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.


Climate justice

Rato II, Gods of America (2017)  

Antonio Briceño


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.


Refugees' rights

 Wires (2019)  

James Earley  

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.



Climate justice   

The Anointing (2020)  

Lesley Thiel

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.



World peace

Untitled 8351 

Kausar Iqbal

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."



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