artists transform AK 47s into art
sep 27, 2012
artists transform AK 47s into art


‘spin AK47 for peace day’, 2012 by damien hirst
photo by prudence cuming associates © damien hirst and science ltd.
all rights reserved, DACS 2012

london-based photographer and amnesty international award winner bran symondson has brought together for the first time 23
renowned artists for ‘AKA peace’ – an art project that requests the creatives to re-imagine a fully decommissioned AK-47 assault rifle.
the work is curated by celebrated british artist jake chapman and produced by peace one day – a global peace campaign the artwork supports.

the firearm is internationally recognized as the symbol of war – each one selected from a war-ravaged area of the world for the
unprecedented project. the transformed weapons are currently on display at the institute of contemporary arts in london until the
30th september, 2012 and each piece will be auctioned off on the 4th october, 2012 at howick place in london. the proceeds from
the sale of the ‘AKA peace’ artworks will go directly to peace one day’s global truce 2013 campaign.

the renowned artists participating include jake and dinos chapman, damien hirst, antony gormley, sam taylor–wood, gavin turk,
rebecca warren, stuart semple, tim noble and sue webster, douglas gordon, jeremy deller, marc quinn, ryan gander, jim lambie,
langlands and bell, mat collishaw, harland miller, bran symondson, sarah lucas, charming baker, antony micallef, nancy fouts,
laila shawa and solange azagury-partridge.

bran symondson describes how the project came about:

while serving in Afghanistan and also returning as a photographer for the sunday times magazine, I used to see how the afghan
national police (ANP) would sometimes adorn their AK47s with either colourful stickers, roses, or glitter tape.
that’s where the seed was planted for the project. then one day, I was taking cover from incoming AK47 fire in a ditch with a
young ANP lad sat next to me with a bloody rose at the end of [his gun]. I laughed and thought when or if I get home the
irony of taking these things and turning them into art works has to be done
.’


langlands + bell’s ‘sign of the times’ at the AKA peace exhibition

image © andrew winning/reuters


nancy fouts’s  ‘don’t touch
image © andrew winning/reuters


laila shawa’s ‘where souls dwell’


stuart semple’s ‘nimrod’
image © bran symondson


artists ben langlands and nikki bell of studio langlands + bell with their re-imagined AK-47
image © bran symondson


a video introducing the project

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library