to get involved, to help create a detailed piece of social history that offers an insight into the lives and loves of local residents, creating a true picture of the region that will be there to enjoy for generations to come. The picture of Lucy’s grandfather is a fascinating insight into a piece of local history and clearly continues to hold great significance for her family today.”
Photography was still a fairly young artform in 1926, it was before the flash, before colour film as we know it today. You can see a timeline of the development of photography here.