For one week only (17 – 23 October), the People’s History Museum will be hosting an exhibition like no other.  Ideas Worth Fighting For will bring together the work of twelve of the country’s leading artists and designers for an exhibition of new work featuring prints, paintings, installations, banners and more.

Each of the contributing artists has created work especially for the exhibition; or donated a piece, that provides a unique and personal view of something that they believe in and feel strongly about. Artist Mackenzie Thorpe has loaned his Middlesbrough Murals Triptych, Men of Iron, In the Belly and To the Top, the workers of the north East with pride, humour and integrity.

Ideas Worth Fighting For artists:

  • Three large-scale works are featured by internationally renowned artist Mackenzie Thorpe, who takes inspiration from his birth town, Middlesbrough. Each gives an intensive insight into the lives of workers who are, in the words of one of the pieces, Men of Iron. Thorpe draws images from his time working in the shipyards in his native north East.
  • Mark Beaumont’s The Radical Totem focuses on the pioneers who have changed and shaped history.  This is a vast installation piece that tells its story through visual clues.
  • A Bird’s Eye View of a Suffrage March by Mary Branson depicts the banners of the numerous societies, arranged, mixed up and spilling into each other.
  • Claudia Clare’s work references the Staffordshire plates of 1836 and 1840 that celebrated the American fifth amendment – the right of assembly and free expression.
  • The piece by Claire and Lee Donnelly – Unusual follows the empowering path of ‘righting’ rather than ‘fighting’.
  • Malcolm Garrett, who is best known for his artwork for bands such as Duran Duran, Simple Minds and Buzzcocks, expresses his concern that Brexit will jeopardise the stability of the UK, and the stability of Europe itself through a collection of statemented posters.
  • Banners are a huge part of the radical world and two by Craig Oldham feature in the exhibition, whose work takes him into the realms of design, education, writing, publishing, film and campaigning.
  • The subject of rising rent costs and a call for legislation to be capped to an affordable level is the message from paper artistRob Ryan.
  • Renowned for his hand-cut life-size stencils, Stewy’s piece is of Robert Wyatt; someone whose story he finds fascinating as a person who has resolutely stuck to his guns both politically and musically.
  • Supermundane has created a piece that serves as a generic cry against the ever-increasing list of injustices in this country and the world. He does it using the bright colours of advertising and pop.
  • Humberto Vélez presents The Welcoming Banner of the Performance, which was created following his work with asylum seekers, refugees
  • Ideas Worth Fighting For is part of a programme called Join the Radicals; this is one of a number of ways that the People’s History Museum has been working to retain its national profile as the UK’s museum of democracy.  The idea for the exhibition came from Radicals supporter and patron of the museum, Laura Harper, who has helped to curate the exhibition.