No one can avoid the deafening demands for change coming from within creative industries. Artist Anthony Burrill is joined by Wired Magazine, People Dem Collective, Brixton Brewery, and The Black Curriculum, to name a few, in creating the Change Everything exhibition, co-curated by the Depot_, which wants to keep momentum flowing forward and evolving creative responses to the most important issues of our time.
Gemma Murray and Susanna Pousette Okudzeto of the Depot_ worked alongside Burrill with the aim of including “as many different voices as possible in the exhibition that speak about ecology, race and gender issues,” he tells It’s Nice That. The curation team want to showcase work by artists, designers, photographers and activists whose individual approaches are visually distinct. “Through this selection,” he continues, “we aim to highlight the personal nature of protest and how it relates to all of us. The message of the work is the most important aspect to consider.”
Burrill is right in claiming that everyone has a personal opinion about how the world is changing and what our individual role should be in that change; as a result, he feels unable to not add his voice in with the others. “As a designer I know how to get a message across and that’s a skill I can offer to campaigners. I’m keen to play my part and show that everyone can speak out.” Murray and Pousette Okudzeto claim that when they initially discussed this project with Burrill, “we wanted to think about the role of the artist in not only presenting our society and our hopes for the future,” they explain, “but the ways in which they take an active role in shaping our future and presenting a world in which we think, act and live differently.”
Social media proved to be a useful starting point in the early stages of the research process which then led on to personal connections and introductions, the team tells It’s Nice That. But with the mass amount of creative work responding to topical conversations and engaging in activism, it was a challenge for the curatorial team “to showcase as much work as possible, we were only restricted by the physical size of the galleries.” In this sense, hosting the workshops and talks, Burrill explains to us, is going to be “a great opportunity to tell the stories of activists who are working for positive change.”
Echoing Burrill, Murray and Pousette Okudzeto encountered many inspirational projects, artists and collectives, so that making a selection was something they “had to labour over!” The team also wanted to ensure everyone involved felt that the exhibition highlighted their work in the most authentic and rounded sense, “so being able to host an event programme felt integral to that,” they expand.
The events in the programme will include a Pride is a Protest mini banner making workshop with Sarah-Joy Ford, a DIY Protest Poster workshop with Theo Hersey, and a Street Photography workshop with Brunel Johnson, among many others.
Change Everything will be on from 4 November 2021 – 30 January 2022 at the Depot_ Shoreditch and Old Street. The two separate locations will be connected with murals and paste ups, building an art trail between the two.