CODE RED: Peter Kennard

PREVIEW 5 November 2021 Friday 6pm – 8pm. Free entry. Open to all. Registration required here

EXHIBITION 6 – 26 November 2021 Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. Free entry. Open to all. Donations welcome here

The Out of the Blue Drill Hall 30 – 38 Dalmeny St, Edinburgh EH6 8RG

CODE RED is a print installation by one of Britain’s foremost political artists Peter Kennard. Curated by Iliyana Nedkova and Heather Kiernan as part of Peace & Justice (Scotland) Peace Cranes project, CODE RED is presented by Peace & Justice (Scotland) at the main exhibition space of The Out of the Blue Drill Hall in partnership with Street Level Photoworks to coincide with COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Cracked © Peter Kennard. Courtesy of the artist

We’re living in a time of absolute emergency. We’re tottering through the rubble of the rampant free market. It’s a time in which images can open up a critical space that can jolt assumptions and break through denial. The poet Shelley wrote that ‘we must imagine what we know’. By picturing the result of extracting wealth out of the ground by every means possible I’m trying to picture what we know will happen if we don’t stop this plunder. – Peter Kennard

In August this year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their report. Their findings, prepared by 234 scientists from 66 countries, warn that human activity has warmed the climate to a point that is unparalleled by anything in the last 2,000 years and that by 2019 atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at anytime in at least two million years. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the IPCC report was the ‘code red for humanity, the alarm bells are deafening and the evidence is irrefutable’.

Through the use of photomontage the artist turns his outrage into images. Throughout CODE RED Kennard re-appropriates the beautiful photo of the whole earth taken by the Apollo astronauts in 1972, which Kennard cuts and tears, combining it with images of industrial chimneys, oil refineries exploding, polluted dust, gas masks, parched earth and floods. His image of the earth surrounded by a clock symbolises climate/nuclear destruction, whilst in another image planet earth is transformed into a seed sprouting a tree. Kennard’s work makes visible the increasing devastation of the natural world, revealing this breakdown not as inevitable but the direct result of human activity. The resulting montages can then be used as a visual arm of the struggle for climate justice.

Donate to Peace Cranes crowdfunder here to support the Peace Cranes project with a chance to win one of the two signed posters by Peter Kennard Never Again or Haywain with Cruise Missiles, generously provided by the artist.

Peter Kennard is one of Britain’s foremost political artists and has spent over fifty years creating uncompromising and hard-hitting protest art. He is Professor of Political Art at the Royal College of Art and he is the author of Images for End of Century: Photomontage Equations (Pluto, 1999). Since then, he has published numerous art monographs, and contributed his visuals to publications, magazines and news stories in the press. The exhibition Award by Kennard and Phillipps was exhibited at Street Level Photoworks in 2004, and he launched his recent monograph Visual Dissent at Street Level Photoworks in 2019.

Watch the Peace Cranes exhibition inaugural event with Peter Kennard and Kate Hudson Never Again. Louder Than Bombs held on 6 August 2021 (58 min) in partnership with Just Festival 2021

CODE REDis also showing at Gallery 103 (Trongate 103), Glasgow 30 October – 19 December 2021 presented by Street Level Photoworks. Further details here.

Plan your visit to the Peace Cranes exhibition – the monumental installation by Scottish artist Janis Hart which spans the heritage space of St John’s Church, Edinburgh. It fills the space with 140,000 origami cranes folded by people from across the world inspiring reflection on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the acceleration of species extinction. It is free admission and open to all until 13 November 2021 Monday – Saturday 10:30am – 4pm (excluding Wednesdays 11am – 11:30am). It is accompanied by Peace Cranes making workshops led by our dedicated volunteer exhibition guides daily 1–3pm during opening times.


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