We finally made it along to the ‘Peace From The Street Up!’ exhibition in the Old Truman Brewery, a pop-up group show of Street Art in support of Peacebuilding charity International Alert, with all proceeds from the show going to International Alert and its work in more than 25 countries around the world.
The show represents artists from all around the globe who offer works that represent the artists’ perspectives on peace and conflict and the cities they reside in. The purpose of this show is to demonstrate for peaceful change in the world through creativity and humour, acknowledging that urban and Street Artists are capable of this role. ‘Peace From The Street Up!’ sets to give voice to artists who choose brush strokes over bullets. The show is diverse in its works and mediums and offers a good chance to witness works from some artists prominent on the UK Street Art scene, along with many from around the globe that were a real delight to discover.
The exhibition is a part of the Talking Peace Festival, a series of events organised by International Alert around the International Day of Peace on September 21st and as a result the show runs until Sunday September 20th. Further events part of the campaign sets to engage the public on the issues through not only art, but comedy, food, music and technologically driven events around London, with the theme of this years Talking Peace Festival being ‘peace in our cities’, focusing on the challenges posed by urbanization to lasting peace.
Highlights of the show for us were the works from Sadhu X, Dan Kitchener, Shraddha Shrestha and Clet Abraham. Each of the artists provided a statement about their works for the show and we felt best to include these comments along with the works featured here.
Victor Ash – ‘Falling Graffiti Writers’ – Acrylic & Spray Paint on Canvas.
“This work, Falling Graffiti Writers, is my personal story. I started to paint outside when I was a teen. Looking for an identity, I never thought I was going to be an artist when i started out, but freedom allowed me to decide and freedom is a result of peace.”
Sadhu X – ‘Hope’ – Stencil, Collage & Spray Paint on Canvas.
“The chaotic collage background is the political posters of Nepal that I collected from the street. Political instability in our country has created a chaos and fear among the people, and the recent earthquake has not helped and made the situation worse. but this artwork I have created is about not losing hope in this harsh time and uniting to rise up and find peace of mind.”
Clet Abraham – ‘Policeman In Love’ – Hand-cut reflective adhesive stickers on old original road sign.
“Urban spaces for me are a place of exchange. It’s about questioning, without barriers, the views of others and creating a social debate.”
Otto Schade – ‘Say It With Flowers’ – Spray Paint on Canvas.
“The girl is playing with danger. At the same time, these flowers are being removed by this girl. It’s a sign of hope for our already polluted world.”
Matt Small – ‘Child of War’ – Mixed Media on found Metal.
“Without so much conflict, oppression and overt hatred being justified towards fellow humans around the world, any organisation that raises awareness about the plight of others should be supported. human creativity can inspire others to realise what ”being human” actually is – we too easily forget what our true potential is on this amazing floating rock.”
Shraddha Shrestha – ‘And We Are One’ – Acrylic Paint & Marker Pen on Canvas.
“When the earthquake struck on 25 April 2015, apart from all the catastrophic damage and loss, we experienced a different Nepal, we experienced true unity. There was no caste, no religion, and no social hierarchy that divided our society. We were helping each other as one, even for the smallest need. Through this disaster I think we learnt that if we unite then everything can be achieved harmoniously. peace for us right now is unity, and through this work I wanted to portray this view.”
Ben Turnball – ‘Superpower’ – Three-Piece Sculpture: Box, Sculpture & Glove.
“Art is a cathartic process. There would be a lot more angry people around if it were not for the art process.”
Sten Lex – ‘Towers’ – Stencil Poster & Acrylic on Wood.
“War is around the world. Sometimes it seems so far away from us, but we are sure that everyone feels the pain of the people that live through war every day. We decided to donate this artwork because we are against any form of violence and we give our contribution in the hope to one day make the world a better place.”
Dan Kitchener – ‘Puddles’ – Acrylic & Spray Paint on Canvas.
“I am fascinate by the urban environment in daylight and night. The relationship between lights, reflections and rain creates beautiful abstract imagery, fluid and spontaneous marks swirl and form, creating tangible glimpses of the distorted realities I try to convey.”
Olek – ‘Selected Weapon’ – Crocheted Mixed Media on Wooden Rolling Pin.
“A loop after a loop. hour after our my madness becomes crochet. Life and art are inseparable.”
K-Guy – ‘Wars’ – Spray Paint & Stencil on Canvas.
“Art can send out an important message worldwide, especially to youth. Start integrated art workshops with disadvantaged kids to give them a focus, a life-line.”
Inkie – ‘Purple’ – 7-Colour Screenprint with 24k Gold Leaf & Diamond Dust on Somerset Paper with a Deckled Edge.
“I am proud to be part of this campaign for Peace Day, which coincides with my birthday. This piece is based on my interest in Art Deco, Mayan and classical architecture and takes the classic image of Liz Taylor.”