Barcelona Canvas Peace

Web release: CanvasPeacefolder-web

We are a young group of artists brought together by Kirsten Campbell to produce a CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION IN UNTITLED BCN, BARCELONA, ON THE 11th MAY. Working directly with The Canvas Peace Project and Hope for Ariang we hope to raise both funds and awareness of the plight of the people of Ariang, South Sudan. At least ten different nationalities, and three continents are represented within our group; already increasing the scope for raising awareness ten fold.

‘…The beat of a butterfly’s wing can eventually effect a hurricane’s formation..’

Attention!!!! Thank you

On Saturday night we, 25 artists from around the world, were so proud to present their work for ‘Attention!/Atencion!’ in Untitled BCN, Barcelona. The gallery was buzzing with people and we managed to raise over 950 Euros for ‘Hope for Ariang’. A massive thank you to all those who supported the event, and not least to Kirsten Campbell who undeniably brought the whole show together through huge amounts of hard work and energy, advice and support.

What made this event so vibrant was the sheer coming together of perspectives and thoughts on the situation in South Sudan, each differently presented. It left every one of us with a deeper knowledge and understanding, and an impetus to help.

From the mix there emerged works which provoked, performance works which connected in physical empathy, those which shed light on uncomfortable information, works which dealt with information and metaphor for future positivity and those which were representative of the South Sudanese. There were performance videos, performance stills, paintings, drawings, installations, an unnerving doormat, uncomfortable information highlighted and human experience shared.  For every work each artist worked through a process of finding out about the situation and reacted in their very own way, as much for the viewer as for themselves.

To take part in a ‘Canvas Peace Project’ is a wonderful way to spread awareness and raise money. As artists one has to go beyond the information given to connect; it’s easy to donate money but harder to feel closer to what is happening and by making art we try to do this. Hopefully too every person that visited the gallery was also brought closer to and more aware of the situation in South Sudan.

Gabriel Bol Deng started this momentum with ‘Hope For Ariang’ and may it continue; if there were Canvas Peace exhibitions in every city think how far this could go. It doesn’t end here!

Some photos from the night..


photo-4 photo-5



Date in the park

This sunny Sunday as Kirsten is gathering our work in readiness for the show next weekend, we came together for a picnic in park Cuitadella to share food drink and more…

Attention! / ¡Atención!


May 11, 2013. 19-21hrs

Untitled BCN, C/Topazi 14, Barcelona

<M> L3/Fontana

Marcela Antunes, Brazil. Gaida Aburunnat, UK. Billie, Holland. Olivia Blanchard, UK/Spain. Ely Daou, Lebanon. Emma Sadler Eriksson, Australia. Catherine Garner, UK. Kirsten Goode, UK. Tara Goswami, India. Klara Grancicova, Czech Republic . Fanny Hallgren, Sweden. Caley Holmboe. Miguel Lope Inumerable, Philippines. Leo Kriellaars, Holland. Zeynep Malaz, Turkey. Emmanouela, Greece. Sarah Maclean, Scotland. Emil Naula, Sweden. Masha Perskaya, Russia. Maria Petoukhova, Russia. Teddy Quatfass, Holland. Lucia Retamar, Argentina. Miranda Solvang, Sweden. Dorthe Lykke Troke, Denmark. Rory Van Wingerden, Holland.

Art Exhibition • Event • Auction

Exposición • Evento • Subasta

To raise awareness of the human rights atrocities that affect the people of Sudan and South Sudan

Para atraer la atención hacia las continuas vejaciones a los derechos humanos que sufre el pueblo de Sudan y Sudan del Sur.

Working directly with Canvas Peace Project and Hope for Ariang to raise awareness and money with the power of creative energy and hope. 100% of all money raised through sale of artwork and donation will go directly to Hope For Ariang.

Trabajando con Canvas Peace Project y Hope for Ariang para llamar a la conciencia y recaudar fondos con el poder de la creatividad, energia y esperanza. El 100% del dinero recaudado a traves de la venta de obras de arte y los donativos iran directo a Hope for Ariang. 

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Kirsten Campbell


Kirsten Campbell, inspired by Cynthia Davis one of the founders of The Canvas Peace Project, is truly making this Exhibition happen in Barcelona by bringing us all together and driving the organisation and energy for ‘ATTENTION!/ATENCION!’.

Kirsten Campbell is an artist from New York City, living and working in Barcelona since 2010.   As well as her personal practice, Kirsten is a professor at Metafora and Estudio Nomada here in Barcelona.  She was an educator at Pratt Institute for 8 years.


The Conflict

South Sudan is a country rich in natural resources; it holds vast un-fragmented lands and eco-systems, intact woodlands and forests and unique assemblages of wildlife. Oil is it’s most valuable export though and production is increasing, whilst Agriculture is it’s most important sector for the economy, employing 80 per cent of the workforce.


On the 9th of July 2011, after 22 years of conflict, South Sudan officially became independent of North Sudan.

Tension between North and South Sudan had always existed through ethno religious differences, the north being mainly Muslim and the South mainly Christian amongst other religious and non-religious groups. The British as controllers from 1924 basically had a policy of running Sudan as two separate territories: the Muslim north and Christian South. When the British left Sudan to run itself independently as a united country in 1954, the power already lay stronger in the North more closely tied as it was to Egypt. The South Sudanese territories were less well organised and their language of administration was English, as opposed to Arabic in the North, so of the 800 government positions filled, only 4 were given to southerners. South Sudan began to struggle against a more Arab favoured implementation of government.

In 1983- 2005, exacerbated by a proposed Islamicisation across Sudan, the second civil war broke out . It was this war that devastated and displaced Gabriel’s village.

‘Sudan’s independent History has been dominated by chronic, exceptionally cruel warfare ‘[1]

Claims over land and oil, between North and South, and between tribal regions, added further cause for tension. With access to modern arms, such as Russian helicopters and cargo planes, and a proliferation of personal weapons, much damage was reaped.

Sudan South Sudan

It displaced an estimated 4 million people, and killed an estimate 2 million. It damaged Sudan’s economy, leading to food shortages then malnutrition and starvation. The lack of investment, particularly in the South meant a generation lost access to basic health services, education and jobs.

This is what Gabriel, with Hope For Ariang hopes to amend.

Neighbouring countries Rwanda and Ethiopia, are amongst the World’s fastest growing economies due to the rich resources that South Sudan also holds. Ariang and other South Sudanese communities still lack funding and support to invest in future generations but there is much to hope for in South Sudan’s future.

[1]^ Morrison, J. Stephen; de Waal, Alex. “Can Sudan Escape Its Intractability?”. Grasping the Nettle: Analyzing Cases of Intractable Conflict. Eds.: Crocker, Chester A.; Hampson, Fen Osler; Aall, Pamel (2005). United States Institute of Peace (Washington, D.C.). p. 162.

Ariang School


The Construction of the school in Ariang was completed in 2011, pumps for clean water also brought down incedents of cholera and allowed far more children to attend school. Funding continues to be needed for trained teachers, equipment and food.

Call for T-Shirts

If you have any old T-shirts, that may be saleable and worthy of being used to print on!, please add them to the growing collections in:

Metafora, Carrer Papin 29, Sants

Studio Nomada, Carrer Palma de Sant Just, 7, Gothico


Gabriel’s story

courtesy of

Gabriel with Cynthia Davis, one of the Canvas Peace Project Founders

Last week we sat gripped around a small skype screen as Gabriel Bol deng told us his own harrowing story that lead him to found Hope for Ariang.  It was galvanising to hear first hand of terrible atrocities and yet an unbridled faith in hope for the future of the village of Ariang. Certainly there is lots to digest.

Gabriel’s parents had always told him he could move mount Kilimanjaro, in other words; never give up and have faith. In this he was tested; whilst Gabriel was tending cattle at only ten years old, militia men attacked his village of Ariang. He managed to flee, whilst many of his friends and family didn’t. Through many hardships he managed to walk to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. At points in the story where he spoke of escaping from lions or crocodiles it felt like his situation could only get better, yet it often got worse. Having barely made it to the refugee camp he spoke of feeling angry, disillusioned, bitter and faithless. It was then he dreamt of his parents who reminded him to hope, believe in himself, and have faith to overcome any difficulties, even to  move mountains. From this point he has striven to overcome his difficulties.

In 2001 Gabriel went to the United States as one of the ‘Lost Boys’ of the refugee resettlement program, where he achieved an education. In 2007 he returned to his village to find the education system in a poor state. It consisted of sitting under trees without trained teachers. Starting by selling T shirts he founded Hope for Ariang and managed to raise money to build a school brick by brick, since then running water, books and trained teachers have been added. He wants to rebuild and sustain the community, as he said ‘school is community, and community is school’.

With further funding he hopes to support micro financing businesses and in turn empower and educate the women; ‘when you empower a woman you educate the community’. It is towards sustaining the education and the community that the funding for Hope For Ariang is being directed towards. The Canvas Peace Project supports Hope for Ariang through the sale and exhibition of art, in turn bringing awareness of the awful destruction that has been wreaked in Ariang and other South Sudanese communities and their need for support.

The Canvas Peace project is spreading it’s wings and it will be the first such exhibition in Barcelona.