The artists behind 'I have the power' on turning kindness into art
Morag Myerscough and five of the artists behind our 'I have the power' campaign posters on showing kindness in a difficult year. Plus, a chance to have your own work featured on a British Red Cross print
The British Red Cross has collaborated with nine artists, bringing to life the message ‘I have the power’.
We hope you agree that each design is a cheerful and empowering reminder of the power we all have to help others – whether we can be physically there for them or not.
The nine designs are all available as prints and as a range of products in our gift shop, with plenty of ideas for Christmas presents if you’re stuck – from sweatshirts to jigsaw puzzles to water bottles.
And, any budding artists itching to showcase their creativity can also enter our competition to become the 10th artist in the collaboration. The winner will have their design printed onto products including tote-bags, t-shirts, and towels - as well as the aforementioned jigsaw puzzles.
We will also send the winner one of each of the products for themselves. Learn more about the competition here. It's open to all ages and closes at midnight on 8th December 2020.
Keen to be involved but unsure of where to start? Read on and see how six of the artists we worked with found inspiration for their designs...
"During this time in particular I was really keen to be involved with a project that can help or give back to communities in some way. This opportunity to work on something for the British Red Cross was definitely something that ticked all of these boxes for me!
I wanted to convey the idea of inner strength and growth - also during this time I have found a lot of joy in nature which is why I chose to depict animals and plants."
"Aside from the huge impact of coronavirus on my projects, I’ve had to take a bit of a work sabbatical following a traumatic brain injury that I sustained after a fall from my bike towards the end of the initial lockdown. Despite wearing a cycling helmet, I was knocked unconscious and came around in the ambulance having suffered a small bleed. I’ve been recovering ever since and sadly that has meant giving away the small number of projects I had managed to cling on to.
I’m now concentrating on adapting to a new way of living and thinking and part of that is only working on things that bring me joy. Being part of the British Red Cross campaign is one such project. Kindness is at the heart of the Red Cross and this year people - strangers as well as friends, despite their own problems and the state of the world - have shown me so much kindness. When this collaboration opportunity came up it felt fitting to take part.
"My design is a close-up photograph of part of the first silk screen print I completed since my accident. Silk screen printing is one of the only things that I lose myself in; and love seeing how they develop as I add new colour layers. Since my accident even printing has become a big challenge, taking me so much longer than previously. For me, this print demonstrates that I have the power to get through this personal situation; let alone the pandemic.
It is a testament to others to show that kindness is a power as without the support I’ve had I wouldn’t have been able to print and achieve the design. My friend Remi helped me with the text and digital aspect of the design; he’s been incredibly kind to me recently."
“This year, we have shown how overwhelmingly powerful and life changing human kindness can be. How we can quite literally change and save lives with it - communities pulling together in ways I have never seen in my lifetime. I have always greatly respected and admired the work of The British Red Cross and I love that kindness is freely accessible, yet so greatly underrated.
We have all had to learn to become resilient in adversity this year, and the role of kindness has never been more valuable or crucial to how we handle and emerge from such a difficult time.
I've been thinking about how, as communities, we can create a spirit of togetherness when the nature of the pandemic forbids it. We all have the power to cultivate kindness, both to ourselves and to others and the broader impact and ripple effect of this approach can just be phenomenal. My practice has always really looked at smashing the taboo around mental health."
"I decided to get involved in this campaign because, like the British Red Cross, I believe in the importance of taking care of one another and spreading kindness in our communities, something needed now more than ever during this global pandemic.
There is a lot of misplaced power in the world right now so when approaching this design, it felt really important for me to focus on the power of love and kindness in humanity. I really enjoyed working with the phrase ‘I have the power’ and I think it is good to remind people of their value and importance.
It's really easy to fall into feeling like what we do as individuals won't have an impact, but we are capable of so much and our individual acts of kindness are tremendously powerful."
"I love the message behind [the campaign]. It's been a really challenging year, which I'm sure left a lot of people feeling powerless. This campaign is a great reminder that we all have the power to make things better not only for ourselves but for other people too.
With my artwork, I wanted to portray power as something that comes from a place of love and which radiates from within. It's not something that only people in high places have access to or something we have to wait for permission to be given.
We all have power within us that we can use, if and when we decide to. For me, "I Have The Power" means I'm in control of my own destiny and I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I hope my design will help people feel empowered too!"
"The British Red Cross will help EVERYBODY in a crisis. ‘I have the power’ is a strong and optimistic statement – I wanted to make a piece of work that reflects this.
Having the power is important to making change happen."
Your kindness is powerful
Even if you can't be there right now, you have the power to help someone in need.DONATE