Friday, 19 August 2011

Power Up People...

This is one of my favorite pieces of street art at the moment, located on Hackney Road. if you're coming out of the overland Hoxton Station, keep left and you get a great view of it! It was created by Ben Eine following the purchase of a piece of his graffiti art '21st Century City' by Samantha Cameron, which she and her husband then gave as a gift to Barack Obama. Having a bit of knowledge of Ben's background (I used to see him and his wife most mornings on Broadway Market before getting priced out of the area) I can appreciate that it was 'the strangest week' for him and that this piece was an outlet for his amazement. However I am fascinated by his use of the words 'Power Up' in iconic smiley faces and been indulging in - terpretation pie.
The Smiley face symbol has been smiling back at us and making us happy since the 60's summer of love. It became an icon of the subculture rave scene of the late 80's. There's a great article about the history of the Smiley Face here.

I think Ben Eine is calling all us people at street level to get active, use our energies and love in a positive way to challenge societies power structures.

Small individual actions can create larger social changes.....

Join us Craftivists in stitching a giant love letter in response to Tracy Emin's retrospective at the Hayward Gallery this Thursday 25th August, 7 - 9pm at the Hayward Gallery

Emin’s exhibition ‘Love Is What You Want’ explores the theme of love through her personal experiences of abortion, relationships, and sex, and her provocative personality and strong political views.

The Craftivist Collective have been invited by the Hayward Gallery to lead a free craftivism workshop (activism through craft) inspired by Emin's exhibition. The Craftivist Collective are asking the public to stitch their signature onto their giant embroidered love letter and attach a handwritten tag with a description of how they will be showing their love and commitment this summer to other members of society.

The Craftivist Collective have been inspired but also challenged by this exhibition. Emin's art, political views and the current political climate are hard to ignore but we want to use this invitation from the Hayward as an opportunity of showing love to our global neighbours through the power of craft and public art.

Founder Sarah Corbett says "We don’t just want to talk about love or show it to a select few. We encourage everyone to show their love to the most vulnerable people in the world through action. Please join us and show your commitment to love others by lovingly stitching your signature onto our giant love letter, attaching a tag with a description of how you are going to show your love this summer."

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