A Dialogue for Peace – 4th – 26th April in Christiania, Gallopperiet, Denmark

Filed under Art, Exhibitions, Political Art

There  are five days left to see an exhibition I have curated called A Dialogue for Peace. It has been an eventful couple of weeks with input from various artists all dealing with the subject of peace. Within this theme come knowledge and understanding, justice and love.

http://www.gallopperiet.dk/?cat=12

 

This painting was painted outside the Danish parliament. It is based on the story of the sun and the wind who compete to get a man to take his cloak off.  http://www.english-for-students.com/The-Wind-and-The-Sun.html  My reason for painting this was that I had concerns about the repercussions of the shootings in Copenhagen on Valentine’s day this year. I wanted to create an artwork that encouraged dialogue and peace, not more aggression towards a group of people living in Denmark who are constantly associated with the acts of the few. Here I am with a group of Somalian refugees who were protesting outside the parliemant 24th March 2015 because their cases were taking too long to processed. There were about 100 demonstrators and I don’t believe any politicians came out to speak to them.

 

Midview and mask - a nod to my protest outside Den Frie

Midview and mask – a nod to my protest outside Den Frie

 

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

 

 

Sun and the wind painting hung at Gallopperiet, Christiania, Denmark

Sun and the wind painting hung at Gallopperiet, Christiania, Denmark

 

 

 

After meeting the refugees I decided to make a tribute installation describing their situation. There is a portrait of one of the demonstrators and other objects that are thrown in a pile. These objects could be useful, but don’t look it. There is also a ladder that is rotten and going nowhere special – the ceiling is low.

Installation representing the refugees' experience in Denmark

Installation representing the refugees’ experience in Denmark

A refugee painted on a chair seat in a pile of refuse

By Leah Robb – A refugee painted on a chair seat in a pile of refuse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was inspired by an artist called Michael Landy who made paper cutout people and had them all over the floor. They were ready for the People Shredder. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/landy-scrapheap-services-t07221 This installation is one of the most powerful works I’ve ever seen. Anyway, I decided to borrow his idea, but make more obvious differences to the people on the floor. Some people made a point of not standing on anyone, while others just walked right through not looking down.

People, by Leah Robb

People, by Leah Robb

 

 

 

This piece called Propaganda is about the way news has removed itself from serious journalism to ill-informed or outright deliberate misrepresentations of truth for the sake of selling the news. If you can see through the web of propaganda, you may see the truth.

Propaganda, by Leah Robb and Sandra Andersen

Propaganda, by Leah Robb and Sandra Andersen

 

 

An artwork by Jens Rost was more about justice. It was about the wrong that big businesses have committed in their striving for increased power. It was a hanging wooden swastika painter gold with the guilty businesses’ logos plastered all over it. The artist had given a good amount of explanation about his work and many visitors read it. This was however, taken down and hidden away by someone who feared other people wouldn’t understand it, leading to debate about the subject of peace and justice, and what risks are worth taking in promoting these things.

Jens Rost - Eclipse, Wooden sculpture with business logos. 2015

Jens Rost – Eclipse, Wooden sculpture with business logos. 2015

 

 

During the exhibition we also had to deal with an addict who stole items from the gallery. He painted what we supposed was his guitar on his arrival, but later took a guitar belonging to a friend. We got most things returned because we found him outside with my friend’s guitar on his back, but the point was more; how do we relate to him in such a way that he still feels respected as a human being? After all, we are striving for peace and dialogue. I don’t know what effect we had on him but he did comment a couple of days later on how grateful he was to be shown so much kindness in spite of what he had done. Peace and understanding, love and justice. The police we called apparently have called up some rehab centers and he will hopefully be beginning rehab after half his life on junk – and he wants to go.

Our visiting thief, who has decided he wants to go into rehabilitation

Our visiting thief, who has decided he wants to go into rehabilitation

Guitar brought and painted by a man who stole from the gallery

Guitar brought and painted by a man who stole from the gallery

The story of our meeting with the thief in the gallery written on his guitar

The story of our meeting with the thief in the gallery written on his guitar

 

 

 

A young artist called Benjamin contributed to the exhibition with some fantastic paintings. The one of Mandela was particularly popular. Mandela is also a very good figure representing peace. The other painting here is called “Thanks”. Benjamin

Benjamin Abana, (left) Thanks and (right) Nelson Mandela

Benjamin Abana, (left) Thanks and (right) Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

The exhibition – A Dialogue for Peace was an attempt at srtiving for peace through dialogue. It doesn’t claim to have all the answers and we had a dialogue table people could sit at and talk together. I am pleased with how this exhibition has developed and caused conversation, though it is slightly ironic that it also has ruffled many feathers thanks to the swastika. If you would like to see this exhibition travel and develop elsewhere, do get in touch.

The Dialoge Table at A Dialogue for Peace

The Dialoge Table at A Dialogue for Peace

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