Unite, the country’s biggest union, has today (Wednesday 2 October) unveiled a striking large scale mural, as part of the global Inside Out art project, on a building in north London as a symbol of protest against the government’s attack on the NHS.
The mural of black and white images, launched to coincide with black history month, shows the faces of more than 400 people opposed to the government’s NHS cuts, with a big portrait of Mary Seacole, the Jamaican-born nurse whose pioneering work during the Crimean War was overlooked by the UK for 100 years, at its heart.
Artist Karen Lois Whiteread has transformed a drab union office building with a mural that challenges passers by to stop, think and remember the vital role the NHS plays in our communities; how we have all been touched by it but risk losing it, as research shows that Black Asian and Ethnic minorities (BAEM) are being hardest hit by the NHS cuts.
The installation can be viewed at Unite regional office ‘Woodberry’, 218 Green Lanes, London N4 2HB throughout the month of October. The project will culminate with the building’s demolition at a date still to be announced..
Peter Kavanagh, Unite London and Eastern regional secretary, said: “With David Cameron’s coalition government doing all it can to destroy our NHS, in a small corner of north London we have created a strong visual protest against the destruction of our health service.
“Unite against NHS cuts is a community art project that challenges passers by to question this government’s ideologically driven attack on this country’s greatest social benefit.
“The large scale black and white mural shows the faces of 400 people from different backgrounds of different ethnicities – a north London community – opposed to NHS cuts and its sell off to greedy profit-first companies.
“It is our NHS, we created it and we pay for it but if we don’t fight and challenge the government’s NHS policies we will lose it for future generations, as the ultimate demolition of the project shows.”
The community art project in the heart of north London forms part of the global Inside Out project which is a large scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
For further information contact: Unite regional officer Sarah Cook on 07768 693949 and/or Shaun Noble, Unite senior communications officer, on 07768 693940
Inside Out is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world.
These digitally uploaded images are made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators, for them to exhibit in their own communities.
Posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window, to a wall of an abandoned building, or in a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and be made available online at http://www.insideoutproject.net/.
The INSIDE OUT project is a creation of the artist JR, recipient of the 2011 TED Prize.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.42 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey