Reading time:

Extinction Rebellion XR


Extinction Rebellion


Various Artists


3 May 2021 - 21 June 2021


Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.

Since it's inception, Extinction Rebellion (XR) has been aided by a strong visual identity – expertly guided by XR Art Group – that is based around a few simple elements: the ‘hourglass’ symbol made by street artist ESP in 2011; the typefaces Fucxed Caps and Crimson; and strong, often fluorescent colours. XR Art Group’s Charlie Waterhouse says: ‘We couldn’t be just green. We’re not an environmental movement, we’re a movement for change.’

The results are polished, powerful and sincere. As fashion designer Clare Farrell and illustrator Miles Glyn explain in This is Not a Drill, the anarchist DIY traditions of ‘working with your hands and getting them dirty doesn’t mean the outputs should be trashy.’

For Sharing Not Hoarding, XR Art Group presents a chronological survey of XR's visual identity to date, including work made for the five bridges action in London, 2018, and moving through 2019-20's Paint the Streets campaign and Paris '68 redux's current DIY print works.

On this exhibition and their underlying motivation XR Art Group say:

"From the very beginning we knew whatever we created had to feel ‘out of time’ with a 'shock of the new'. Maintaining that ’shock of the new’ is always a problem. That’s why we had to package up what we did and give it away as quickly as possible. Allowing more people to interpret the work in new ways – shocking visuals and messages to match shocking tactics, an anti-individual process to match collective action, all evolving together.

We feel we’re standing on the shoulders of giants, continuing a tradition of protest ‘art’ that stretches back in time. Too much of what we see around us today eschews that tradition, happy to sustain a narrative of art and craft's long history of commercialisation, of individual patrons commissioning individuals all based around ownership.

This is only one reading of the past.

We looked at the true social innovators of art and craft. This history contains firebrands like William Morris, schools like the Bauhaus, activists like The Suffragettes, movements like the Situationists. At the beginning of the wall you’ll find a quote from the Bauhaus and a poster from Paris ’68. Neither of these were created to sell a pair of trainers, no one commissioned their work – both were created to inspire a better future."

To find out more about XR Scotland see, https://xrscotland.org/.

For XR Dundee, see https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellionDundee/.

And to download DIY templates see, https://www.bodypolitic.space/paris68redux.