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Blake 09-10-2007 04:16 PM

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Fellow artists:
I have been planning a series of exhibitions for several years and now I would like to tell you, my colleagues, about the project.

The idea began while visiting Vietnam in 2003 where I witnessed the devastating impact that unexploded weapons have on a local population, ensuring that a war long over can to live on for decades. This troubling realization inspired me to try to help change this reality and I am offering the “Fragments” collection of sculpture for sale, with 75 percent of the sale price to fund landmine clearance.

“Fragments” were original inspired by the archaeological remnants of sculptures that I saw in museums and like those ancient remains, “Fragments” speak of the tragic nature within us, and the continuous cycles of war that makes up our history. These sculptures have remained hidden in my studio for many years as I considered that they lacked authenticity and remained unfinished. Only in witnessing the tragedy caused by landmines did I realize that these works of art had a purpose, and they were to push my sculpture past social commentary, for they could actually work to change this terrible reality on a practical and tangible level.

Through “Fragments” we have begun to make a difference, and I am presenting this body of sculpture in order to continue to manifest this difference. Since July of this year, “Fragments” have been removing unexploded weapons in Vietnam as well as having mapped a minefield in Angola.

The campaign continues at:
The Canterbury Festival October 13-25
Chapter House, Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury, Kent CT1 2EE

And again
November 1-17
The Fragments Exhibition
Royal Opera Arcade
5 Pall Mall
London SW1Y 4UY

Along with finding this purpose for my art, a group of artists have helped me to create a website ( ) for artists who want to help victims of war, poverty and disease by raising money for charities supporting the victims of human injustice. The site will feature artists who wish to donate their work or time to charitable projects.

For centuries, artists have used their work to make political and social statements. We believe this is not enough.
We want to turn talk and art into positive action.
Our aim is simple but huge.
We want artists to help create a better world.

The “Fragments” collection represent 20 sculptures created over the last decade, and now having found their meaning, they will fund The No More Landmines Trust in order to continue their mine clearance work across the developing world.

We do not expect other artists to give away all their work. I felt that to launch Motive, I needed to make a dramatic gesture, we are only asking you to help where you can and to assist the charity that is close to your heart.
Motive would like to help you where we can.
Motive invites artists to visit the website, register and get involved with the debate on how artists can change the world for the better.
Motive. art for life's sake.
Please join us.

Merlion 09-11-2007 04:17 AM

Blake: I am glad you can now publically announce your exhibitions, your website and the other related activities. I wish you every success in your admirable efforts.

You have clearly gone beyond being an socially conscious artist who just provokes and make statements. In our troubled world, action is very much needed and you are a good role model among artists.

I note the Motive website is much more professional and has much more contents than the trial version. A good website can of course reach a much wider audience than exhibitions.

ajoysisk 09-11-2007 05:57 PM

I admire the generosity of your pursuit - and I hope to someday be in a position from which I can give in a similarly substantial, tangible, and direct way. I wish you success and I look forward to the growth of Motive.

Blake 09-12-2007 11:53 AM

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Thank you all for your kind words.
I hope that you will check out the web site at
Anyone who is in Canterbury between Oct 13 and 25 or London between Nov 1 and 17 please come into the show.
If you can make it please introduce yourselves to me as I would love to meet my forum friends face to face.
Hope to see you there.

Merlion 09-12-2007 10:03 PM

Blake: I notice these comments in the latest article of your website Motive.

"MAG removed and destroyed three cluster bombs that have been in the family’s garden for more than three decades."

I think MAG stands for "Motive Art for Good".

I am glad MAG has extended its interest beyond landmines to include cluster bombs.

Blake 09-13-2007 02:29 AM

MAG actually stands for Mine Advisory Group . But we will add Motive Art for Good as well great idea!
MAG is the organization that FRAGMENTS are funding through NO MORE LANDMINES in Vietnam. NO MORE LANDMINES use several organizations to clear landmines and unexploded bombs (UXO) in different countries in the world, but NO MORE LANDMINES also provide Survivor Support and Mine Awareness Education. MAG deals only with clearance and will clear any explosive devise including the 1000-pound bomb that did not explode when dropped some 30 years ago. There are many of these unexploded weapons that remain in Vietnam for example, where in Cambodia it is mainly landmines that contaminate the country. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon cluster bombs are very prevalent, so you can see that the problem changes with the country. Over 90 coutries in our world are contaminated by unexploded weapons of war.
Using our art we can help I am very pleased to know that Fragments are already making a difference.
Thanks for you interest and support.

Merlion 09-15-2007 07:08 PM

Blake, I had a quick glance at the two other websites you linked, MAG and NMLM. Perhaps you can give the feedback to them. They document and give information. This may serve a useful purpose, but it means they are not interesting reading, even to me.

Blake 09-16-2007 03:55 AM

I will pass your comment on to the charities. However, both of the charities sited here will not spend any money on their web site and only have volunteers who do this work for them. It is too bad but then I agree with this as I would not want to see any of the money that we are raising to go a web site, I would rather clear some landmines from a few meters of land.

We have some of our videos up on the site now check them out HERE
I have found that our videos will not play on Internet Explorer at all, they have buffering problems on Safari but play very well on FireFox which you can get for free HERE
Please let me know how you make out so we can correct the problems.

The videos of the sculptures are meant to be art in and of themselves and most are the creations of Surinder Singh who has been a partner with me in this project. We also have an ad for landmine clearance that was done by Samantha Shaw, thanks Sam.
The tails (endings) are all different and I was hoping to get some feed back as to which ones people like best.
Please feel free to comment either on the Motive-art site or here at

Merlion 09-16-2007 08:38 AM


Originally Posted by Blake
....I agree with this as I would not want to see any of the money that we are raising to go a web site ...

I don't think so. Charities need appropriate publicity to made themselves and their worthy actions known so as to attract more supports and donations. Anyway, we are digressing off topic.

Blake 09-26-2007 02:32 AM

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Spoke to No More Landmines about their site and we will try to update it.
Thanks for your input.

Getting a little wild here now with final preparations.
It always comes down to the last minute... human nature.
The last three bronze sculptures are waiting in the foundry. I will head to Bologna early October to do the patina and then take them with me to Canterbury. I will have 40 pieces at the Canterbury Cathedral
It is getting exciting now.
Regards Blake

for more information please see

Blake 10-07-2007 08:56 AM

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I am very honoured to be included in the celebration of the tenth Anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Jody Williams for her amazing work involving landmines and the Ottawa Convention to Band Landmines.

Cinema Verite, is hosting FOCUS 2007 this month in Monaco and Paris. The meetings will focus on the issue of landmines and cluster bombs, and will honour 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Willimas for her contribution to the movement against landmines. The official artist BLAKE will be showing his Fragments Series of sculpture at the evening ceremony in Monaco under the patronage of S.A.R. la Princess de Hanovre.

In addition to Williams, the events will also pay tribute to Louis Jenson, the inspiration for the film North Country, and Carla del Ponte, the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. It will take place in Monaco from Oct 10 to 11 and continue afterwards in Paris from Oct 12 to 14.

Among films already confirmed are Rory Kennedy’s Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Marcel Schupbach’s film about Carla del Ponte Carla’s List and actress Marianne Denincourt’s directory debut, a documentary about children in Afghanistan.

For more information, please visit the Cinema Verite website: Cinema Verite

Discuss Cinema Verite and its efforts with the FOCUS festival in our forums:http://

Blake 10-20-2007 03:54 AM

We have opened in Chapter House at the Canterbury Cathedral.
This is the most fantastic exhibition space that I have had the honour to show in. It brings a spiritual aspect to the work that adds so much and presents the sculpture as the hell on earth that landmines truly create.
If you are around Canterbury, please stop by and say hello. I am at the exhibition every day and am trying to talk to everyone who comes to visit.
It is great fun and I am so very appreciative of the Dean the Archbishop and the Anglican church at Canterbury for this opportunity to raise awareness of the landmine issue.
Hope to see you
I don't know why, but I can no longer post pictures here so if you would like to see what it looks like please go to
Kind Regards Blake

Blake 10-30-2007 03:50 AM

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Latest update and a couple of photos.

Canterbury Cathedral closed on Friday last, it was great fun and we received several thousand visitors. The building was built in the 1200's and had no heat so we froze but the history and religious relevance of the chapel brought an element of spirituality to the sculpture that was unique and wonderfully impressive. This work was very much at home here, it was difficult to leave.
Now we are setting up the London show at 5 Pall Mall, I am very excited.
My thanks to all who have helped and you for your interest
Kind Regards

sculptorsam 10-30-2007 08:38 AM

Beautiful looking show, Blake. Great work, great site, great cause... what more could you ask for? And it's a rather small thing, but I like the constructivist pedestals for the sculptures. It keeps the installation light and dynamic.

jOe~ 10-30-2007 10:33 AM


Blake 10-31-2007 04:08 AM

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Thanks for your encouragement.
To show in a chapel was really different for me and I was overwhelmed by the response from the public. The Fragments (for landmine clearance) were perfect to show in a church.
I tried to speak to everyone that I could and after 12 days still was not tired of giving my “this is what these are and this is what they do” speech. I offered 1 minute, 3 minute and 5 minute versions of the speech. Some were more interested than others but almost everyone was happy to speak to the artist, and there were some good questions that came up.
The bases are a personal design and come apart for transport, they are made of steel so are very sturdy and easy to maintain with a spot of spray paint. Although I am liking the industrial look for all the ware and tear on them for this show.
Some more photos
Thanks for your interest

Merlion 10-31-2007 07:32 AM

Thanks Blake for sharing. The whole show is fantastic. Beautiful pieces, very much enhanced in a grand setting, and a high number of turnout We have never seen anything like this.

The lines of the pedestals match those in the chapel. It is a good idea having them.

evaldart 10-31-2007 07:34 AM

Blake, TOP notch in every way. And your work, idividual pieces and entire installation, is not at all overwhelmed by the chapel environment. The whole darn thing is quite an achievement. Sure to fuel you for continuing great things.

Blake 10-31-2007 02:41 PM

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Thanks for all your support
I have so many great photos that I can't help but post some more.

Blake 11-01-2007 05:51 AM

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Opening the event at 5 Pall Mall tonight.
Very excited, almost all set up.
If you are in London please come down to Trafalgar Square any time after 5:30 pm tonight....... or anytime between the
01st and 17th of November 2007
Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.
Please find me and say hello.
I will try to post some photos of the event as they come in.

fritchie 11-01-2007 07:33 PM

Altogether, an excellent collection and exhibit, Blake. Congratulations!

Merlion 11-03-2007 03:39 PM

Some of you may not notice the other thread mentioning that Blake's exhibition got reported in the BBC and another online news site.

Art inspired by landmine victims

(With hindsight, I should not have created a separate thread. But it is done already, and I cannot change it.)

Blake 11-09-2007 05:50 AM

Merlion and Fritchie
Thanks so much for your comments and encouragement it really means allot to me to have the support of this community.
Here is a link to Kent TV from a program released on the internet.

The Pall Mall Show is going well, I will post some news soon
Regards Blake

HappySculpting 11-10-2007 04:28 PM

Blake- I totally missed this whole thread! So... I'm a bit behind in responding.:) What a wonderful exhibition! I love the fragment style that you've developed. Your advertisement pictures look really great too. I especially like letter font you chose for "Fragments".

So happy to see your successful show!


(I couldn't get the video going on my computer:()

Blake 11-11-2007 04:49 AM

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Hello HappySculpting

Thanks for your kind words
We are having great fun at the Pall Mall exhibition and sales are coming along slowly but surely, so I am pleased with where we are. We have raised a good deal of money for landmine clearance and I hope to be able to clear the minefield in Angola that we surveyed in July this year. In this area of Angola, one person in three is an amputee. One more week to go and there is good traffic through the gallery.

Here is a link to the bbc story.

Thanks for tuning in
Regards Blake

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

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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

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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

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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

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