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(S)pray For Justice – Part 2

17 Apr

On the 21st of February we posted a report on GECKO’s tribute to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Disaster. If you didn’t catch it, read it here.

It is with heart felt congratulations we can announce that the (S)pray for justice exhibition found a new home in the City of Liverpool, in the prestigeous Museum Of Liverpool. Now in its rightful place, an opening event was held to which the families of the 96 victims were invited and is now open for the people of Liverpool to come and understand more about the impact of the Hillsborough disaster.

GECKO never set out to gain any repute or fame from his tribute, we feel it is for this reason that he deserves every bit of respect offered to him for his selfless efforts. In his own words, ” For me, art is not about personal gain. It is about sharing and spreading a little joy. I hope this work, though very poignant, is somewhat uplifting.”

It is evidence of the power of art to transcend all cultural barriers that a Manchester Graffiti Artist, can have such an affect on the City of Liverpool and families of the 96 victims of Hillsborough.

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(s)pray for justice

21 Feb Spray for justice - All Weather Artist - Gecko

geks-1Gecko has worked with All Weather Artist, Alto, before there was an All Weather Artist. More than a friend and fellow painter but a mentor. His efforts in regards to the Spray for Justice Exhibition will explain why Gecko has been such a profound influence on Graffiti in Manchester

Spray for justice, a special event held on Friday 18 January showcased a moving display of art work at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh by local graffiti artist Gecko. Featuring 96 canvases which serve as a tribute and memorial to those people who lost their lives at Hillsborough in 1989.

After the release of the Independent Panel report in September 2012, Gecko was moved to make the first canvas in memory of Carl Brown, a friend of Gecko who died at Hillsborough when he was 18.

However, Gecko did not want to lay too much importance on his friend and stressed that: “Each canvas is an individual tribute to those who lost their lives and to the families who have fought for justice and no single person was to be any more important that the others. There were 96 victims with families and friends who have been left behind. This is a tribute to all 96.”

In his trade mark style, using aerosol paint and stencils to depict layers of images, including the iconic Liverpool Liver Bird in reds, burgundy and pinks.

Spray for justice 2 - All Weather Artist - Gecko

Local Leigh MP Andy Burnham, who work to establish the Hillsborough Independent Panel, said: “I was moved and very grateful when Gecko presented me and Steve Rotheram (MP for Walton) with a painting last year.  People think of Hillsborough as a Liverpool tragedy, but the sad truth is that it affected communities across the country, Leigh and Atherton included.  Nothing that I will ever do in my political career will give me a greater sense of fulfilment than seeing the families finally getting the truth and  justice they deserve. ”

Delia Brown (Carl’s mum), Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram will be special guests at the event at the gallery on Friday 18 January at 5pm.

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Stuart Murray, Chief Executive of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) – who manage the gallery on behalf of Wigan Council – added: “This is a touching tribute to a tragedy where truth has been hard fought.

“We hold many exhibitions at the Turnpike Gallery each year but perhaps none as poignant as this one.”

In the words of Gecko: “Despite what the media tells you, Graffiti artists have a conscience.”

A more permanent home is being sought for these works to stay on display as a powerful tribute so the 96 will not be forgotten.

The exhibition has been made possible with financial support from Daniel Burrows of D B Steel Fabrications Ltd and Rob Bell of Easiflow Ltd Beverage Gases.

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