On the March takes boisterous banners by Ed Hall to People's History Museum in Manchester

By Culture24 Staff | 13 May 2011
A photo of an anti-racism banner
Exhibition: On the March, People’s History Museum, Manchester, May 14 – October 30 2011

From hurriedly daubed outbursts on kingsize bedsheets to rich landscapes on silk, the recent spate of marches in Britain have testified to the modern status of banner making as an outlet for creativity.

“It seemed a fantastic combination of the tradition of banner making with a contemporary subject,” says Jeremy Deller, discussing Ed Hall’s Brixton Bomb banner, a portrait which rails as powerfully against racism as any speech.

“It was a key moment for me as an artist, and that’s why he is my icon.”

A photo of people holding a banner protesting against police brutality
Brixton Bomb features in this show alongside Deller’s Procession – which formed part of the Manchester International Festival two years ago – and Hall’s other works, created for trade unions, campaign groups and other organizations.

Hall started making them in the early 1980s, and his preparatory sketches, photographs, newspaper clippings and archive materials accompany a recreation of his studio and a film made in a collaboration with Deller from the TUC National Demonstration Against the Cuts.

A photo of people marching in a city street holding a banner protesting against climate change
Held in March, the protest took place under dozens of banners made by Hall. Two works commissioned for the exhibition by the venue also show a crowd on the move and the People’s History Museum building.

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