The Making of 'CHOOSE LOVE' mural project
Two artists. Two bold + powerful murals. One positive statement of unity + shared humanity to celebrate Refugee Week 2018.
Last month unfinished animals completed a special 'CHOOSE LOVE' mural project with Help Refugees- a grassroots charity that continues to do the impossible- and it was monumental!
It all began back in February when UA met up with Help Refugees to discuss taking their 'CHOOSE LOVE' slogan out onto the London streets; the objective being to empower and inspire people with a visual positive message- instilling love and understanding as the driving emotion, and as a way of bringing people together.
UA collaborated with Help Refugees to conceive and produce these two murals.
Mural 1 by Majid Adin- connecting a community.
It was decided the first mural would be painted by Iranian artist and refugee, Majid Adin, in the heart of Brick Lane - a street art mecca and melting pot of culture + diversity. The wall also happens to sit opposite Help Refugees office (inside Second Home workspace) so it was the perfect wall for Majid to paint his story of love and hope for fellow humans.
With the support of OllySTUDIO to help realise a mural of this scale, the design is Majid's visual interpretation of what 'Choose Love' has shown him throughout his journey to the UK and how that translates when depicted in the vibrant neighbourhood of Brick Lane, which in itself has endless migrant stories to tell.
Starting with a 20m canvas- which is no easy feat- the mural was completed over 8 busy days with the help of many wonderful volunteers, refugees and local school children, without whom it wouldn't have been possible.
From day 1 the mural drew interest from the local community and passers-by; people were curious to know what it would be, could it live up to expectations, and would they like it!?
The community watched the wall transform in anticipation.
And the final result...?
Upon completion it was a true feel good moment...the mural was unveiled on a hot sunny day and standing back it was amazing to witness the almost immediate and positive response of people passing by, cyclists stopping to take a picture, groups of friends lined up and interacting with the different elements.
Majid's vision was to bring people together and celebrate our common humanity...this was felt throughout it's creation and now that ethos lives on through the mural.
Obviously art of any form is completely subjective but how could you look at this and not 'CHOOSE LOVE'!?
Mural 2 by Lakwena - hey busy London, you are wonderful!
For the second mural, UA worked with iconic cultural venue- Southbank Centre- and commissioned internationally acclaimed artist, Lakwena, to create a huge 'CHOOSE LOVE' artwork focusing on the bold typography of acclaimed fashion designer, Katharine Hamnett, and now Help Refugees slogan.
Lakwena’s kaleidoscopic work is informed by the use of decoration as a means of communication. As a form of expression within a political world, Lakwena explores how the use of adornment in worship and myth-making translates into contemporary popular culture. Pretty cool huh!?
In her vibrant and graphic style, Lakwena goes about transforming this bustling urban surrounding into an environment of love and acceptance.
Painted over 2 large shipping containers and facing out onto the surrounding Southbank streets the artwork is a direct invitation to the people of London and it's visitors, and simultaneously a bold reminder that around here 'LOVE' is the answer.
Celebrating kindness, integration, understanding, community - love has many names - the mural demands that we make the right choice; reinforcing that if we can just get the driving emotion right, we can do anything.
Here at unfinished animals I am extremely honoured and proud to have worked on this amazing project.
The final pieces are truly beautiful and it's been heart warming to see the public respond.
If you find yourself in the area, please visit the murals, snap it, tag it, and (let's encourage everyone) to #ChooseLove
Click on the link below to donate to this amazing charity. X