Art For Change
All of our artists help to push for equality in a variety of spaces. With visual and conceptual focuses ranging between Refugee Rights, Climate Justice, Mental Health and Racial Justice, Artvocate helps to promote global and far-reaching narratives on equality and equity.
Here is a selection of our artist's works that contribute to this goal...
Human rights in Myanmar
In Memory of Kyal Sin, A pure fallen star (2021)
Soe Yu Nwe
76 x 56 cm
Mixed media on paper
The artist accompanies this piece with the text: A taekwondo champion, a dancer, an activist, a child. Kyal Sin was barely 20 years old when she was brutally murdered on 3rd March 2021, during the clash between the militants and activists in Burma. She was shot in the head by the militants during the demonstrations that the public was holding against the military coup, which brought the Tatmadaw into power. Her tender age, which was full of possibilities, was extinguished all of a sudden.
“In memory of Kyal” is an ode to the youthfulness, vigour and passion that Kyal and her compatriots displayed for their motherland, their cause and their lives. Many young Burmese have joined hands to demonstrate against the barbaric regime of the Tatmadaw in the past few years, and many of them have fallen to the brutality of the militia. "In Memory of Kyal" is an ode to their courage and their dedication to their country.
In this painting, Soe Yu Nwe narrates a world that is going through a violent shift and transition. Ropes, which symbolise signs of captivity and confinement, have been fragmented and abstracted into the shape of a star in reference to Kyal Sin's name, which translates to “Pure Star”. Fragments of the snake's body that is wrapped around the peacock represent alienation, confusion and psychological confinement about living as a female in an oppressive society. However, despite the destabilised reality, the artist casts hope by adopting a bright palette and plentiful of botanics (Padauk) which represent renewal.
Rato II, Gods of America (2017)
After discovering his ancestral roots to Indigenous communities, Briceño set out to explore and research the mythologies and iconography of Native Americans. He has seen communities disappear at the hands of climate change, tourism and the drug trade. Briceño's series, Gods of America, seeks to visualise withstanding Indigenous groups alongside visualisations of their mythologies. Rato II references the spirit of waterfalls within the culture of the Pemon People, Venezuela. The Pemon people live in a region famous for its great abysses and its lavish rivers, that in these rugged lands give rise to enormous cataracts. The waterfalls and swirls they generate represent very powerful forces, often lethal. Every year there are victims of these waters, unwary people that succumb to their power, dazzled by the magnificence and beauty of waterfalls and their wells. Those turbulent waters are the refuge of Rató.
80 x 60 cm
Oil on canvas
The artist had the intention of producing a painting that portrayed the sadness and brutality of the Syrian war and the resulting refugee crisis. The work shows a Syrian refugee, homeless at the Turkish/Syria border. Earley integrated the colours of the young refugee's dry lips into the background to impact audiences and demonstrate a sense of desperation. Using a triangular pattern, the artist emphasises the sharp edges of this world and conveys a sense of control, similar to that of the barbed wire that controls the refugees. The barbed wire is gold to reference money: an aspect Earley believes is the root cause to many tragedies such as the one discussed within his work.
The Anointing (2020)
91 x 61cm
Oil on panel
Lesley Thiel is, also, contributing to our 'Climate Justice' focus. Her paintings contain imagery designed to tell a story of the fate of our species and our relationship to the earth. They include feathers, flowers, and animals as a sign of hope for our collective future. They speak of the strength of the upcoming generation of young women and girls, who may well be our saviours. They question the accepted narrative of the female voice in society and the myths attached to this. The Anointing describes a young woman who finds herself in a burning world of dying fields and air filled with ash. She is anointed by the rain, which falls on her alone, telling her that she will lead us away from the destruction of climate change.
Watercolour paint, tea wash and handmade paint on paper
Iqbal's Gun Series paintings explore the presence of violence within society. Using guns as a motif, the artist either hides the component in plain sight or covertly to represent the cultural mechanisms of society. Kausar describes his work as a "realistic visualisation of the truth," commenting on his "traditional background and featuring the practice of arms and ammunition with its negative impacts."