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On first hearing War Boutique it sounds like a shopping paradise for the worlds angriest people. In reality War Boutique is a superb artist tackling the subject of War head-on through the medium of art…but what and who is War Boutique…
The War Boutique was originally set up in the summer of 2003, at Area10 in Peckham, London, in part as a reaction to the invasion of Iraq by US and UK armed forces, engaging local artists in the recycling of ballistic military materials (flak jackets, stab vests, body armour, etc), as a symbolic gesture of peace.
Through the artistic theory of non-verbal overidentification, as a strategy, the War Boutique aims to record the events that all too readily escape from the column inches, becoming yesterday’s news, documenting them as pieces of social commentary, within an historical context.
It has developed further over the years through a series of workshops, exhibitions and fashion shows, in conjunction with local and national organisations such as the Peace Not War Cooperative, Save The Children, The Damilola Taylor Trust, and Southwark Youth and Connexions.
The War Boutique, through its organic structure, has enjoyed a myriad of creative collaborations, from the worlds of film, theatre, art and fashion, producing works alongside the likes of John Maybury, Adrian Brody, Gieves & Hawkes, Maharishi, Sarah Lucas and Banksy. It even includes an on stage debut performance with Dame Vivien Westwood.
War Boutique has been brought into the public eye once more through his feature in a BBC4 documentary following the graduates of Goldsmiths Art College in 2009. The programme followed war boutique in the summation of his degree leading up to the final degree show.
War Boutique joined artrepublic last year snapping up his limited edition ‘You Shop We Drop’.
Since conception War Boutique works have hung in The Bristol Museum, The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and The British Museum, in London.
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