“If you want peace, make art”

Talented artists have launched International Alert's street art campaign (#art4peace) with live painting sessions in Old Street Underground Station in East London.

The campaign officially launched on Monday 8 September with Charley Uzzell Edwards (aka Pure Evil) spray-painting a graffiti stencil of South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela, followed by artist Dan Kitchener (DANK), who created a vibrant ‘Still Life’ piece.

Pure Evil (pictured above) said:

“I believe in peace and I believe art can help to bring about a paradigm shift in peoples’ thinking. If you want peace, make art. Change peoples’ point of view and you can change a vote, change a vote and you can change the world. Picasso understood this and his Guernica paintings is one of the greatest anti-war statements ever made”.

DANK (pictured above) said:

“Positive imagery, bright colourful, vibrant pictures can spread a positive vibe – it can play a great way of helping you get your message across. This piece is called ‘Still Life’. I thought it was fitting for the campaign as for me it’s about a state of stillness, utter calm and tranquility. It’s capturing a moment of stillness in time. It’s taking the idea of peace and seeing it as a moment in time; a state of mind”.

The campaign - which is part of Alert’s Talking Peace Festival running through September – will see more than 20 UK and international artists paint what ‘peace’ means to them. Inspired by world events, as well as their own backgrounds, the artists will use all their creativity to present their idea of peace in a fresh and challenging way.

The artwork will be displayed at Hoxton Gallery from 23 September, with an auction on 3 October to raise money for Alert’s work in more than 25 countries around the world.

Ilaria Bianchi of International Alert said: "We are delighted that so many talented and diverse artists have agreed to take part in this campaign. Peace means different things to different people, so each artist will interpret the message in their own way. It will be fascinating to compare their contributions, while at the same time celebrating peace and raising support for the invaluable work of International Alert."

FULL #ART4PEACE PROGRAMME

  • 3 September
    Illustrator Lana Alana starts work on the Hoxton Windows in Hoxton Square, and her colourful Talking Peace display will stay up for the whole month.
  • 8 September
    Graffiti artists Pure Evil (12pm) and Dan Kitchener (1pm) officially launch the campaign with a live painting session in Old Street Underground Station.
  • 8–14 September
    Live painting sessions in Old Street Underground Station (various artists).
    • 9 September - Tarek Tuma
    • 10 September - Lana Alana; Mr Dane
    • 11 September - Francesca Love Artist; Amarapordios
    • 12 September - 616; Josh Jeavons
    • 13 September - Ibrahim Fakhri; Zina
    • 14 September - Zina
  • 13–19 September
    A takeover of Shoreditch Art Wall by artists 616, Ben Murphy and Pang.
  • 19 September
    Graffiti jam led by the Lost Souls at Shoreditch Courtyard, with live music.
  • 20–21 September (International Day of Peace)
    Live painting sessions at the Queen of Hoxton rooftop (various artists).
  • 23 September–3 October
    Exhibition at the Hoxton Gallery, with auction on 3 October.

For out more about the campaign and the artists taking part: http://talkingpeacefestival.org/art4peace/

About the artists

Pure Evil is a graffiti artist and a descendant of Sir Thomas More, author of the controversial work Utopia. With this background, Pure Evil explores the darker side of the wreckage of utopian dreams and the myth of the apocalypse, a belief in the life-changing event that brings history with all its conflicts to an end. Find out more at www.pureevilclothing.com

Dan Kitchener is a street artist and illustrator/animator. Dan has worked with some major stars in his career, including Paul McCartney, Lenny Kravitz, Kylie and the Prodigy to name just a few, and his work has been seen by millions over the years. He specialises in epic scale and dramatic paints. Find out more at www.dankitchener.co.uk