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Stephen 11-12-2007 06:56 AM

I am amazed,the whole project of yours is powerful and inspiring. Here in Balkans we had a few wars in last 20 years and when you travel there are places where you can still see warning signs "danger-land mines" by the road.
Your exhibition shows that the figurative language can be so modern!

Blake 11-12-2007 03:09 PM

Dear Stephen
Please tell me more about the situation in the Balkans
These areas can and will be cleared.
Especially here in the first world.
Please tell me more about what minefields exist today in your home and who is presently clearing them.

Having said that,
At present rates of removal our world will still be contaminated with unexploded bombs in 1000 years
It is in the third world where the price will be paid.


Stephen 11-12-2007 03:26 PM

I saw the warning signs while traveling through Croatia,by the road. I believe there are still places in Bosnia too,but i'm not sure.

Blake 12-05-2007 02:55 PM

4 Attachment(s)
The first season of the Fragments campaign to raise funds for landmine clearance has been a resounding success. During 2007, the Fragments series of limited edition bronze sculptures were shown in various locations in the UK. In each location, chronicled at , Fragments dramatically raised the profile of the problem of landmines and unexploded ordinance and the profile of our partner charity organization, No More Landmines.

As you may recall 75%-80% of the sales price of sculptures went directly to No More Landmines and we are happy to report that the sales of sculptures raised over £80k ($160,000) for No More Landmines in 2007.

During the series of exhibitions we were asked many times if landmines are still a problem. Visitors to the Fragments exhibitions were surprised to find out that an average of 15 people die everyday from encounters with landmines or unexploded ordinance. They were surprised to learn that there are still tens of millions of landmines in the ground and that these landmines inhibit the development of millions of poor people across the globe. The sheer scale of the problem escapes most people as it really is hard for us to comprehend suffering regular civilian casualties years after conflicts have ended. The Fragments exhibition brought these lessons home for many people. Its this kind of level of awareness that will urge people to support charities like No More Landmines to do more to remove unexploded remnants of war and to provide assistance to survivors.

As an artist, I felt that it was very significant that I could say my sculpture was working art. While holding on to one of the sculptures I was able to explain that “One of the edition of this work cleared a minefield in Vietnam, this one here has surveyed a minefield in Angola and this piece will clear that minefield in Angola.” By being able to actually show the public the sculpture that had funded the work I was able to show our visitors that these sculptures do so much more than just comment on our society. They are actually part of the solution. I can’t tell you how wonderful I felt when I heard a client tell their guest at the show “This is the piece that I bought and we will fund clearance activities in Cambodia with it, I will receive the report indicating exactly where the cleared land will be…. Perhaps I will go and visit it just to see for myself.”
This truly is art for life’s sake.

As the Motive-art team prepares for another series of exhibitions in the UK and in New York City in 2008, the work will continue to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
I would like to thank all those who helped out with the UK campaign, the generosity of those who have been involved has been indeed overwhelming.
Thank you

StevenW 12-05-2007 11:30 PM

I looked all over this and the links, outstanding! I am curious about 2 things, is there someplace I can order a limited edition fragments? The second is when you met Sharon Stone and she was wearing that outfit did you have a hard time maintaining eye contact? :p

Blake 12-06-2007 03:20 AM

Dear Steve
I admit Miss Stone is not hard to look at, but it was Carla del Ponte and Jodie Williams who I found most interesting.
Jody is the Nobel Laureate behind the ICBL (International Campaign to Ban Lanmines.) and her work continues with the present fight to ban cluster munitions.
The Conference in Vienna is happening this week.
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada should revive its leadership role in the successful global campaign against landmines and push for a similar ban on cluster bombs, activists said on Monday.

Your point is well taken about being able to order a Fragment sculpture on the site. I have not developed this page as I didn't think people would buy without seeing the work, but I will have to reconsider my position. Thank you for pointing it out to me.

Blake 12-14-2007 01:50 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Fragments sculptures continue to be exhibited in the UK into 2008 at Canada House on London’s Trafalgar Square.

Canada House is the home to the cultural and consular sections of the High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom. It is very much a public building that contains the High Commissioner's office, and hosts conferences, receptions, lectures, launches and "vernissages" where Canadians and Britons can meet.

The Canada House Gallery stages temporary exhibitions of historical and contemporary art. The Fragments exhibition is particularly moving as it is now 10 years since the Ottawa Convention, the international mine ban treaty, came into effect. Ten years ago, Canada was a leader in negotiating the terms and conditions of this treaty.

Fragments is a collection of beautiful limited edition dis-figurative bronze sculpture that Blake has donated to No More Landmines, a registered British charity that funds landmine removal and provides survivor assistance. Each Fragments sculpture is named after a different type of landmine. The sculptures are ¼ life-size and depict the horrors of war. Fully 75% of the sales price of each piece is a tax deductible charitable donation to No More Landmines.
The Canada House Gallery is open from 9:30 am until 4 pm Monday through Friday the public is welcome to view the work and should state that they wish to see the exhibition to security at the entrance of the building.

As an aside I though that I would post a couple of pictures of the destruction of the pieces, this is one of the last pieces in the series and these photos express vividly the destructive nature of man. (myself included)

jOe~ 12-14-2007 01:58 PM

You get my vote for artistic statement of the year!!!

Merlion 12-15-2007 03:50 AM


Originally Posted by Blake (Post 50200)
... it is now 10 years since the Ottawa Convention, the international mine ban treaty, came into effect. ...

Yes. Your exhibitions are very timely.

You are a successor to Diana.

Are there any interest to move your Fragments Exhibition to other countries? Is it a good idea to hold the exhibition in countries which have not signed the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, like USA, China, Russia, India? Is it more beneficial/effective to raise the public awareness in the not converted countries?

grommet 12-15-2007 09:19 AM

Blake, I was wondering what your thoughts were as you were as you selectively destroyed these works. Perhaps you've addressed this & I missed it.

Blake 12-20-2007 03:33 AM

Thanks for the vote that is very kind of you.
I am taking the show to NY next year (if all goes as planned). I am going to meet with Adopt A Minefield in NY as they seem to be interested in the project. They are a United Nations Organization and I would be very pleased to be associated with them if we can come to an arrangement.
I am in Vietnam now and speaking to some people over here in hopes of arranging a show in either Hanoi or Saigon and there was a remote mention of Singapore but I think that will be very difficult. I don't think that China or Russia will be likely as I don’t think that this is the type of show that would bring them allot of good will. However, your idea is very good and you never know what will come around the corner.
I would like to address this issue and very much welcome your question, however, I would like to prepare a proper response and have to run, is there anything specific you would like me to address?

I will come back to you soon thanks for tuning it.

PS. The Fragments Show continues at The Canada House Gallery
Open from 9:30 am until 4 pm Monday through Friday the public is welcome
just tell security that they wish to see the exhibition at the entrance of the building.
Kind Regards to all

grommet 12-20-2007 06:25 AM

I understand the motivation for the cause... and finding these older pieces & connecting the two. What ran through your mind as you actually took hammer to them? I wonder if it felt like a sacrifice of the pieces or the natural completion? Obviously the end result is amazing art, but that may not always be evident in the moments of execution (no pun intended).

Blake 12-23-2007 03:24 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Your question is a fundamental part of the meaning behind the work, please allow me to reiterate;

I am speaking about the continuous cycles of war upon which we have based our civilizations. The work is meant to reflect our ancient history as well as our recent history. It is a comment on our destructive and aggressive nature.

I would like to suggest that we take the initiative to clean up the mess we make so that the generations of children who inherit our last battle field is not left with the legacy of our wars.

In destroying the work, I am simulating the destructive nature that we practice on a daily basis, (in Iraq at the moment, to name one area). I am trying to exaggerate the message by taking something that normally we only create, I am taking a complete, beautiful (my opinion) piece of figurative sculpture, and I am completing it as you suggested. It is complete as once damaged it comments more exactly on our true nature as well as becoming “Contemporary” art in that there is a concept behind it, and the idea or concept is more important than the piece of art. Further, the piece of art itself is neither modern nor new so I am adding the idea that I am commenting on the concept behind conceptual art.

I am also saying that this is "Working" art, it is clearing landmines and that is it's purpose, thus for those who say that art may not have a purpose I am saying... rethink it.

To be perfectly honest with you Grommet, before I swing the hammer I have going through my head aesthetic considerations, I am hoping to create a beautiful work within all this destruction. As I swing the hammer I am hoping that I don’t hit the damn thing too hard and end up with another pile of dust. (I have lost more than one to the pile of dust)

Thanks for caring

jOe~ 12-23-2007 11:03 AM


thus for those who say that art may not have a purpose I am saying... rethink it.
Other than religious art, and some monumental art, everything else does nothing to change human behavior for the betterment of mankind, to ease pain and suffering. Of course the point could be argued about religious art, only too easily. My earlier comment, "You get my vote for artistic statement of the year!!!" was very stingy and short sighted. I apologize. This is a body of work I will never forget and never fail to be moved by. That so few have responded to this thread I find sad, very very sad. Its part of the reason Bush is president and still in office.

Blake 12-24-2007 12:33 AM

I am very flattered that you would write a comment like that and am very proud to be the recipient of such an award as you offered. Thank you.

While I was showing in the Canterbury Cathedral, I tried to speak to everyone who came in to see the show, to explain what I was doing and to try to raise awareness of the problem we have with landmines and remnants of war. I felt that I would tackle this problem as we do landmines: One by One, and I spoke to about 2000 people so we were able to remind the public of this problem. With the press, radio, and TV interviews, we feel that we touched some 20 million people so we were successful in that aspect of the campaign. We have only just begun, and have two more shows planned in London and hopefully least two in New York so we will continue our work…..

The reality is that it will take us over 1000 years to clear all the explosive devises left over from our wars at the moment. We can expand this period, as I have been told that the Russians are still mining areas of Chechnya and I believe that areas of Africa are also still being mined, although this is difficult to confirm. I can confirm that we are leaving all sorts of explosive devises like cluster bombs and depleted uranium around for the next generation of Iraqi children…..
The problem remains that most people are not aware of this…..

The Fragments are a body of work that addresses this problem by becoming part of the solution and that in return pushes my art forward to be something that is more than it was a few years ago. Thus, I have pushed my sculpture into the contemporary art scene. I am very pleased with this and although this may not be important to many artists, I want to create contemporary art, I want my art to be more than just something someone decorates their home with so this has done something for me as well. This work may not be important to the art scene, and it may not be important to others, but I thank you for your interest and invite you to try to do the same with your work if that interests you…. The social responsibility of the artist is an important part of the art world.
Thanks for caring

dilida 12-24-2007 08:56 AM

[QUOTE This is a body of work I will never forget and never fail to be moved by. That so few have responded to this thread I find sad, very very sad. Its part of the reason Bush is president and still in office.[/quote]

Hey, now I've posted a picture, and used the little quote thingy! Wow!

I had to resond to this. Blake, when you first posted the whole Fragments project, I was so incredably moved. This is the ultimate thing an artist can do with his work, this is maybe what being an artist is about, your work serving humanity, not just satisfying the need to create. Even now it's hard to find words to express the powerful way this effects me, so I didn't post any of my fumbling, stumbling comments. Like I'm doing now. I find this whole thing to be very humbling, so in humility, I've kept my mouth shut.

But considering my reaction, that I feel as an artist this is too great a thing for me, the common artist, to resond to, I wonder if the common man will have the same kind of feeling. "This is a great thing being done, but I can't buy bronzes, I don't know anything about art. Well, I wish them the best... but it's not part of my world."

Money is power, so of course the richer people are wonderful when they support a cause like this, it is truly a good thing, but I believe in the power of average people too. Grassroots level. What about offering something they can afford? I cringe and don't even like saying the word resin (shudder), I like the idea more of some stunning posters of your work, seems cheap to produce and maybe would raise some serious cash. You don't get more grassroots than churches and schools, posters in these type places would raise so much awarness with compassionate people, college kids can be a powerful force, and some of these mega churches have huge congregations.
I think here in America this problem just isn't on the minds of very many people, when they finally know about it, I know they will resond. Get on Oprah. Seriously.

I agree with Merlion about charitys needing attention, but I understand about all the money going to removal of mines. I can't afford a bronze, but some of the people who come thru the foundry can, If I had a poster, I could hang it up where some wealthy people who buy art could see it.

What I can do, is share this with as many people as I can, and I will do that. I can at least print some of the sculptures and links to pass on, if that would be ok? Of all the artwork I've ever looked at this is haunting me, and I'm glad you shared your thoughts on swinging that hammer. It's chilling and inspiring at the same time.

I'll look back through the links to find a donation address and I will send some money today.

Being American I'm not too big on British royalty, but that is one thing I know about Diana, her work with landmines. Beautiful example of using power and prestige for benefit. She started the ball rolling, I pray this project has a snowball effect.

'nuff stumbling around,

jOe, who you gonna blame for the world's problems when bush is gone? :)

jOe~ 12-24-2007 10:43 AM


jOe, who you gonna blame for the world's problems when bush is gone?
The last thing I want to do is hijack this thread and get political. I will post only this one reply. Bush is not responsible for even 1/1000 of the worlds' problems. But being a world leader he is responsible for improving the conditions of peoples' lives. Why else was he elected? Like you said money is power. It would be easy to list more than 1000 humanitarian things he could do with his power. Like the wise ones of the past have no harm...or at least do more good than harm. I will not argue the point that he has been the most harmful president we have ever had. Anyone who has not had their eyes opened to this fact by now is probably beyond being educated.

Blake 12-25-2007 05:30 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Dear Lisa
Thank you, what a wonderful post, this is the type of response that has kept this whole campaign going. Although the Fragments is about the tragic nature of man one of the most amazing things that I have encountered with this project is the very generous nature of people and this has really inspired me to continue working and getting more and more involved.
The most important concept behind this body of artwork is making it a part of the solution and people have been so very supportive that I have found it very easy to continue on despite the few set backs that I have encountered.

This project began simply with me following my work and listening to it’s voice, and then finding a way in which I could use the art to address the problem in a practical way. I was emotionally moved by something that this body of work addressed (the legacy of war) and it has given me a way to move my art past simple commentary and into action and to make the work do something to change things in just a very small way.
Now the concept behind the work has grown into something bigger than the art itself, the idea has taken over and defined what being an artist is for me, so I find that it is more important than ever to know how others feel. I was unaware that this campaign has overwhelmed people like yourself, although I should have known as it has overwhelmed me, yet I am unsure what I can do about this.

I can assure you that I am often humbled by the many people who have lead the campaign to ban landmines. For example the Nobel Laureate Ms. Jody Williams of ICBL and the many other people who have dedicated their time to helping people. Often this comes from places that we take for granted, someone who inspired me was Johnie McGlade of No Strings just to mention one other, sometimes we think that we have to do something exceptional in order to help, we don’t we just have to do something.

You have helped me by pointing out your impressions of the campaign and I will consider very carefully how I can engage the common person to become involved. As you have recognized, the power of the average person is really much more important than the few rich people out there and these are the people who I spoke to at the Fragments exhibitions in London. Although I didn’t realise it at the beginning, the Fragments allowed the charity that I am supporting in the UK, No More Landmines, the opportunity to address a whole new group of people in order to try to raise awareness of the problem. It seems that the problem of explosive remnants of war has been forgotten or at least over shadowed by the new thing at the moment, climate change. Not that this is not important, it is very important and deserves our attention but landmines are old news and through Fragments we have been able to get our message out there again in a new light to different audience.

So how can we involve the important person: the average person?
I though of resin, but I can’t produce a resin for much less than a bronze in reality. I only produce an edition of 12 copies of each work, in order to keep the value by making it exclusive, so how can I touch more people with this work. I think that the idea of posters is great and I will get this happening I only hope that I can find more people like yourself as distribution will be the problem. I will also be changing my web site to include a sales page and promote the Fragments on the site as was suggested earlier in this thread by SteveW. Thanks Steve.

I am developing a speaking tour that I hope to be able to take to the art universities and colleges or schools with a set of the Fragments sculptures, and I would like to speak to the students not only about landmines but also about the social responsibility of the artist. I will be speaking to the Rotary Club in the UK this coming year and would welcome the opportunity to show the work and speak to church groups and other schools and basically anyone who will listen.

I don’t think that I can get onto Oprah (wish I could) but I agree that in the US people will respond positively to the campaign, Americans have the reputation of being generous and it also allows the charity, Adopt A Minefield in the US, a new way to reach out to people. The objective is to raise awareness of the problem and that will eventually lead people to donate funds for landmine clearance, if they donate funds by buying a sculpture great, but if they donate funds because they care then it is just as successful.

Lisa there is something that you can do, when we began to promote this idea we designed a web site that is meant to speak about how art can and is changing the world, it is called Motive-art and can be found at Unfortunately, motive is not doing very well as I just can’t seem to get enough interest in the site and it may have to be shut down. If you could help by passing on the site to people who may be interested in how art is helping to change the world I would be forever grateful. We also need someone who will find and write articles about art and charity and expand the forum there to try to promote the idea of how art can help with social change.

Thank you for your help and thanks for caring, you can make a donation in the US at Adopt A Minefield, if you could mention the Fragments campaign it would give me some creditability with this organization, as I am still trying to make an arrange with them concerning things such as the importation of the sculpture (I have to pay the import duty) and I am hoping that they will help me with the paperwork and administrative concerns like that.

Most important you must not hold back your opinions and views they need to be expressed and sent on to others like myself, first of all it gives us the courage to continue and it lets us know that you care.
Thanks for sharing

StevenW 12-25-2007 11:10 PM

Merry Christmas to you Blake and keep it up.



grommet 12-26-2007 01:46 PM

Thanks for taking the time to reiterate your concepts. For me, your thoughts and very human concerns helps bring the project full circle & include you as well as the mountains you are moving. I think it makes you more approachable and possibly more join-able. Time to look into our hearts people.

Blake 12-29-2007 09:59 AM

Dear All
I can’t tell you how much the encouragement that I have received on this forum has helped me through the tough times I have encountered.
When the show was ignored in London, and the critics either failed to show up, or to write even a bad review, (the only critic that did show up told me that neither I nor my work was worthy of his time), I found a great deal of comfort in the words that so many of you have written to me on these pages and I was able to find allot of strength here.
Thanks, you are all a very large part of the success that the Fragments have found, more than you will ever know. Thanks for taking the time to let me know how you felt. I am going to need you guys again because I am going back for round two. Wish me luck!

jOe~ 12-29-2007 10:15 AM


When the show was ignored in London, and the critics either failed to show up, or to write even a bad review, (the only critic that did show up told me that neither I nor my work was worthy of his time), I found a great deal of comfort in the words that so many of you have written to me on these pages and I was able to find allot of strength here.
Dumbfounded. You know the importance of your efforts and accomplishments. That kind of response should be a motivator if anything. It makes your work even that much more important, though sadly not as rewarding. I'm sure there are many people who are enjoying their Christmas season and New Year thanks only to your efforts. Real people are much more important in the scale of things than the opinions of self serving critics.

dilida 12-30-2007 07:36 AM

This is why critics are ignored. Keep it real, there is GOOD work to be done.


obseq 12-30-2007 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by Blake (Post 50860)
When the show was ignored in London, and the critics either failed to show up, or to write even a bad review, (the only critic that did show up told me that neither I nor my work was worthy of his time),

Nothing more than the artistic equivalent of an armchair quarterback/MMQB.
The fact that he went out of his way to say this to you is rather embarrassing for him.

Please continue to keep us posted, Blake.

Blake 01-01-2008 06:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Once again I find comfort in the kind words offered here.
I wish that I could say that I wasn't hurt by this comment, but that would be a lie, those words cut a deep wound into me.
That is the risk we take and the price we pay to bear our souls for all to see and some to take a shot at.
I will go back out there and do it again, and I will be back to find comfort and confidence in the kind words that so many of you have offered.
Thank you for your support.

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