- this is a lie

Earlier this month we opened our latest solo exhibition titled 'THIS IS A LIE' at Venet Haus Gallery in Neu-Ulm, Germany. The exhibition, hosted by gallery Director Verena Schneider and Terence Carr, features new works from our Pulp Fiction series, coinciding with Donau Literature Week. The exhibition has been open since the 14th April and will close on the 5th June 2016.

Photography Patrick Schmidt courtesy of Venet Haus Gallery.

painted book from the exhibition. Photography Patrick Schmidt courtesy of Venet Haus Gallery.

- Artsists in support of refugees talk at the ICA

In April we were delighted to be invited by the ICA to participate in a panel discussion examining art and artists that work in support of refugees. With the European migrant crisis intensifying, this discussion examined the issues motivating and arising from art made in response to the crisis and artists working to aid it. The talk was chaired by Anny Shaw, UK correspondent for The Art Newspaper with speakers Ossian Ward, head of content at Lisson Gallery and Aphrodite Gonou, advisor for the contemporary art program of the archaeological Cycladic Museum in Athens, Greece. The proceeds from the ticket sales are being  donated to our newly established charity, Refugee Response Foundation. We are grateful to Gregor Muir, Rosalie Dubal and the ICA for their support. 

- Brexit hoax

Each year, the 1st of April sends the usually serious world of journalism into spasms of excitement, as titles attempt to outdo one another in coming up with the best April Fool’s Day story. But hitting the perfect note is notoriously difficult. This year The Independent asked us to collaborate with them on their own April Fool’s Day Hoax.

 

- Byron's Bong

In January we presented Lord Byron’s Bong at The London Art Fair in Islington. It had been found alongside several other items, so the story went, underneath a loose floorboard during routine maintenance work at Trinity College, Cambridge. We priced it at £1.1m, and marked it as sold. The responses we got ranged from anger that Trinity had not benefited financially from the sale to annoyance that some minor fact about Byron was inaccurate. But nobody questioned the object’s authenticity.

- opening of latest exhibition and release of new fundraising print

On Thursday 12th November we opened our latest exhibition, So It Goes, at Hang Up Gallery in Stoke Newington. 

       PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHUCK NOBLE 

The exhibition was attended by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova who gave a short speech about the refugee crisis and our collaborative project in Calais’ Jungle refugee camp. You can read a transcript of Nadya's speech below. 

      Photography by chuck noble

"In the early 1900’s the suffragettes fought for women’s rights to vote. In the 1970’s tens of thousands of people united together to fight injustice during the civil rights movement.  More recently there is the ongoing struggle for LGBT equality. In each of these instances it was not governments or the media who led the way. It was ordinary people. People who decided to fight injustice even when doing so meant breaking the law and risking imprisonment.

Now we have a new challenge and a new injustice to fight. I have no doubt that the current refugee crisis is the defining issue of our generation and how we respond to it will define the judgement history makes of us. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are seeking sanctuary in Europe. These innocent people are fleeing war, famine and persecution by brutal dictatorships. They have undertaken epic and life threatening journeys from their home countries in the hope of finding refuge and safety.

We cannot and must not turn our backs on them. We cannot allow our elected representatives to place a monetary value on human lives. It is our ethics and not our economics which must be our guiding principle. Once again it is not governments who have the moral courage to lead the way. Once again the responsibility falls on ordinary people.

It was Gandhi who said ‘Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.’ No one of us can truly comprehend the scale of the humanitarian crisis before us, nor the overwhelming suffering of the people involved. But each of us can do something, however insignificant it may feel, to make our voices heard and to show our solidarity to those who so desperately need it.

It is my belief that history will judge each of us for the decisions we make at this moment. Let those decisions be made out of compassion and not out of fear. This crisis is not something to be afraid of – it is an opportunity to remind ourselves what humanity is capable of.

It is my pleasure to be able to collaborate with my friends The Connor Brothers on their ongoing work in The Jungle refugee camp. I am looking forward to joining them on their next trip to build shelters there. I am also pleased to be invited to be an ambassador for their new NGO founded in support of refugees. Thank you for your support of this project. Many more refugees will have greatly improved living conditions this winter thanks to your generosity. "

-Nadya Tolokonnikova, Nov 12th, 2015

At the exhibition we launched our latest print which is being sold in aid of our ongoing work in Calais.

Please see below for more details and please click here to visit our shop if you are interested in buying one of the new prints.

Whatever You Do Will Be Insignificant, 2015
Giclee print with silkscreen varnish, on archival paper
edition of 125
41 x 26 cm unframed

£120.00 inc VAT unframed

- update of our work in Calais' 'The Jungle' Refugee Camp

nesletter banner2small.jpg

In August we launched a fundraising appeal for refugees in Calais' Jungle camp. We Must Be Careful About What We Pretend To Be sold out immediately - we were also inundated by donations of clothes. Last week we went back to The Jungle and spent five days building shelters there. Needs in The Jungle change quickly and when we initially visited in August we were told that shoes and winter clothes were the priority. By the time we went last week the most urgent need was providing waterproof shelters. We took the decision to redirect the money from our fundraising to where it was most needed and sent £10,000 to Auberge de Migrants in order to buy building materials. Thanks to your generosity the living conditions of many refugees will be improved this winter.

The situation in The Jungle has deteriorated significantly since our last visit. There are many more woman and children in the camp now, and around a thousand more people are living there, bringing the total number to between four and five thousand. It is difficult to describe how desperate the living conditions are in The Jungle, latrines are overflowing, rubbish is piled everywhere, and children play amongst human excrement. Most people are living in tents and when it rains the site frequently floods. We spent a week building shelters but the need there is overwhelming and a huge amount of help is required if the refugees living there are to survive the winter. Tensions with the French authorities are running high. During our visit we experience tear gas fired into the camp by Riot Police. Remarkably given the appalling conditions there is hope amongst the people living there, and we witnessed moments of extraordinary kindness and generosity. 

Building shelters is not the solution to the Refugee Crisis. Governments need to find their humanity and take collective responsibility for the many thousands of desperate people urgently seeking sanctuary in Europe. Everyone we met in The Jungle had escaped war or persecution. Many had undertaken dangerous and often deadly journeys with their families in the hope of finding refuge here, only to be stranded in appalling conditions in a makeshift camp. Refugees cannot apply for Asylum in the UK from outside the country, and the UK government is intent on stopping legitimate asylum seekers from getting to the UK, leaving people no choice but to attempt to make the crossing illegally.

We intend to visit The Jungle again in late November to build more shelters, and to provide solar power to the people living there. We are currently planning a further fundraising effort which we will announce shortly, 

Many thanks for your continued support of our work in The Jungle.

- The Connor Brother's print release in aid of Calais Refugees

 

Earlier this month we travelled to 'The Jungle' migrant camp in Calais to better understand the situation there. The hysterical reporting of the crisis has misrepresented the situation, and the language of politicians has added to the negative image of the migrants there. 

Conditions in The Jungle are appalling - thousands of desperate people fleeing persecution are living in squalid conditions less than an hour from the UK. 

With winter approaching, conditions in The Jungle are set to deteriorate and the people living in makeshift shelters there are ill prepared for the change in weather. Most of them arrived with no possessions and are in need of our help. We are releasing this new print to raise funds to buy shoes and winter coats, the two items that people in The Jungle most requested.

100% of the proceeds from sales of the print will go to helping the people living in The Jungle this winter.

You can read an account of our trip to The Jungle in: 

The Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mike-snelle/inside-the-jungle-migrant-camp_b_8011430.html

The Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11801006/Inside-the-Calais-Jungle-where-men-live-in-solidarity-and-shame.html

we must be careful
2015, signed & dated
Giclee print with silk screen varnish
41 x 26 cm
edition of 125
£100 + vat

To buy this print you can visit our shop

In addition to the print release we are asking for donations of shoes and coats which will be delivered to the refugees in The Jungle in September. For information of where to send them to please email olivia@theconnorbrothers.com

thanks in advance for your generosity


George Saunders advice to graduates .. be kinder.  One of the funniest, smartest and most compassionate writers working today.

read here

 

 

- Ken Robinson - do schools kill creativity ?

Ken Robinsons must watch Ted Talk. Inspiring and hilarious in equal measure. Is school bullshit?

 

 

- this is water

'Plain old untrendy troubles and emotions' - David Foster Wallace

The Guardian, Saturday 20 September 2008

read here

 

alive inside - a story of music and memory

 

- David Thorne's insanely brilliant email correspondence

click here to view the 27b/6 website