Memorial to peace activist Brian Haw to stand opposite London’s Imperial War Museum


A permanent memorial to Brian Haw—the political activist who inspired Mark Wallinger’s Turner prizewinning piece State Britain (2007)—is due to be installed in south London, according to The Guardian. The 75cm-high statue, created by the artist Amanda Ward, will sit in an alcove on the School of Historical Dress at 52 Lambeth Road, opposite the Imperial War Museum.

The longtime protestor camped outside the Houses of Parliament from 2001 until 2011 when he died; Ward’s piece shows an embattled Haw leaning on his crutches. “Initially inspired by the war in Iraq and UK and US foreign policy, his peace campaign became an unavoidable accompaniment for MPs as they made their way to and from their place of work,” says a statement for a crowdfunder, which has so far raised more than £25,000 of the £50,000 target. The money will go towards “building works” as well as “maintenance, insurance and ongoing costs in the years ahead”, an update says.

Ward is helping to lead the campaign for a statue, alongside figures including the musician Brian Eno. “I made [the Haw piece] as a maquette with the idea of making a larger version; I took four photos of him, one from each side,” she tells The Art Newspaper. “I decided to make a statue a year before his death when he was worn down from sleeping on the pavement for ten years—[from] pollution and police harassment—but still resolute in his protest. I had known and supported Brian [Haw] for ten years which helped my portrayal of him.”

Wallinger decided to document Haw’s one-man protest over the Iraq war, creating the State Britain installation in 2007 in response to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) 2005.

The artist explained his reasons for making the installation in a 2007 report, saying: “I was impressed and moved by what he was saying and by what is a powerful document of the US and UK’s policy in Iraq. I was taken aback by the sheer variety of the material Haw had assembled.”


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