Longtime resident of the East pavement of Parliament Square, 53-year-old Maria Gallastequi has spent the last ten years campaigning for peace and opposing all forms of warfare. Maria is most widely known for her 24 hour, tented vigil in protest against the UK’s involvement in armed conἀict. She occupied the heart of London’s political centre, living in Parliament Square for six years. Maria is the founder of Peace Strike.
BAFTA award winner Alison Jackson is a contemporary artist exploring the cult of celebrity through the medium of lookalikes. By choreographing scandalous scenarios Jackson manipulates fantasy and reality, presenting a voyeuristic opportunity to pry into the private lives of others. Infiltrating the platforms of TV, Internet, Press, and books, Jackson is a commentator on the growing phenomenon of contemporary popular culture.
Regarded by some as the most prolific painter, poet and songwriter of his generation, artist Billy Childish is a cult figure with an international following throughout Europe, America and Japan. Childish was born in Kent and initially refused entry to art school on leaving secondary education. Diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 28 Childish went on to use his art to explore worldly themes such as war, history and social protest.
Ben Flynn, a.k.a. EINE, shot to international fame when David Cameron presented one of his works to President Obama as a gift on his first official state visit, but is arguably more famous for ‘Alphabet Street’ – the shutters and murals he painted in his trademark colours and typography in Middlesex Street, London– described by The Times as ‘a street now internationally recognized as a living piece of art with direct links to The White House.’
This artist is one of the most notorious graffiti writers in UK history to emerge out of the 80’s Bristol scene. Painting alongside 3D and Banksy, coming 2nd in the 1989 World Street Art Championships, the Kingpin was arrested as the head of 72 other writers in the UK’s largest ever Graffiti bust, Operation Anderson.
kennardphillipps is an artist collaboration forged between Peter Kennard and Cat Phillipps during the build-up to the US/UK invasion of Iraq in 2002. Kennard and Phillipps work together to create pieces that confront political and corporate power in solidarity with the social movements that form in resistance against state and commercial oppression. Each piece is adapted to exist in various environments:in galleries, on the street, for publication in print and on the internet. Occupy Everything centres on their work relating to the global protests and occupations which were widespread in 2011. A large proportion was used on the street by Kennard and Phillipps and will exhibited alongside photographs and documentation showing it in action.
Maple was born in 1985 to an Iranian Muslim mother and English Christian raised father, and was raised as a Muslim. She studied Fine Art at Kingston University. In 2007 she won the ‘4 New Sensations’ competition, run by Channel 4 in conjunction with the Saatchi Gallery. The competition’s aim is ‘to find the most exciting and imaginative artistic talent in the UK’ from among art students graduating that year. ‘Meet the heir to Tracy Emin’s Throne…the best of the new young British artists’ The Independent on Sunday
Tristan Schoonraad worked in Hollywood special effects from a young age including on Rambo, Troy, Harry Potter, Saving Private Ryan & Gladiator before using his knowledge of casting and moulding to launch a career as an artist. In February 2011 his sculpture ‘Boy Soldier’ was shown on the Peace Plinth. Schoony said: “My nephew is aged seven in this art piece; the age of some of our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq as they would have been 10 years ago. It is a future I do not want for my nephew.”
Emily Johns is a printmaker who studied geography at Durham and immediately afterwards studied fine art at Goldsmiths because pictures seemed to be the right medium in which to think about geography. Her work has its political roots in over 20 years of work on wars in Iraq, the Iran crisis and how geopolitics and oil have coagulated. She also co-edits Peace News. See one of Emily’s projects here: http://consciousoil.org