Artists with Liberty: Save Our Human Rights Act
Inspired by Liberty and our campaign work, Artists with Liberty: Save Our Human Rights Act has been created by a group of leading artists who believe, like we do, that human rights and civil liberties should be protected. Their work reflects the capacity art has to engage and inform on complex issues with power and beauty. We hope they inspire you to celebrate and defend your rights.
The collection features work from: David Birkin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Ruth Ewan, Rachel Howard, Harland Miller, Bob and Roberta Smith, Mark Titchner, Mark Wallinger and Sue Webster.
The portfolios are being sold as sets of ten signed and numbered prints.
The edition size is just 25 and the launch price is £6,000.
For purchasing information please contact Emma Finch in the Liberty Development Team - firstname.lastname@example.org
Liberty is also known as the National Council for Civil Liberties. Founded in 1934, they are a cross party, non-party membership organisation at the heart of the movement for fundamental rights and freedoms in the UK. They promote the values of individual human dignity, equal treatment and fairness as the foundations of a democratic society.
David Birkin: The Shadow of a Doubt
Medium: Archival pigment print, 330gsm Somerset Satin Enhanced,
Size: 58.42 x 43.18 cm / (23 x 17 in)
In 2014, David Birkin staged a pair of public performances in response to the US and UK governments' deployment of drones for the purposes of targeted assassination. The first entailed skywriting the words 'EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE' above New York on Memorial Day weekend. The second, on Veterans Day -- at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month -- saw a plane circle the Statue of Liberty's torch towing a banner which read 'THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT'. These interventions were prompted by a letter that the CIA sent the American Civil Liberties Union rejecting their Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to its classified programme. The letter states that the agency can 'neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence' of any records responsive to the request. Following the performances, people from across the city posted images to social media, including tweets from the ACLU and the actor and political activist Stephen Fry to his 12 million followers. Then, about a week after the skywriting, in what seemed an unlikely coincidence, the CIA officially joined Twitter with its maiden message: 'We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.'
Jake and Dinos Chapman: Pity is Treason
Mark Titchner: 'no one has the right to obey'
Sue Webster: A Brush with Genius
‘I executed this self-portrait spontaneously whilst blindfolded in a game of consequences with myself, I had no idea what I was doing and found it totally liberating to be that free.’
Rachel Howard: Ali Shallal al-Qaisi
Ali Shallal al-Qaisi - The man in the most famous image from the 2003 torture and prisoner abuse scandal at the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison. Although the image is world famous his name is not. Ali Shallal al-Qaisi.
Ruth Ewan: The fight that is never done
The title of Ruth Ewan’s print references a plaque which hangs in Liberty’s office, quoting EM Forster’s tribute to Liberty’s founder Ronald Kidd. This ‘fight’ is alluded to through an image of a snakes and ladders board. A secondary print layer features a short quote by Liberty’s former director Shami Chakrabarti ‘You have to be an optimist, to actually ask people to be their better selves and to get them to go with the hope, to not always choose the fearful pessimistic path.'
Mat Collishaw: Mayday
Liberty leading the people through the black mask of a Dutch still life flower painting - the revolutionaries and their liveries appearing where the flowers once flourished.
Harland Miller: Who Cares Wins
'Liberty does great work and I'm pleased to be able to support them with my own work. "Who Cares Wins" carries a fairly appropriate message. The title fits with the ethos and the aims of Liberty.'
Bob and Roberta Smith: Liberty
‘In the 2015 election I stood against Michael Gove in his Surrey Heath constituency to try to get some publicity for the Art in schools, which he was instrumental in marginalizing. When the Conservatives won the election a friend from Amnesty called us. He said, 'The Human Right Act will be toast'. By the time I had got home from Surrey Heath Michael Gove had been charged with the task of creating a 'British Bill of Rights'. I feel strongly about this issue because as an artist I realise that art is an international language. Free speech and human rights should be universal. When artists and journalists are locked up I want to speak out. A British Bill of Rights will diminish my voice. We must maintain our commitment to the universalism of rights and justice.
Justice means justice for all; all people wherever in the world they are.’
Mark Wallinger: A Footnote to Liberty
The text of A Footnote to Liberty is the sonnet Emma Lazarus wrote in 1883 and donated to the auction, "Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty" to raise money for the plinth. (The original manuscript entitled "Sonnets” is numbered "1" before the title The New Colossus.) The text has been on a bronze plaque in the pedestal since 1903.
The footnote reads:
1. The New Colossus. Not like the brazen giant Greek fame, / With conquering limbs astride from land to land;/ Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand / A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame/ Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name / Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand / Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command / The air-bridged harbour that twin cities frame./ “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she / With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore./ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”