BP = Climate Change = Sunken Cities : banner

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Banner for the folks at BP-or-not-BP? who were stunned to discover that BP are sponsoring the new exhibition at the British Museum called Sunken Cities.  The exhibition features new archaeological findings from two underwater communities off the north coast of Egypt.  As most of us know, climate change is caused primarily by burning fossil fuels, like those sold by BP.  One of the many devastating effects of climate change is… rising sea levels that leads to… sinking cities. This banner was used to peacefully protest against this flagrant debacle.  The next day 14 daring climbers from Greenpeace UK climbed the 7 vast columns in the forecourt of the British Museum to hang seven tall banners that spoofed the BP publicity – each banner explaining how severe floods had led to 7 key cities to be recently flooded including Hebden Bridge, New Orleans and Manilla.

Get hooked – poster for Barracks Lane Community Garden

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Poster for a very interesting day at my local Barracks Lane Community Garden – learn how to make your own crochet hooks, and then, after lunch, learn how to use them to make stuff with crochet.  I wonder if you can use crochet on rope or bicycle inner-tube?  Only one way to find out… try it!

BP’s cultural sponsorship: A corrupting influence – a report

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This hefty 40-page report by Art-not-Oil exposes the corrupting influence that BP gets when it gives (relatively small amounts of) money to many of the UK’s most famous cultural institutions including the British Museum, the Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, the Science Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.  Download the report for free from the Art-not-Oil website.  We were fortunate enough to have use of some amazing photographs for this report, and were helped with activists from groups resisting BP in Mexico, Australia, the Gulf of Mexico and Egypt.

Poster and Flyer for Pedal and Post

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One of my favourite local businesses, Pedal and Post use beautiful cargo bikes (8-freights) to move goods across Oxford, and a bit beyond.  This takes delivery trucks and vans off our congested roads, and reduces pollution.  They also provides healthy, fun and fairly-waged employment to a small army of young people.  I hope they thrive!

Nationalise UK Energy – infographic for We-Own-It

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A summary of a very important idea – getting the UK energy sectore back into public ownership, where national and local government (and people) have control.  See more on the Energy page of their website.  It was fun to work with We OWn It – they do great research and campaigning on a wide range of important issues.

Signs for Barracks Lane Community Garden

“Fly kites not drones” – banner and kite

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A kite that is ALSO a banner, for the excellent international “Fly Kites not Drones” day – a growing day of fun and excercise that also protest against the use of armed drones in many poor countries ofthe world, particularly in the Middle East.  This banner was also a gift for the wonderful people at Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK who were one of the groups behind this annual kite-flying day.  VCNV UK work with various peace and justice initiatives, mostly in Afghanistan, often with street children.  These photos are from the Oxford FKND day on March 19th 2016.  Ed made a great little film of it, here.

Heritage of Common Plants – poster for BLCG

Deepmind (Google AI) cartoon for ETC group

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A cartoon for the ETC Group commenting on the dangers of trusting ‘artificial intelligence’ – “Deepmind” is one of the world’s leading AI machines and in 2015 it’s owners (Google) announced that it had ‘learned how to recognise cats’.

Riverside Mural for Larkrise Primary School

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A mural that I have been painting for six months (mostly on sunny days) with the very talented and patient Ali Monk.  Last week a team of us (including Doug, Bob, Tom, Ed and Kes) installed the seven panels into the main hall at my local school, the Larkrise Primary School in East Oxford.  We are very grateful to the “Friends of Larkrise” for making this mural possible.  A special thanks to Mr. Ed finch for coordinating the design, planning and installation.

The mural features a picnic on the banks of the River Thames, in the countryside near Oxford.  The ‘dreaming spires’ are shown on the horizon to the left.  A young woman cycles along the tow-path pulling her son in a large bike-trailer.  A small narrow boat (with solar panels and a prolific garden on its bow) is tied to the tow-path.  In the distance three wind-turbines can be seen.  As we pan to the right we see a picnic of diverse and happy children, reading, painting, using a tablet, climbing, swinging and making music.

Each of the seventeen classes at the school is named after a different species of bird.  The children wanted each bird featured in the mural.  Luckily for me Ali is a knowledgeable bird-watcher and also a skilled painter.  She painted all 17 birds, and many of the flowers and other animals.  It was great fun working with her.

The right-hand end is the most wild, featuring a fox, a rabbit and a fallow deer. This end was inspired by our love of nature, and by the exciting and inspiring ideas in George Monbiot‘s book “Feral“.  Much of the scenery is framed with trees – archaeologists have found evidence that Britain was almost entirely covered with rainforest – and supported a vast range of large animals including lions and elephants.  Britain today has lost more than 98% of its trees, and as Monbiot explains so well, perverse EU subsidies encourage farmers (and other ‘land-owners’) to keep the hills bare, often using sheep to deplete our countryside.  These ‘sheep-wrecked’ landscapes lead to flooding, soil erosion and a loss of natural habitats.  Only a handful of rich people gain from this.  And many communities suffer from increased flooding as seen in the last few weeks in Cumbria, Yorkshire, etc.  If we reforested our hills the land would soak up and hold much more of the rainwater, and we’d lose less topsoil as erosion, wildlife would benefit, and people would also benefit in so many ways.  This mural suggests we evolve towards a more sustainable countryside, including rewilding.

While painting this mural we took photos once every 30 seconds.  We strung these photos together to make a simple and fun stop-motion animation film – just 10 minutes long.  The first half shows the painting, while the second half shows close-ups of many of the key parts of the mural.  Here is the film:

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