In 2021 – and every year since – we donned our aprons, dusted off the emulsions and produced a range of prints that we couldn’t wait to donate. Why did we do it? It all comes down to love. This is our annual work to support Help Refugees UK as part of the Choose Love collaboration with Print Club London. The charity helps the world’s most vulnerable people escape from conflict and poverty – a cause that’s extremely close to our hearts.
We were proud to exhibit alongside Rankin, Noel Fielding, Anish Kapoor, Stanley Donwood, Lauren Baker and many more incredible artists, who all made their mark on the iconic ‘Choose Love’ slogan by Katherine Hamnett. Every piece was 100% funded by the artist, with all proceeds going directly to the charity. And with over £70,000 raised, that’s a whole lotta’ love. The funds will buy warm blankets, winter clothes, nutritious food, firewood and more. Not to mention funding essential services from medical care to safe places to sleep, alongside vital legal support.
Artworks ranged from suggestive to serious, arranged around a piece by Dave Bounaguidi, who printed onto an inflated life raft, crowned with ‘Choose Love’. Ours were all about power of attraction, holding on and making things work, using energetic lines to embrace love in all its wonderful glory. Our sold-out collection now hangs proudly on the walls of Britain and beyond, and we can’t wait to make more.
As an immigrant herself, Mantra’s Founder Katie Killip is not only passionate about helping support the charity, but also debunking the many misconceptions surrounding the subject. Media stereotypes, a lack of understanding and empathy, alongside the latest government focus on immigration reform continues to cast a hateful shadow. “They take our jobs”, “Abuse our benefits system” and “Bring crime and violence to our country” are just some of the misconceptions that permeate our culture and society. We want to shine alight on the truth – that nobody ever wants to be a refugee. No-one willingly chooses to leave the place they call home, their community, or the life they have built, and they especially would never choose to leave their family.
We should all have a right to live free from fear. So let’s not turn blind eye to the suffering that’s happening. Following Choose Love is a great way to learn more about the ongoing crisis that will only continue to heighten. Let’s stand up for refugees’ rights, encourage more understanding and tolerance, and welcome everyone with open arms into our lives. In the meantime, we will continue to donate prints, our time and our resources, and we’ll do it with nothing but love.
To view the Choose Love collection visit Print Club London.
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