Picturing Unity, Picturing Resiliency in the Evening Standard

The Evening Standard, the dominant local newspaper for London and the surrounding areas, has found one way to deal with recent horrific events in their city, from terror attacks to the horrible high-rise fire.

“Six leading artists including Sir Antony Gormley and Gillian Wearing have designed ES magazine covers celebrating London’s resilience in the face of recent tragedies,” writes Rashid Razaq in the Evening Standard.

“Ai Weiwei, Sir Anish Kapoor, Jamie Hewlett and Wolfgang Tillmans have also contributed to the special editions, which commemorate the lives lost at the Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower blaze,” Razaq continues.

The covers are each as striking and emotional as they are unique. The fists raised in defiance of the violence (Hewlett’s contribution); the strangely calm and hopeful image from Kapoor; the stark, evocative image of mortality from Sir Anthony: all these covers evoke a strength, a resilience and a deep awe and respect for those hurt by the events.

“During the recent horrors, the way people pull together makes this a very exciting time — a multicolored show of strength. United we now stand,” Hewlett explained in talking about his own design.

We are all used to seeing on-the-spot “I stand with…”-style reactions on social media; these covers are a tangible reminder that the impact endures beyond the current news cycle, as does the medium.

As Sir Anthony explains about his design, “This image comes from trying to think how resilience and common sympathy occurs with every precious existence potentially held in the mind of all and all held in the mind of each.”

“The collective reaction to attacks in London and Manchester and the Grenfell Tower fire has been immediate, generous, inspiring,” he continues.

Sometimes I just stand in the awe of the artistic talent at work in the magazine industry, especially at times like this when our humanity is put to the test and our hearts are raw. Beautifully done, ES.