When 12 Take the Knee

This Summer, on 13th June, I went to watch England vs. Croatia at Wembley.
Just before kick-off, the England players paused to take the knee.

I stood and applauded. So did my friends.

But in front of us three men started booing and jeering.

It was utterly miserable.

Thankfully, my friend Jack sprang into action. He lent forward and challenged the three men.

He asked what they were doing. He asked if they thought they were clever. And all the while he applauded them sarcastically.

The three men said nothing.

Not only were they silent for the first half, they didn't return for the second.

After the game finished, I left the stadium with contrasting emotions.

I was proud to have a friend who demonstrated anti-racism so instinctively and so fearlessly.

But I felt awful that I hadn't done anything and it bothered me.

Since that day, I've noticed a growing desire to express something.

It wasn't something I could express in words, because I knew words wouldn't be able to capture what I wanted to say.

But I had a feeling I would be able to capture it in a painting.

I had this sense I'd be able to choose the right colours, shapes and composition to get to the truth of what I wanted to express.

And so, today, I'm sharing a new painting.

It's called: 'When 12 Take the Knee'

In football the '12th man' is often referred to as the crowd, and the painting is also symbolically split across 12 canvases.

I wanted the painting to be bold and colourful and I wanted it to express the beauty and the power of the taking of knee.

I also wanted the painting to be alive and relentless. This is why every canvas in the painting can be rotated and/or switched with another.

I've had some help with the maths, and I have it on good authority that the painting has quadrillions of potential configurations.

That means you could rotate or switch a canvas every day, and it would take thousands of years before you had the same combination twice.

(For starters, if you flip your phone upside down you'll see the painting working in a different way).

But no matter the configuration, I've created the painting so it never loses its power and its beauty.

The painting is currently being exhibited at The Brick Lane Gallery, from 10am-6pm, until 21st Nov.

You're very welcome to have a look. The exhibition is free and there's lot of other talented artists exhibiting in the same gallery.

I won't be selling this painting,  but I would like to donate it to an institution, organisation, gallery or community group who might take it, put it up and keep it alive through the regular switching and rotating of canvases.

If you know of such a place that might be interested, please get in touch.
I hope you enjoy the painting.

Thank you for reading.