2019-06-10 BP or not BP? creative blockade of BP Portrait Award
71 images Created 10 Jun 2019
London, UK. 10 June, 2019. Artists and activists from BP or not BP? disrupt the BP Portrait Award with a 'creative blockade' against oil sponsorship. The performance activists linked arms to block all entrances to the National Portrait Gallery, forcing guests to the awards to clamber over railings at the rear entrance to gain access. The 'creative blockade' also involved creating live portraits outside the gallery of activists from West Papua, Mexico, Samoa and the US Gulf Coast fighting back against BP's pollution and climate devastation around the world as well as distributing to guests a fake version of the awards programme featuring portraits of BP executives and frontline environmental defenders. Energy company BP has sponsored the National Portrait Gallery’s award for 30 years, but its high-profile involvement is attracting widespread criticism due to the intensifying focus on environmental issues. One of the judges of this year's award, leading artist Gary Hume, has publicly called for the gallery to end its relationship with BP, as have eight former exhibitors including two former award winners Wim Heldens and Craig Wiley. BP or not BP? have staged more than fifty rebel performances at BP-sponsored arts institutions.