‘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.’

artists transform AK 47s into art langlands + bell’s ‘sign of the times’ at the AKA peace exhibitionimage © andrew winning/reuters

artists transform AK 47s into art nancy fouts’s  ‘don’t touch‘ image © andrew winning/reuters

artists transform AK 47s into art laila shawa’s ‘where souls dwell’

artists transform AK 47s into art stuart semple’s ‘nimrod’ image © bran symondson

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

a video introducing the project