If you happen to be riverside over the next few days you might spot someone beavering away with their hands in the mud by the Thames. That person is Liz Crow, an artist and activist who has taken on an endurance art project called ‘Figures’. She’ll work for ten days at low tide at locations across the river to build 650 small figurines from the surrounding mud. The little people are designed to represent victims of austerity and social injustice. The project is a timely one with the national election on the horizon. Her figures mirror the number of constituencies in the UK, as well as the number of MPs.
Once complete, her muddy hundreds will go on a five-day tour of the country from London to Bristol. They’ll be returned to the water in Bristol and used to build the base of a ritual bonfire. While the fire blazes, stories of individual austerity will be read to represent each statuette, with tales of victims affected by everything from benefits reform, to local authority spending, homelessness, malnutrition and NHS rationing. The morning after, the remains will be gathered, crushed and scattered, completing their lifecycle and serving as a reminder of the cost of austerity.
To find out more head to wearefigures.co.uk.
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