Cork Street Galleries
19– 27 September 2020
All day opening event: Saturday 19 September 2020
Post War & Contemporary Day Sale Auction at Christie’s London
Friday 23 October 2020
Contemporary Day Sale preview: 6-22 October 2020
‘Scorched Earth’ is a charity auction and exhibition of new works by leading artists, organised in direct response to the widespread deliberate destruction of crop fields in Iraq. The participating artists have created new works using paint pigmented with ash that we collected from the land scorched by these fires.
The full list of fourteen artists creating original works for auction will include Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Conor Harrington, Jason Martin, Jules de Balincourt, Loie Hollowell, Mona Hatoum, Nathalie du Pasquier, Rachel Whiteread, Raqib Shaw, Richard Deacon, Richard Long, Walid Siti and Yahon Chang. Also as a part of the initiative, Shepard Fairey has designed two limited-edition screen prints using ink pigmented with the ash, which will be available for sale through our website from October for £650 each.
The works exhibited will be sold as part of Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Day Sale on 23 October 2020. Funds raised by the project will be divided between Migrate Art and our three charity partners – RefuAid, Refugee Community Kitchen and The Lotus Flower – whose work supports those affected by the global refugee crisis.
We collected and transported ash from the burnt fields in Iraq back to London.
We worked with Jackson’s Art Supplies to produce high quality oil and acrylic paints, using this ash as pigment.
This paint was sent to the world’s leading artists, who created brand new work with it.
Artworks will be sold as part of Christie’s Post War & Contemporary Day Sale on 23 October 2020.
Raised funds will support the work of our three charity partners.
In 2019 our founder Simon Butler visited refugee camps in Iraq with one of the organisation’s charity partners The Lotus Flower, which provides support to women and children displaced by war. The region has faced the deliberate destruction of hundreds of thousands of acres of crops, amounting to tens of millions of US Dollars in lost revenue and threatening food security. These destructive fires have been attributed to organised militia groups who are using them as an intimidation tactic – most likely ISIS. In response to the crisis, Simon collected ash from the burnt crop fields and brough it back to London to produce paint to be given to artists to use to create original artworks.
Coming from the region and having witnessed what happened to Yezidis through friends and media as well visiting the refugee camps near Duhok in 2018, the cause of this project resonated with my sense of rage, helplessness and the urge to help as an artist. My work increasingly considers the precarious relations between collective identity, interdependence and its constraints on the individual through considerations of heritage, tradition, homes, borders, mobility and migration in general so with this project I’m combining many of these themes within this new work titled ‘Trials’
When I was approached to take part in Migrate Art’s project, I kept thinking about this intense, primal love that a mother has over her children, how I feel about my two children. As a mother, there is no greater fear than being displaced or without shelter for me and my family. I felt inspired to participate because providing safe passage for families and refugees is important work, and I’m honored to be able to help. I hope that my small contribution is able to provide lasting housing and resources to people in need.