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Thatcheristic: Art Below hosts Iron Lady exhibition

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Controversial to the last, the funeral of Margaret Thatcher last week continued to divide the nation. Millions of pounds down the drain, or a fitting farewell to one whom many called the greatest Prime Minister since Churchill? Whatever one’s perspective, it would be fair to say that no funeral in Britain has received so much public attention since Princess Diana’s – albeit for very different reasons.

To mark this end of an era in the artistic world, for 10 days, 10 artists will be exhibiting works about one of the most famous people behind Number 10. With some of these works being created specifically for the exhibition – entitled Thatcheristic – some will also be exhibited on Westminster Underground station once the exhibition has finished.

“All the artists in the show have one thing in common, we all grew up as Thatcher’s children,” said Ben Moore, the director of Art Below, which is running the exhibition. “Thatcher’s death has highlighted the divide in people’s thoughts and feelings towards her and I hope this exhibition reflects this in a visual way.”

Art Below uses billboard space in underground stations to display artworks in London and overseas. Brothers Ben and Simon Moore first experimented with this idea by displaying the works of their friends on billboard space in major stations in the London underground. Since then, the group has nurtured an international community of artistic talent and has displayed the works of over 2,500 artists.

They describe their mission as being an opportunity “to enrich the everyday life of the travelling public by giving fresh insight into the very latest in contemporary art whilst at the same time providing a platform for emerging and established talent.”

You may recognise the image in the header, “Pixellated close-up of Margaret Thatcher’s tearful eye whilst leaving Downing Street for the last time”, by Jonny Briggs, winner of the Saatchi New Sensations competition. Whereas a lot of the images understandably focus on Thatcher as the Iron Lady, Briggs has captured a very public display (albeit an accidental one, perhaps) of a very private and intimate moment; an illustration that she is as fragile and able to be hurt as much as any one of us.

Below are some of the other striking images that will be exhibited at Gallery Different in London’s Percy Street – and later on the London Underground.

 

Blue Lady, 2013. Nasser Azam

Blue Lady

Great Britain is Great Again, 2013. Harry Pye and Gordon Beswick

Great Britain is great again

Irony, 1990. Paul Tecklenberg

Iron Lady

Milk Lady, 2013. Thom Earle

Milky Lady

Shattered, 2013. Carne Griffiths

Shattered Iron Lady

In Your Dreams, 2013. Ben Moore

In your dreams

On Earth As It Is In Heaven, 2013. Ben Moore

On earth as it is in heaven

Maggie Regina, 1990. Peter Kennard

Maggie Regina

Pixellated close-up of Margaret Thatcher’s tearful eye whilst leaving Downing Street for the last time, 2013. Jonny Briggs

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(Maggie's) Death Bed, 2013. Eleanor Lindsay-Finn

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The exhibition Thatcheristic runs until 28 April at Gallery Different, 14 Percy St  London, W1T 1DR

 

by Ashley Morrison

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