100 Banners, 23.5 Million Whispers
100 Banners, 23.5 Million Whispers is a collaborative art project by Alizon Gray & Simon O’Carrigan. You can be part of it! Find us at one of our banner making locations and contribute your own banner to the project (using the materials we provide). For future iterations of the work keep an eye on the blog at 100banners.blogspot.com.au and send us a message of encouragement!
The first finished version of the work was shown at the 2014 Toyota Community Spirit Prize from 19 November, 2014 running until March 2015. We were awarded an honourable mention and second place in the prize.
Check out where we will set up next, and what we’ve done so far, via our Facebook event page. (This event will be updated for each new banner making session!)
What’s it all about?
Protests build community whilst voicing opinions on leadership decisions that will impact upon local, national and international communities. Often such decisions are irreversible and have far reaching implications. Though the aims of various protest movements may differ, many cite the core issue as being lack of public consultation and the feeling that the voice of the people is not being heard. Raising petitions and protesting in the street has long been an essential constituent of our history and democratic free speech. However, in Victoria there are now laws that can be used to sentence peaceful protesters with gaol time. This artwork is a timely and poignant reflection on the changing social and cultural situation in Australia and around the world: it can feel as though our democratic rights and proportional representation are being challenged.
Before installation of 100 Banners, 23.5 Million Whispers within the Toyota grounds we invited members of the public to ink messages onto calico and then we immediately washed the words out. The ink slightly stained the calico so that only a hint of the message is left. Washing away the slogans reflects the muted protests of citizens; the erosion of the opposing voice. Rather than focus on any one issue or cause, this artwork captures the emotional groundswell of discontent when the voice of community opposition falls on deaf ears.
A huge thank you to all who helped us with this project!
Scroll for shots of the first install, at Toyota HQ, and then documentation shots of our community banner makings days!