For a week in October, The Green Party curated a stunning exhibition of artworks donated by artists including Cedric Christie, Gavin Turk, Grayson Perry, Lesley Hilling, Ralph Steadman, Sasha Bowles and Tim Shaw. The week kicked of with a well-attended private viewing and auction with many of the 47 artists involved present and auctioneer Nick Carter from Channel 4’s The Auction House leading proceedings. The event was open to the public, who could purchase the works as well as Green Party merchandise all week.
Ralph Steadman, best known for his ink-splattered illustrations for Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, donated a print called ‘Environment’, and said: “All parties should support the Green Party – it should be part of everything we do. Green suggests healthy options and therefore healthy outcomes. Green issues should be the first consideration in everything from housing, to health to education and beyond. I abhor cruelty in any form, and my work has always had within it the seeds of protest against inhumanity and offences against the planet.”
Both Co-Leaders attended the opening night of the exhibition, with Caroline Lucas thanking members, friends, supporters, and “the artists who have generously donated their time and work to this exhibition, and to all who work tirelessly to make sure our country has a strong, Green opposition”.
Jonathan Bartley called the event an opportunity for “the arts community to show their support” to the Green movement, adding: “[I]t is also an example of art as an important commentary on what is happening at a time of huge economic and political unrest.”
A specially-commissioned mural adorned the front of the gallery and the event received coverage in places including The Ecologist. The local Hackney Green Party also got in on the action by holding a short film night at the exhibition venue. With such enthusiastic support from the art community, similar events could be repeated in the future, with the aim of taking the concept further afield.