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WAR BOUTIQUE “War Boutique symbolically transforms instruments of war and destruction into constructive items embodying creativity, peace and critical social commentary” Society For Contemporary Craft War Boutique’s textiles of choice are Kevlar and Dymeena designed to resist bullets; his form is the flak jacket emblazoned with the Metropolitan Peace or the fully armoured chalk-stripe suit for the City Gent Soldier. He has collaborated with some of the most renowned contemporary artists including the infamous street artist Banksy for his controversial Banksy Versus Bristol Museum show and YBA Sarah Lucas as well as the royal and military tailor, Gieves & Hawkes, to create City Gent Soldier. Working for a body armour company on obtaining his degree in Textiles and Fashion Design, he has designed armour and uniforms from fabrics specially formulated for military use or the British, Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Algerian armies, as well as the Metropolitan Police, Italian Carabinieri and Mexico City Police. The arresting symbolic potential of these textiles led War Boutique to requisition and recycle uniforms, military and ballistic

materials and use them in his art, to alert us to the creeping militarisation of our society, encourage us to work towards peace and remind us of our duty to realise this. The Peace Pods, which have been suspenced from trees and rafters in the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, British Museum and Regents Park as there are places of respite for people to enter and feel and make peace. Designed so that it is essential for the individuals inside to cooperate peacefully to avoid the de stabilisation of the pod and inspired by the form of crinoline (a skirt stiffened with hoops used by courtly ladies) these works provoke us to question the necessity of war and to explore ways of experiencing peace. Commissioned by Gieves & Hawkes, City Gent Soldier (2005) wears a perfectly tailored suit using the finest Gieves & Hawkes cloth cut and sewn by their finest military tailors which functions as a fully protective garment. It is the contemporary

embodiment of the metaphorical ‘armour of God’ needed to stand firm against the villainous violence of today’s world. The City Gent’s accoutrements are the breastplate of righteousness: a ballistic chest plate; the shield of faith; a ballistic briefcase; the sword of spirit; an umbrella sword and the shoes for the gospel of peace: special forces boots. He has also produced child sized stab vests for the Bak 2 Skool project - a reaction to child stabbings in Peckham - that when displayed in his carefully created mock-up of a Peckham shop front attracted swarms of parents from the local area requesting anti stab vests to protect their children from the new school term. A sign of the times.


BOOM Screen print on paper with black diamond dust, 2011 Edition of 15, Signed and Numbered, Unframed 92.5 x 110 cm


BOOM Screen print on paper with pink diamond dust, 2011 Edition of 15, Signed and Numbered, Unframed 92.5 x 110 cmt

The image is derived from the front cover of a British arms trade catalogue for a company that manufactures smoke screening equipment. The ambiguity of the image is the origin of the smoke. One questions whether it comes from a grenade thrown in the tank, from a smoke screening device emanating from the tank itself or from friendly fire.


BOOM Screen print on paper with pink diamond dust, 2011 Edition of 15, Signed and Numbered, Unframed 92.5 x 110 cmt

The image is derived from the front cover of a British arms trade catalogue for a company that manufactures smoke screening equipment. The ambiguity of the image is the origin of the smoke. One questions whether it comes from a grenade thrown in the tank, from a smoke screening device emanating from the tank itself or from friendly fire.


CITY GENT Combat 95 pattern two - piece suit in Gieves & Hawkes Worchester wool chalk stripe with Dyeema breastplate strike face protection level RF1; Teijing Twaron CT613 body armour material HG1 armour grade; Kevlar moulded GS Mark VI helmet; Nomex blaclava; Advancer V12 Lens Pod system British Service MOD goggles; 180 x 50 x 40 cm, Unique

Respro mask; Northern Ireland issue combat gloves; Sam Browne belt; standard issue British Service boots; Financial Times; ACT - 510 A Wireless Pen Camera (audio and visual); canister of pepper spray; sword umbrella with fully functional high carbon steel rapier blade, ballistic briefcase.


RAKE Variety of circa 40 different types of brass handgun and shotgun shells used to test police and military armour, 2009 Unique, Signed 800 x 100 cm


PEACE POD Regents Park, London, 2009 War Boutique’s Peace Pods have been suspended from the trees and rafters in the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, British Museum and Regents Park as these are places of respite for people to enter and feel and make peace. Designed so that it is essential for the

individuals inside to cooperate peacefully to avoid the de stabilisation of the pod and inspired by the form of crinoline (a skirt stiffened with hoops used by courtly ladies) these works provoke us to question the necessity of war and to explore ways of experiencing peace.


SHOT AT I Three 9mm bullet indents on polished aircraft grade aluminium shot at Home Office shooting range in accordance with Home Office recommendations for testing diplomatic protection shields at a distance of 10 metres via Dyeema and Kevlar covers, 2010. Unique, Unsigned 40 x 40 x 5 cm


SHOT AT IV Ten 9mm bullet indents on polished aircraft grade aluminium shot at Home Office shooting range in accordance with Home Office recommendations for testing diplomatic protection shields at a distance of 10 metres via Dyeema and Kevlar covers, 2010. Unique, Unsigned 122 x 66 x 5 cm


CERAMIC ARMOUR I Red and gold vintage silkscreen decal on Ministry of Defence chest and pelvic armour plates, 2010 Unique, Unsigned 60 x 25 x3 cm

Influenced to create this series of works by poet Robert Tannahill (1774 - 1810), known as the Weaver in Wartime who was born in Paisley (where War Boutique was educated) to a weaving family. The poet’s work focused on human beings’ inability to resolve serious conflicts and wars. War Boutique has used these intricate paisley designs to create a poetic interpretation of body armour.


CERAMIC ARMOUR III Blue and Gold vintage silkscreen decal on Ministry of Defence chest and pelvic armour plates, 2010 Unique, Unsigned 60 x 25 x 3 cm


UNION JACK VEST Metropolitan Police armoured vest Defender anti - stab and ballistic body armour, designed for low level stab protection and 38 special and 9mm handguns at point blank range, Union Jack tie, 2004. 60 x 60 x 3 cm

This vest was made in collaboration with Sarah Lucas. All proceeds to be donated to Peace not War.


METROPOLITAN PEACE VEST Jacquard weave on body armour as worn by Metropolitan Police and made from 500 denier Cordura waterproof fabric with low level stab protection to stop Edition of 15, Signed 60 x 50 x 8 cm

stiletto blades, kitchen knives. Also, low level ballistic protection to stop .38 Special and 9 mm handgun rounds at point blank range, 2008 - 2010.


BAK 2 SKOOL Single child - sized stab jacket, school tie and sew - on badge, 2008 Unique, Signed From left to right: 35 x 42 cm; 36 x 39 cm; 37 x 41 cm; 58 x 40 cm

War Boutique altered these stab vests to child - sized versions. This installation was made in Peckham following the shocking stabbing of 14 - 16 year old school children at 4 local schools. It took its place in a shop front in Peckham.

Passers - by made many honest enquiries as to whether there was any stock left for their children for the new school year.


SMILE Glow in the dark flurorescent spray paint on policae snatch shield, 2011 Series of 2 Signed 60 x 60 x 1 0 cm

A snatch shield is used by members of the Patrol Group to infiltrate protesters’ lines during stand-offs or riot situations. It is smaller than the standard Public Order shield for increased manoeuvrability. It is used in conjunction with a baton. War Boutique

envisages the police using the glow in the dark colours to liven up protestors during Kettling (a tactic used to keep protestors in narrow containment with a view to dispersing their anger).


BOMB BLANKET Acrylic stencilled onto ballistic nylon outer; Kevlar inner bomb blanket to protect from fragmentation carried by diplomatic and consular services as well as police and military forces, 2005 Unique, Signed 150 x 150 x 5 cm

This work is a reflection on the innocent victims who lost their lives in the 7/7 bombings in 2005 in which 56 people lost their lives and 700 were injured.


BEASTS OF ENGLAND III Police riot gear including riot shield, riot helmet and 2 PR t24 side handled batons manufactured by Monannock, 2011 Unique, Signed 120 x 60 x 40 cm

Police riot gear including riot shield, riot helmet and 2 PR side handled batons manufactured by Monadnock provided by Hertfordshire Constabulary and used at the Huntington Life Sciences protests active since 1999 against animal testing. These shields are used by the Public Order Units for Public

Disorder in Hertfordshire for which War Boutique made the body armour. The title Beasts of England derives from George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945) It is the song in which the pig, Old Major, explains his dream of an animal- controlled society, It becomes their national anthem.


PRIVATISED PAT Lambda C - Type print on paper, 2011 Edition of 50, Signed and numbered 53 x 80 cm, Unframed

This image is a reflection on the passing of part of the backbone of British society in the form of its postal services.


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War Boutique | Catalogue  

A selection of works by artist War Boutique

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