London U.K. – The exhibition R.I.O.T. opens 26 October in Gallery 1 at Saatchi Gallery, London. R.I.O.T. is a perfect example of the alchemical process of transmutation. Sixteen riot helmets began their journey on the front lines of public disorder operations for law enforcement in the United Kingdom. It was important for the art project that the riot helmets were ex-issue, so they still retained the sweat, raw emotion and memory of the moments experienced by the wearer. As riot helmets they served two functions on the streets, firstly they helped protect police heads and, secondly, they helped produce an element of fear once deployed.
The curator’s objective was the reclamation of these riot helmets with the intention of bringing balance to these unloved objects by reversing the negative energy pent-up within each unit through the medium of art. What were once objects designed to elicit fear now trigger entirely different emotional responses. Sixteen international artists were specifically invited for their personal skill sets, from fine artists to street art graffiti artists; and tasked with transforming riot helmets into Peace Helmets. Created up to ten years ago, this is the first time they have ever been displayed.
Stik (UK ), Carrie Reichardt (UK), Ghalamdar (Iran), Busk (UK), Dr Zadok (UK), JF-Ink (France), Gnasher (UK), Wild Drawing (Indonesia), NME (UK), Dmark (Germany), Si2 (UK), Xenz ( UK), Kay One (France), Otto Schade (Chile), Charlie McFarley (UK), My Dog Sighs (UK) and Wayne Anthony (Photography)