Wednesday 16 August 2017

This popular artwork is helping to raise money for charity after the London attacks

The image has been widely shared on social media after the London Bridge attacks.

By Peter Cary

This London-centric artwork has been shared widely on social media in the wake of Saturday’s terrorist attack in London Bridge.

The heart-shaped collage was commissioned by Great Little Prints and features a variety of iconic London images that perfectly capture the variety and richness of London life.

Although the piece was designed well before the atrocity took place, its boosted status in the days afterwards perhaps demonstrates some of the many cherished components of London life and what it means for those who visit or experience it every day.

Chief executive and founder of Great Little Prints, Rossa Shanks, said he comes up with ideas and then commissions artists from around the world to bring the ideas to life.

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Of this artwork, Shanks said: “We wanted to create a piece of art that was iconically London.

“There are so many beloved buildings, interesting characters (both real and fictional) and so many charming things that are quintessentially London and we wanted to encapsulate all of that in a single image that summed up everything there is to love about London, both past and present. Hence the heart. A simple yet elaborate ode to the city.”

Responding to the fact that the artwork had been shared widely after the London attack, Shanks said he thought “art does have a role to play in times like these”.

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He said: “We increasingly live in a visual online world, in terms of how social media has matured. And images give an instant sense of how we are feeling. Art has always been a vehicle for emotion so that’s why in times like these we look for symbols of solidarity and communality to bring us together. It makes us feel unified and together, and can act as a call to arms to not let those wishing us harm bring us down. Much like we’ve seen happen with other terrorist acts in Paris for example, where visual symbols of love were shared.

“For me personally, I love the fact it is being shared. It was born out of positivity and love for the city, so I think it’s amazing how something can be organically picked up by different people as an expression of love and sympathy for those affected. It’s a positive message.”

Shanks said that 20% of profits made on the image would now go towards the Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund, which opened in the hours after the attack.

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