1 February 2024Feature

Art by Darren Cullen

‘This was inspired by the double-standard around violence, not just in Israel’s occupation and destruction of Palestine, but also in the “monopoly of violence” that is held by states, police, militaries, and intelligence agencies, which allows politicians and commentators to claim that “violence is never the answer” when referring to a regular person defending themselves against a police attack, punching a Nazi in the street, or pushing a cream pie into a politician or CEO’s face; but which…

1 February 2024Review

Alona Pardo, Re/Sisters: A Lens on Gender and Ecology: Prestel, 2023, 320pp; £45 Women in Revolt!: Art and Activism in the UK 1970 – 90: Tate Britain; until 7 April; £17/£5; Linsey Youngl, Women in Revolt!: Art and Activism in the UK 1970 – 90: Tate Publishing, 2023; 304pp; £35

When I was 14, in the winter of 1978, I travelled down to London from the north-west with my mum to see the Dada and Surrealism Reviewed exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. It remains my number one gallery experience.

45 years later, not one but two seminal feminist exhibitions in London have elbowed their way into my all-time gallery Top 10.

The last edition of PN profiled the remarkable Re/Sisters exhibition at the Barbican, which closed on 14…

3 August 2022Feature

Disobedient art by Lizzie Jones

Text in the image reads: ‘Marchwood Military Port ships equipment & munitions to wars. March he won’t now. Alverhurst the penguin refuses to march to war.’

Image Alverhurst at Marchwood by Lizzie Jones (2012). Homemade milk and slaked-lime paint and acrylic paint on plywood (4ft x 3ft). Click image to view large version.

Alverhurst, so named by some college…

1 August 2022News

Send a card to the anarchist illustrator

While preparing this issue, and asking permission to use the graphic on the front page (which is not in the public domain, contrary to what the internet believes), we learned that the revered British anarchist illustrator Clifford Harper was not well (but on the mend).

Clifford is the author of Anarchy: A Graphic Guide and The Education of Desire and has been illustrating radical, alternative and mainstream publications since the 1970s! (You may know him from the…

1 August 2019Review

Sansom & Co, 2018; 128 pp; £25

This beautifully-illustrated book documents the lives of 44 artists who were conscientious objectors (COs) and pacifists in the two world wars.

In a series of monographs, Gill Clarke gives us a valuable insight into lives lived and shaped by political and spiritual objections to killing and the war machine.

She gives us a very particular record of the development of creative lives: how artists made a living; the political and social communities of artists; and the impact of war…

1 December 2018Review

Myriad Editions, 2018; 80pp; £19.99

Why make reportage drawings? Graphic artist Olivier Kugler was commissioned by Médecins Sans Frontières (‘Doctors Without Borders’) to travel to Iraq, Kos and Calais to interview Syrian refugees. He took photographs and used translators to record stories. So why not stop at that?

On first viewing, I didn’t like the drawings in this book. I shrank back from lines that didn’t please me, from flat Photoshop washes. But I was curious because something interesting happens in these…

1 August 2018Review

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Lodge Hill Lane, Ditchling, East Sussex BN6 8SP until 14 October (Tues – Sat: 10.30am–5pm; Sundays & bank holidays: 11am – 5pm; £6.50 / £5.50, under-16s free)

emergency use soft shoulder (1966). Photo: Josh White, courtesy Corite Art Centre, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles

Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft may seem an unlikely place to host an exhibition of 1960s Warhol-inspired socially-engaged prints from California, but these brightly-coloured, life-affirming texts by Corita Kent make for an exciting dialogue with artworks by members of the Roman Catholic local artistic community in the permanent collection.

In 1921,…

1 August 2018Feature

A print by the legendary activist-artist

Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, CA.

The title of this print is a reference to this saying of Jesus as reported in John’s gospel in the Christian bible: ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have…

1 April 2018Review

Imperial War Museum, London, to 28 May. £15/£10.50 (£7.50 under-16s).

Dolls at Dungeness September 11th 2001 © Grayson Perry / Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London / Photo Stephen Brayne 2001 Glazed ceramic

I wonder whether people who have been directly affected by the aftermath of 9/11 – in a way that most of those viewing this exhibition haven’t – would find parts of it baffling or even insulting

For example, if you had lived in Baghdad during the 2003 war against Iraq, what would you make of the ‘twin towers’…

1 April 2018Feature

Oska Lappin, America’s tortured brow, from Oska Lappin, Scary Amerika (Seditionaries Free Press, 2018)

Oska Lappin: The first weekend after the inauguration of the current occupant of the White House, I was with friends and inevitably the discussion turned to politics and our fears of what could occur for the world at large. Someone said: ‘This discussion is probably akin to the talk in Germany around 1935.’ There was a group shudder and an unusual silence.

As a narrative-based self-expressionist, I begin…

1 August 2017Feature

Art the Arms Fair aims to make the DSEI arms fair this September the most-talked-about arms fair ever.

Life & Death by Amy Corcoran, 2017, watercolour and pen. Donated to Art the Arms Fair

Artists can participate by sending in digital images of their work, by donating physical art works for the auction, and by taking part in a mass outdoor art event on 9 September. All art and artists are welcome, from painters to performance artists, and from sculptors to satirists. Come with your canvases, clay and…

1 October 2016Feature

Creative environmental action from the US

Reverend Billy being arrested at Disneyland Photo:

We had arranged to meet up at the Manhattan Gourmet Restaurant [in New York city], a glorified deli at 57th and 6th, right above the F Train station, with the Chase bank looming across the avenue. We carried our toad heads in a big sack.

It was a working-class place with a lunch crowd shouting their orders, lots of laughter. The folks were service workers, spiffily…

1 October 2015Feature

A family story of loss and arrival

Linocut: Emily Johns

This is a picture of my great-grandmother swimming across the river Drava carrying my Naganyja Ilona and my greatuncle Zoltan on her back. Behind her is my great-grandfather Shaffer. I have drawn him naked because he didn’t cross the river with his family and escape the pogrom…

1 October 2015Review

Pluto Press, 2015; 144pp; £8

How can we create a sustainable art world, where artists can live by their labour and the public can have a healthy engagement with them? Curating is, or should be, a public service akin to a friend introducing you to new music. But in a world of power lists, billionaire superdealers and sickening Miami conventions, we have travelled very far from the idea of curating as a social duty.

David Balzer’s writing is admirably clear and anti-theoretical, providing a lively history of the…

1 October 2015Feature

Remembering Saro-Wiwa

Graphic: Emily Johns

On 10 November 2015, it will be 20 years since the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni colleagues were hanged by the military government for campaigning nonviolently against the oil company Shell.

It will be nearly 60 years since Shell started…