Powerful pandemic art project includes sculptures, short film, exhibition and EP release
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The Prodigy frontman and artist, Maxim and mixed-media artist, Dan Pearce have collaborated on the powerful and poignant,
pandemic Hope project, which will see the May 20 launch of 50 limited edition sculptures, containing an exclusive, four-track
Maxim EP as well as the release of an accompanying short film, featuring Maxim, his new music and starring Pearce’s son, to tell the story behind the pair’s sculpture.
The acclaimed artists spent a year over lockdown creating the ambitious, multi-platform collaboration, which is inspired by the “Hope” that everybody is clinging onto, as we gradually ease out of the devastation wreaked by Coronavirus.
They will be donating one sculpture to NHS Charities Together , one to
young people’s mental health charity, Young Minds and one to homeless
charity Shelter, to raise funds for those most affected by the outbreak -
themes which are explored in their moving film.
On May 20, the pair will release an edition of 50 sculptures created
together, depicting a little boy - based on Pearce’s son - wearing a gas
mask and preparing to pull the pin on a clear, resin grenade, containing a heart, which represents the vaccine and the hope that will help us
navigate our post-lockdown worlds. The grenade is a recurring symbol
and theme in Maxim’s art, which includes highly sought-after paintings,
prints and sculptures created during his 18 years in the art world. The
pieces demonstrate Dan’s skills in 3D modelling and Maxim’s experience floating objects in resin.
Their short film touches on the mental health implications the virus has
had on children, showing Pearce’s 11-year-old son, Jackson living
through the pandemic. It also references the pandemic’s impact on
homelessness - with a moving cameo from Maxim, playing a person living on the streets - as well as austerity, with touching food bank scenes. It closes with a strong message of kindness, giving and the ‘hope’ that it is named after, showing the little boy in a gas mask about to pull the grenade pin - mirroring the sculpture itself.
The soundtrack to the film is also titled ‘Hope’ and will be released along with three other tracks on a Hope EP, on bespoke memory cards inside the sculptures, exclusively for buyers of the sculptures on 20 May. The music will then be released to the public three months later, via digital outlets like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon on the Red Room Arts label.
Dan explains: “We’ve known each other for a few years as we both
exhibited art at the same galleries and attended each other's exhibitions, so we always chatted about doing a collaboration. “Lockdown gave us that opportunity and we wanted the project to deal with this difficult year, while demonstrating the positive message about the role hope now plays.”
Maxim adds: “Making this has been exciting. And it was really special to
have a cameo, playing somebody who was homeless and was also an
angel. “We are in times of uncertainty, but I believe the answer to our problems is the four letter word, ‘love’.”
The sculptures will be released as a limited edition of 50 in assorted,
hand-painted colours with ten special editions, which will have Swarovski Crystals added by Dan and Maxim.
The short film is the acting debut of Jackson, and its director John Smith- who met Dan as one of his art clients - said: “Jackson had an innocence and no acting school baggage. He just understood what the part was about - a boy struggling amidst his covid nightmare.”
Dan’s work is collected by everybody from Idris Elba, Boy George,
Anthony Joshua and 50 Cent, to will.i.am, Rag N Bone Man and a host of Premiership footballers. He was named “one of the UK’s most collectable,emerging artists” by Shortlist and his work employs spray paint, hand-painted acrylics, lenticular, neon lights, 3D objects, screen-printing,textured resin, gold leaf and collage, as well as his own photography and street art.
Art was originally a means of winding down between tours with chart-
topping band, The Prodigy, but Maxim has cemented his reputation as an acclaimed, mixed media artist and designer. Grenades carried on the
breeze by a raft of red balloons; clown-faced butterflies brandishing
Samurai swords, and gun-toting cats are just a few of the surreal fantasy
worlds created by Maxim, using everything from spray paint, resin,
acrylic, ceramics and bronze to objects like bullets, blades and pills.