Banners

I have painted hundreds of banners over the years, and show a few of my favourites below.

Most are painted with acrylic paint (water-based and expensive, but quite weather-proof) onto old sheets or curtains or cheap sheeting material.  A few are not painted but printed by commercial printers (usually Seacourt who can do a very eco-friendly non-PVC banner for about £60/m2).

 

disco_soup_dance

Banner for the Oxford Disco Soup collective – a project of Abundance Oxford and Good Food Oxford – part of the Pumpkin Festival, where we are asked to “squash food waste”.  Disco Soup is a gathering of people who prepare a wholesome vegan soup using food that would otherwise go to waste.  The soup is offered to anyone who wants some, for free.  All this happens to bouncy live (and recorded) music in the hope that folks dance, chat and enjoy a ‘meal together’.   The underlying message is that we can and should throw less food away.  The photo above shows the banner hung behind the stage area for Oxford’s third Disco Soup – it was a great success feeding over 800 people.  Green TV made a short film about it here.

 

art4people_notprofit_12oct2014_by_shtiggy_webposter

Banner for the folks at BP-or-not-BP and ShellOutSounds who invaded the launch party of the new Rembrandt exhibition at London’s National Gallery yesterday (14 October 2014).  They performed a short and fun ‘faustian’ theatrical show with masks and costumes criticising the National Gallery for accepting Shell sponsorship and for planning to privatise about two-thirds of their staff.  G4S and Serco, infamous for ‘running’ prisons and refugee-detention-centres, are likely bidders for the contracts.  This action was done in solidarity with PCS union, who today are on strike over the proposed privatisation / sackings.  See a full description of the stunt HERE – including a short video, and the script from the performance.  Well done to all involved!

 

End Oil Sponsorship - for BP-or-not-BP

End Oil Sponsorship – for BP-or-not-BP

Can we talk about climate change now?  A banner for COIN in February 2014

Can we talk about climate change now? A banner for COIN in February 2014

Oil in the water – Shell banner

Shell-Out-Sounds_25oct2013

I made this simple banner last week for Shell Out Sounds, who used it to politely demonstrate at a Shell-sponsored performance at London’s South bank Centre.  The 15-strong choir suddenly stood up in their seats behind the stage, in full view of the audience, and began to sing just before the main show was about to start. They launched into a version of the classic spiritual song Wade in the Water, with rewritten lyrics drawing attention to Shell’s ‘controversial’ human rights and environmental record.  Here is a good video of the action:

The audience listened and clapped along as the choir sang verses based on Shell’s polluting activities in the Niger Delta, the Canadian tar sands and the Arctic, and applauded as the singers unfurled a banner reading “Oil in the Water” and bearing an evil-looking Shell logo. There was further applause as the song ended, and the choir then proceeded to the bar where they performed again before leaving the building. Security guards looked on but did not interfere.  Photo of action by Hugh Warwick.  The flyer that was handed out at the event, and the lyrics of the altered song, together with lots more info on Shell’s activities are on the Shell Out Sounds website.  I am reminded of the words of Ken Saro-Wiwa (the murdered Nigerian poet and anti-shell activist) who said: “You cannot have ‘art for art’s sake’…art must do something“.

In January 2014 we learned that the South Bank Centre would no longer let Shell sponsor their shows.  After nearly a decade of protest… we won!  Poeple power!

 

abundance_stall_2012

Banner for Abundance Oxford, at the One World Fair in Nov 2012

Pizza Midwife banner - October 2013

Pizza Midwife banner – October 2013

Radical Routes banner

Radical Routes – rainbow fish banner from October 2012

AAWE banner at a gate blockade in April 2013

Action AWE banner at a peaceful gate blockade in April 2013, painted in 2012

Tarsands Shell banner October 2012

Anti-Tar-Sands Shell banner October 2012

SOFACOMAC banner printed by Seaco

SOFACOMAC banner printed by Seacourt 2012

This is a 3-meter long banner that I designed for SOFACoMAC.  We got Seacourt to print it on a new special PVC-free material.  Seacourt are one of the ‘greenest’ printers around and their non-PVC banners cost about £50 per square meter.  It’s made of a polypropylene which is non-toxic, “recycle-able” and while still a petroleum product, its manufacture is a lot less harmful to the environment than PVC banners.  Below is the matching A-board I made.  The hemp-rope ‘hinges’ slide across so the rig can either open from the top, like a standard A-board as shown, or it can be hinged from a side, allowing the structure to wrap around a tree or lamp-post if needed.

A-board for SOFACoMAC with 2ove-able rope hinges, September 2012

A-board for SOFACoMAC with move-able rope hinges, September 2012

RMC banner and logo 2011

RMC banner and logo 2011

Close Down Campsfield banner, printed by Seacourt, 2007

Close Down Campsfield banner, printed by Seacourt, 2011

No new coal banner 2010

No new coal banner 2010

OSARCC_stall_at_BicesterOSARCC_stall_at_BicesterOSARCC banner a stall at Bicester, 2010

OSARCC banner a stall at Bicester, 2010

Banners mounted on the 'Ladder Bike trailer' as a mobile bill-board cum stall for a Demo against UK involvment in the Tar Sands, 2010

Banners mounted on the ‘Ladder Bike trailer’ as a mobile billboard and stall for a Demo against UK involvement in the Tar Sands, 2010

climate Justice banners 2009

Climate Justice banners, painted in our kitchen, 2009

Radical Routes banner 2009

Radical Routes banner 2009

This long banner was made in 2009 for Radical Routes.  It has a main central section that fits on the front of a standard ‘stall’ table, while the two ‘side’ sections then handg on each side of the table.  In some settings the full length banner can be displayed.  BTW:  Putting a banner up on wall behind a stall is often much better than hanging it from a table front because once you have a few people standing in front of your table, they obscure the banner.   It is wise to use a permanent marker and write a contact phone or email address on the back of banners, especially when many different people are likely to borrow / use it!

blairbanner_royalcourts_2008

Banner: Justice for Iraq – put Blair and brown on trial, 2008

Justice for Iraq: Put Blair and rown on Trial, 2008

Justice for Iraq: Put Blair and Brown on Trial, 2008

Banner for the B52two, who were back in court in 2008

Banner for the B52two, who were back in court in 2008

Small banner for the Camp for Climate Action, 2007

Small banner for the Camp for Climate Action, 2007

Banners for the campaign to Keep our NHS Public, and to block Virgin from privatising part of the NHS, around 2007

Banners for the campaign to Keep our NHS Public, and to block Virgin from privatising part of the NHS, around 2007

Banner for Barbed Wire Britain

Banner for Barbed Wire Britain.  I did not design the logo.  Around 2007.

Banner for the campaign to Keep Our NHS Public, around 2006

Banner for the campaign to Keep Our NHS Public, around 2006

Hammer & Tongue banner at the Live Literature Area in 2006

Hammer & Tongue banner at the Live Literature Area in 2006

This banner was painted on a square of flourescent fake fur in 2004 for Hammer & Tongue, Oxford Slam poetry posse.  The performer on the left is Scotland’s finest Elvis McGonagall (often on Radio 4 apparently), while the chap sharing the stage and politely reading a book on the right is Bristol’s A. F. Harrold.  They were performing at the wonderful 2-day poetry extravaganza called the “Live Literature Arena” at the Rotunda, Grove House in East Oxford.

Banner for another court appearance for the B52.  Apparently the prosecuting lawyer asked the judge to do something about this "contemptable banner" that was hung outside the court.  The judge refused saying that he thought it was quite funny.  2005

Banner for another court appearance for the B52two, 2005

This small banner was displayed outside the court of another appeal hearing for the B52.  (see explanation below, by 2003).  Apparently the prosecuting lawyer asked the judge to do something about this “contemptible banner” that was hanging outside the court.  The judge refused saying that he thought it was “quite funny”.

Banner for WDM, for the G8 meeting in 2005, painted in the beautiful garden of Grove House in Iffley.

Banner for WDM, for the G8 meeting in 2005, painted in the beautiful garden of Grove House in Iffley Village.

Banner for a series of protests against Esso (AKA Exxon) in 2005

Banner for a series of protests against Esso (AKA Exxon) in 2005

Banner for a JnV demo in London - Iraq: how many Graves Mr. Straw (then Foreign Secretary), around 2004

Banner for a JnV demo in London – Iraq: how many Graves Mr. Straw (then Foreign Secretary), around 2004

Banner for "Trade Justice" national student roadshow 2001 for People and Planet

Banner for the Trade Justice Roadshow by People & Planet, around 2004

This large banner was commissioned by the late great Guy Hughs.  He had asked me to paint this onto the side of a large orange mini-bus that People & Planet had bought, in order to travel around the UK on a ‘Trade Justice’ Roadshow.  I had strong reservations about painting on a van – it would fix the artwork to always be outdoors, and also, I hated petrol-powered vehicles.  So he got me to paint the design on a big sheet instead, which was used on the Roadshow, and also allowed the banner to get used indoors as well.  I was delighted.

Close-up of the above banner

Close-up of the illustration from the above banner

"Celebrate non-violence" banner for the B52 two, 2003

“Celebrate non-violence” banner for the B52 two, 2003

Bee52_closeup61

Close up of the B52 bee, from the banner above

The B52 two were a pair of Oxford friends who sneaked into a
US airbase at the start of the US war on Iraq (March 2003) and
were arrested just before they managed to “disarm” a huge B52
bomber airplane, that was being used by the US to carpet bomb
Iraq cities.

The lads spent just over three months in prison on remand, and
were eventually found NOT guilty, and released.

History has shown that the war was illegal and led to the deaths
of hundreds of thousands on innocent people.

The series of B52two court cases got much media attention, and
inspired and informed many people. To this day, Blair and some
other ‘leaders’ of that time are living in fear of being prosecuted
for their role in the war on Iraq.  Dick Cheney and George Bush
have been advised to not travel again to parts of Europe.  Blair’s
autobiography was repeatedly moved by peaceful shoppers
from the biography section of bookshops over to the crime
section.

The close up on the right is from the above banner.

Disarm State Terrorism banner for the  support group of the B52two, 2003

Disarm State Terrorism banner for the support group of the B52two, 2003

"Puppet to a Muppet" - banner for one of the many Oxford marches against the war on Iraq, 2003

“Puppet to a Muppet” – banner for one of the many Oxford marches against the war on Iraq, 2003

"Stop taking the Peace" banner against the War on Iraq, 2003

“Stop taking the Peace” banner against the War on Iraq, 2003

"Make world trade work for the whole world" - banner for the launch of the Trade Justice Movemnt, 2001

“Make world trade work for the whole world” – banner for the launch of the Trade Justice Movemnt, 2001

"Police against the arms trade" - banner used at the DSEi arms fair in London, on 11 Sept 2001

“Police against the arms trade” – banner used at   H the DSEi arms fair in London, on 11 Sept 2001

"Bypass my Arse" - my first banner, made for tree-protestors blocking the Newbury Bypass, around 1997

“Bypass my Arse” – my first banner, at the Newbury Bypass, 1996

Above is a poor photo of my first banner, hung from the tallest tree on the route of the Newbury Bypass, back in 1996.  Below is a better photo of the banner.  Newbury was an incredible campaign that saw thousands of people try to get in the way of building a bypass around the town of Newbury.  An estimated 10,000 trees were cut down to make room for the new road, which was going to take about 2 minutes off the time it took for motorists to get through Newbury.

newburybypass_banner

While the ‘Third Battle of Newbury‘ was a battle we lost, we sort of won the war, as in 1998 the Tory government cut most of their planned new roads.  The new Con-Dem coalition government is trying to bring back many of these new roads and the tree-protesters are back!  One of the first new roads to be contested is the Hastings-Bexhill bypass, being blocked by the Combe Haven Defenders.

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