Turning a symbol of conflict into one of hope.
Pioneering the concept of the art of disarmament; using weapons recovered from war torn areas of the world, and giving them a new life as unique and provocative pieces of art.
It is not about whether you like guns or dislike guns, it’s about the simple fact that there are too many and 1,000 people a day are dying as a result of them. Like it or not, guns are a part of popular culture. They are integral to many of our favourite games and films are in all likelihood to remain so for many generations to come. One Less Gun is simply dedicated to reducing their number and promoting a social responsibility to this end.
McCrow believes the art of disarmament is to acknowledge the human stories that share their history with each weapon, question individual purpose and our own morality, challenging our sanitised views of guns, and the ability collectively to make a difference.
One less Gun offers everybody the opportunity to contribute to the solution of this largely ignored problem. By texting onelessgun to 70007 on your mobile phone you can destroy a gun for £5. McCrow’s target is to destroy 1 million weapons. This will save lives, stabilise communities and make a safer world.
There’s an art to disarmament.
It is the most effective killing machine ever invented, ending the lives of an estimated 250,000 people every year. The AK47 is the original assault rifle and is one of the most commonly smuggled small arms sold to governments, rebels, criminals and civilians alike around the world.
There have been approximately 75 million produced since 1947. It is inexpensive to manufacture, highly reliable, relatively compact and so simple to use even a child can operate it, this fact alone has resulted in nearly two hundred and fifty thousand child soldiers recruited for use in active combat.
Fisher Price makes a sharp reference to the fact that in many war torn areas, irrespective of those forced to take arms, many children are more likely to experience a real AK47 before a toy one.
The piece is in balance to challenge the notion that the violence and abuse that can surround a weapon may not always be forward of the trigger. It is precariously balanced; in part to demonstrate the equilibrium of suffering on both sides of the weapon.
Screaming Zebras asks us to understand that even though a civil war may be over, the effects of conflict remain very real for many years. With huge numbers of small arms still filtering through the Africa, AK-47s are now in the hands of poachers meaning the Rangers employed to protect the wildlife must be heavily armed to ensure their own safety. These inevitable micro-battles are escalating the illegal trade of skins, rhino horn and ivory into a new, silent but nonetheless bloody conflict.
In the making of this piece two of the world’s most effective killing machines were destroyed.
AK47 is McCrow’s seminal piece. The use of the barcode has become integral to McCrow’s work and is a reference to the AK47s mass production, a mind boggling 75,000,000.
Lead sits in the barrel and front cavities of the rifle to put the piece perfect balance. This is to reflect a common struggle with weaponry; on the one hand, guns are often considered cool and exciting and on the other, abhorrent and senseless. This AK47 is approximately 30 years old. Undoubtedly responsible for a great deal of suffering; undoubtedly responsible for destroying lives. Not only from the bullets it has it fired, but also by the consequence of carrying such an instrument. Soldiers forced into service at almost any age, victims entirely surround this piece.
It is time to begin to question the accepted commerciality of such weapons.
The exhibition runs from the 20th August to the 6th September
Daily 11am -7pm
Admission is free
Oxo Tower Wharf
London SE1 9PH