A new exhibition of emerging artists work has been mounted at London’s Gallery Different, in trendy Fitzrovia. It includes as its centrepiece the iconic “peace plinths”. The installation was originally displayed on the pavement next to the grassed part of the square, where protesters were evicted in July 2010. Taking center stage of the week long exhibiton that opens to the public today (on 12th October at London’s Gallery Different, near Tott. Ct. Rd). The 2 ‘Peace Plinths’ stood outside the Houses of Parliament since they were erected in 2009. One of the plinths was originally removed by police ahead of the Olympics . This has now been released for the exhibition. Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger said of the project; “The Peace Project is a powerful exhibition of original work organized by Art Below in which contemporary artists and campaigners work together to promote a message of peace and help support the Halabja Community Playground Project”.
The “Peace Project” is a collaboration between peace activists and contemporary artists. The “Peace Plinths” from Parliament square were created in opposition to the Iraq / Afghan war. This exhibition which includes celebrated artists Alison Jackson, Billy Childish, Ben Eine, Kennard Phillipps, Sarah Maple, Johan Wahlstrom, Tessa Lawer,Matt Small and Inkie, have come together in support of world peace through their art. Proceeds of selected works including the plinths will go to The Halabja Community Playground Project in Northern Iraq.
During the one week show there will be a series of talks panelled by peace campaigner and founder of the Peace Plinths Maria Gallastegui, Tam Carrigan – war photographer and co-founder of The Halabja Community Playground Project and Simon Moore who is behind initiatives such as the Kew Eco Village and Democracy Village 2010/11. He recently became the first person in Britain to be awarded a full 2 year ASBO for peaceful protest.
Selected works in the show will also form part of Art Below’s billboard exhibition at Regents Park tube station throughout October. This coincides with the Frieze Art Fair (11th -14th October) in Regents Park. Since January 2011, Art Below have been working with peace campaigner and founder of the peace plinths Maria Gallastegui calling on artists across the world to put their heads and hearts into creating art which carries the message of ending war on the planet and achieving the vision of peace.
In February 2011 Schoony, the special effects artist who made prosthetics for many major films including Rambo stepped forward with his sculpture depicting child soldiers sprayed with the words Dulce Et Decorum Est – words from Wilfred Owens World War I poem. Schoony said: “Sending children to war is horrific and highlighting this injustice is really important to me.”
A year before that street artist T.WAT featured stencil work on the plinth to bring attention to the role a British mass outlet superstore chain plays in funding and supporting regimes around the world.
The two Peace Plinths have borne witness to both turbulent and exciting times. Allowed to remain during the Royal Wedding last year, but removed for the Olympics. Art Below organised for one of the plinths known as “The Westminster Cabinet” to be shipped to Los Angeles, where it was unveiled at the opening night of The BritWeek T4C Artists Competition at the historic Farmers and Merchants Building on 12 April 2012. On 3rd May 2012 The Plinth known as “The Tardis Peace Box” was seized from Parliament Square and has been held in police custody, now to be released and able to “materialise” for the Peace Project exhibition.
Art Below is an independent public arts organisation that gives artists access to advertising space to showcase their work in the London Underground. Founded in 2006 by brothers Ben and Simon Moore, Art Below have featured the work of over 1200 artists from every corner of the globe across London’s underground network, and expanded overseas to Berlin, Tokyo and most recently Los Angeles and New Orleans. Their mission: To enrich the everyday life of the traveling public by giving fresh insight into the very latest in art, illustration, fashion and photography, whilst at the same time providing a platform for emerging talent. They play host to a rich and diverse portfolio of talent including Alison Jackson, Billy Childish, Banksy, Ben Eine, Jonny Briggs, Sarah Maple, and Max Hattler. In 2011 they launched ‘Art in Motion’ enabling artists who work in motion picture to showcase their work on digital projection screens in the London Underground.
Proceeds of selected works will go to The Halabja Community Playground Project in Northern Iraq. To view some of the works on sale click here. Artist collaboration kennardphillipps, working since 2002 to produce art in response to the invasion of Iraq, is issuing a run of 100 signed posters (49 x 49cm) of ‘Photo Op’ for £35 each and donating all the proceeds to The Halabja Community Playground Project. Media Partner ArtLyst says; “This must see exhibition is on eof the highlights of Frieze Week ,dont miss it! ****4 Stars