Saturday, July 11, 2009

SAVE VESTAS - send messages of support now

Vestas is a wind turbine factory (the only one in the UK) on the Isle of Wight near where I live in Portsmouth. It is threatened with closure on the 31 July. with the loss of 600 jobs. This will have a devastating effect on the already weak economy of the Island and is a serious blow to the fight against climate change.

Last night I went, with Jonathan Neale of the Campaign against Climate Change and other comrades, to a meeting with about ten of the Vestas workers on the Island. It is clear that these workers want to resist and that what they need above all is confidence and the feeling that they will be supported. If they fight it will be of great significance for the British workers movement and for the general struggle to save the planet.

In this context messages of support from everyone, but especially international messages, to are very important.

Obviously it is quite urgent, as the key decisions may be made this week.

Left in Vision 3 - Launch Pictures 3

Photographs of the Left In Vision 3 launch 03-06-09 at Marxism 2009, courtesy of Richard Peacock and Nancy Lindisfarne

Left in Vision 3 at Marxism 2009 was a huge success. The standard of work was very high and the exhibition was very warmly received - see the extraordinary Comments Book posted below. Hundreds attended the launch and there was a steady stream of visitors throughout.

The whole thing involved an immense amount of work by lots of people and I would like to thank them all - especially Jacqui Mair, Wayne Clements, Richard Peacock, Roxanne Chappell, Keith Robertson, Tom Allen, Robb Waterfield, Lee Sprake, Ed O'Bryan, Nick Hicking, Charlotte Le Brecht,Emma Harris, Mike Bartlett, Martin Adams, David Sullivan, Anna Paczuska, John Levett, Nick Chapman, Colin Smith ( Marxism Organiser), and Jenny Eppler (ULU conference manager). I hope I haven't forgotten anyone.

One important aspect of the exhibition not reflected here ( I hope to post pictures soon) was the installation of David Garner's 'B for Defiance!', an exact replica of the Arbeit Macht Frei sign from the gates of Auschwitz, on the grass near the Institute of Education. On Sunday (5 July) we staged a mass walk over this sign, as a way of saying 'Never Again!'. Hundreds of people took part and it turned into a spontaneous anti- BNP demo. The procession was led by socialist sculptors, May Ayres and Chanie Rosenberg (who lost family in the Holocaust) and was both moving and inspirational.

I also want to thank Tim Evans, who made three poetic contributions to the show: at the Launch with his stunning 'Do you want some?' based on the disability benefits form (which is also part of Roxanne Chappell's benefits office installation 'We Need to See Evidence of This'); at the David Garner walkover with his Response to Arbeit Macht Frei, and as part of the Sunday lunchtime 'Poems for the Economic Meltdown' session with Huw Pudner, Phil Knights, Claire Cameron and Nicola Field - who are also thanked.

Particularly nice was to have an Egyptian section of the show with great drawings (Nessma El Aasser), photos (Hossam al- Hamalawy, Nasser Nouri and Sarah Carr, and Yasser Alwan) and posters (Mohammed Gaber).

By far the most ambitious and difficult thing we did was transport (from Portsmouth) and bulid in ULU, Roxanne Chappell's brilliant 'Evidence' interactive installation. This was a stunning success thanks to the work of Roxanne herself, but also to the work and help of many others.

John Molyneux

Roxanne Chappell, We Need to See Evidence of This

Looking at Kim Barnett 'Bankers Say Sorry, or The Great Bailout'

May Ayres, Indifference

Nessma el-Aassar The Friends and Yasser Alwan Photographs

Mark Killian Solidarity Now!

Chanie Rosenberg, Tony Cliff

Keith Robertson, City of Dis

Nessma El Aassar, Self Portrait

Looking at Mike Bartlett, Welcome to Leigh Park

Mohammed Gaber, Posters from Egypt

Anna Paczuska with her work

Roxanne Chappell, We Need To see Evidence of This

Looking at Alke Schmidt's work

Looking at David Sullivan's paintings

Left in Vision 3 - Launch Pictures 2

Photographs of the Left In Vision 3 launch 03-06-09 at Marxism 2009, courtesy of Nancy Lindisfarne.

John Molyneux and Red Saunders

Chanie Rosenberg

Looking at Kim Barnett's work


Richard Peacock

Martin Adams

Roxanne Chappell

We Need to See Evidence of This - the Security (Paul)

Anna Paczuska

Chris Price

Mary Smith

Tim Evans

Looking at Carrie Reichardt's Ceramics

Left in Vision 3 - Launch Pictures 1

Photographs of the Left In Vision launch 03-06-09 at Marxism 2009, courtesy of Nancy Lindisfarne

Maureen Delenian with friend

Looking at Nessma El Aassar's Self Portrait

Henny Woods with Keith Robertson's City Of Dis

Anon with Roxanne Chappell's La Lotta Continua

? with Maohammed Gaber's Posters from Egypt

Looking at Nessma El Aassar's work


Chanie Rosenberg

Hazel in Roxanne Chappell's We Need to See Evidence of This

Noel Halifax with Alec Duff's Theory and Practice

Left in Vision 3 Comments

Left in Vision 3 – The Comments Book

Below are the verbatim contents of the Comments Book, except for many names which were often illegible. Nothing has been left out except for the ranting of one rightwing Christian and a few unreadable words. Clearly the response was extremely favourable and I think it is rare for any event on the left to meet with such warm and unanimous praise.

John Molyneux

“Great little exhibition” – Bill Brunt, Mcr

“Great exhibition! Mark Killian’s work springs out!!” –

“Beautful exhibition. Nice combination of contemporary, classic and digital art!” – Suzanne (?) Hogendoors, The Netherlands

“Loved it” – Dean ?

“Great art show!” –

“I am leaving with intense emotions of relief, satisfaction and plenty of thoughts which were raised by the works” – anon

“Good stuff! Very interesting! Well done!”

“Some very emotive pieces!!”

“An amazing exhibition, reminding me of the equal importance of artistic expression with theory and action in any revolutionary movement.” – Tom Hegarty

“Some really amazing things that actually made me think for once and get goosebumps. Thank you, thank you” – Laura Hegarty

“Inspiring.” – N.G.

“Very enjoyable.” – Jen

“I particularly liked ‘My Living Doll’. Very interesting. Overall really good!” – Mollie

“Some really interesting and innovative art. Great stuff!” – Robert Clarke

“Thumbs up.” – Liam

“Great to see such a range of images and styles.” – Jeremy

“The invisible girder in ‘Solidarity Now’ weighed with Woody on the other side…Genius. Ha! Ha. Loved it.” – ?

“A significant improvement and development on previous Left In Vision shows. A real success. I’ll be back.” – Colin (Joyce?)

“Andrew Warren, I am an artist too.”

“Revolution now+”

“Fantastic show guys. Get in touch worth Edinburough University Arts Society to promote your work. Magazine + exhibitions.”

“I loved the exhibition. Seldom have I been so touched by so many works.” – Hella (art history student)

“Excellent – diverse. There are statements, there are ambiguities. Very inclusive of styles and materials – I’m sure the establishment would call it a mess!” – Sam Chambers

“Very stimulating – some fantastic thought-provoking exhibs. Well done to all the artists and those who pulled the exhibition together.” – Maxine Bowler

“Keep on keeping on.” – Mary

“A privilage to have been part of this exhibition, Left in Vision. I have learned a lot about artists and human kindness.” – Jacqui Mair

“I was shouted at. It was hot and the wine ran out far too quickly.” – Anon

“Fantastic exhibition in terms of, depth and impact. Pictures from Egyptian strike tremendous.” – Jon Woods

“Love the DHSS. It’s a fantastic piece of reality” – G. McCarthy

“Great addition to the usual talks + seminars + music events. Radical art! Look forward to next year!”

“Amazing pictures, every picture is a long essay, it talks itself. Wonderful art pieces. It’s a fantastic way to introduce your [illegible].” – Maher Deyab

“Amazing art themes. This not a biased message but a simple truth.”

“If only there were more artists and more spaces exploring these ideas.” – Anthony

“Like the work or Maureen Delenian plus the poem about the dole. Maybe I’ll submit an exhibit next year.” (?)

“Gets better every year.” – Jacqui Miller

“Like the crucifixion, excellent.” – Sophie Jongman

“Great art with political points. Fabulous talent used for a purpose.” - V. [Pap?]

“Very very interesting, well worth a visit.”

“So proud to be part of it. Technology permitted. Thanks.” – Nicola Field

“Very thought provoking. Many thanks.” – Alan Porter

“Fantastic. Spec ‘We Need to See Evidence of This’ – a really moving experience.” – Mike W

“Powerful and inspiring art entrenched in a springing from struggle. Excellent stuff.” – Tom Mycock

“Thought the installation was brilliant.” – Dave F

“This is a fantastic exhibition…the best! Roxanne Chappell has inspired me.” – Sanjay (UEL film student)

“Another inspiring exhibition – making me at least think of trying to create in the coming year.” – M

“This art exhibition is just the sort of event that enhances Marxism. I speak as one who has been attending Marxism for many years.” – Eddie Prevost

“Words fail me almost! What a wonderful show. Next year? Better? Of course!” – Maureen

“Brilliant! It gets better each year!” – Tim Evans

“Really fantastic – moving work, inspired!” – Katya

“So good and touching.” – Liz R

“Here’s to a radical and new wave of art via the Left In Vision and those involved.” – James N

“Work very good.” – L Jones

“Very interesting and moving. I find pieces representative of our realities.” – Ashraf Abdelhay

“Great stuff. See you next year.” – H.B.

“Enjoyed the installation and video works very much. Thanks.” – Katherine Stuart

“We need to help young mums…” – Anon

“Videos disturbing. DSS very disturbing. Hit a nerve for those who have experienced it. Encouraged by diversity of expression. My thanks for involving me.” – Marie Clegg

“A display with meaning and substance.” – R.H.

“Very interesting and powerful exhibition.”

“Very interesting…excellent initiative for SWP.” – John Bridge (CPGB)

“I found the installation particularly relavent being in wheelchair – other images are beguiling, disurbing, compelling, always important.” – Gareth Lawes

“Inspirational.” – Dean S?

“I think the exhibition is excellent. Wish I had more time to spend looking at it.”

“Very enlightening and fun – is that what good art should be?!” – Chris Kelly

“Absolutely fantastic. Shows the power of the messages art can give.”

“Well done again! Hope the exhibition will be here again next year – but nearer meetings hopefully.” – Debbie Rolls

“Many thanks, I really enjoyed it.” – Joan Deshpande

“Some terrific stuff. Loved ‘We Need Evidence’” – Pat Stack

“Amazing.” – Nancy Lindisfarne

“Fan-fucking-tastic.” – Carol (?)

“Ceramics by May Ayres were/are fantastic and installation excellent – powerful stuff.” – Maggie Farrell, Glasgow

Glasgow SWP/Stop The War interested in setting up similar Left In Vision exhibition in November/December 2009. Contact

“It’s great.” – Elizabeth Bond

“A fantastic and very interesting exhibition. Thanks very much.” – Paul and Jan X X

“Amazing exhibition. Every time you walk round, you notice something new! Brilliant work.” – Alys

“From admiration to horror. This is life in the raw. Well done.” – Marie

“That is very good. Works. Art works better than words to some people. Keep going. Thanks.” - Mirfat

“Great exhibition. Really inspiring. Thanks.” – Naomi

“Fantastic exhibition. Well done.” – Eve

“Remarkable exhibition. Aesthetically satisfying and politically uplifting. Underlining again that art and politics do go together. Congrats to all.” – Sabby Sagall

“Fantastic exhibition – great to be the last visitor. Thanks” – Chloe

“It has been good to have you here at ULU. Hope to have you again. Thanks” – Jenny Eppler