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On the March – An Exhibition of Banners Made by Ed Hall

On the March – An Exhibition of Banners Made by Ed Hall

Supported by the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT)

14 May 2011 — 30 October 2011

RMT Three Bridges branch banner

 National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT)

Contemporary banner maker Ed Hall creates striking, richly coloured banners for trade unions, campaign groups and other organisations. This is the first solo exhibition of his work and an exciting opportunity for the People’s History Museum to showcase the work of the UK’s foremost trade union and campaign banner artist. The exhibition illustrates the continuing relevance of the ancient visual art of banner making in Britain today.

Hall’s spectacular banners are displayed alongside preparatory sketches, photographs, newspaper clippings, archival material and film, to contextualise his work and give a sense of how ‘working’ banners are made and used by campaigning groups today. There will be hands on opportunities for all the family including a chance for you to indulge your creative side and design a banner for a cause you believe in. All designs will be judged by Ed Hall in three categories, under 11s, 11-16 and adults. All winners will receive a set of postcards of Ed Hall’s banners plus the under 11s and 11-16s winners will receive a voucher to spend in the museum shop and the adults winner will receive a voucher for a meal for two to spend in the museum cafe. Thanks to Couture who run the museum’s Left Bank cafe bar for sponsoring the prizes.

23 November 2011 – winners announced

The museum also commissioned Ed Hall to produce two new banners which feature in the exhibition. One features the museum building (both the Pump House and the new extension) as well as crowd of people marching.  These two new banners will join the museum’s large collection of banners in our permanent collection when the exhibition finishes later this year.

Bringing it right up to date, the exhibition features a film based on the TUC National Demonstration Against the Cuts on 26 March 2011 made by Jeremy Deller.  Many of Ed’s banners were carried on this march.  “March for the Alternative” is Jeremy’s newest work  so you can be the first to come and view it.

Ed Hall has an established relationship with artist Jeremy Deller who with Alan Kane included Hall’s Brixton Bomb banner in their submission to the “Intelligence” exhibition at Tate Britain in 2000. The banner was also part of Jeremy’s and Alan’s Folk Archive which toured Britain. A banner made by Ed Hall celebrating the docking of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury in 1948 and which brought ex-servicemen and women from the West Indies was part of Jeremy Deller’s Turner Prize winning entry in 2004. Deller says of seeing the Brixton Bomb banner for the first time “It seemed a fantastic combination of the tradition of banner making with a contemporary subject. It was a key moment for me as an artist and that’s why he is my icon.” The exhibition will feature this famous banner as well as banners made for Jeremy Deller’s Procession, part of the Manchester International Festival 2009.  For more information about Procession visit www.manchesterprocession.com

Ed Hall Banner Man. A film by Platform Films commissioned by RMT.

RMT commissioned Platform Films to make a short film about Ed Hall and his work.  To find out a bit more about the process of producing banners such as these (above) and to hear Ed talking about his years designing and making banners, click on Ed Hall Banner Man – A film by RMT.

Audioboo with Ed Hall and Jeremy Deller

Catharine Braithwaite from Creativetourist chatted to both Ed Hall and Jeremy Deller about Ed’s new exhibition On the March. To listen visit creativetourist.com

Exhibition Opening

To see some photos from the official opening of the exhibition, click here. On the March was opened by Jeremy Deller on Friday 13 May 2011.

On the March inspires 2012 Cultural Olympiad project

 Find out more about how the On the March exhibition inspired a group of visitors to create their own banners.

Things you might be interested in

  • Interested in banners?  Our learning team run Build a Banner sessions for schools or groups. See our learning programme page for more information. 

  • Love the banners that feature in the exhibition?  We've got reproductions of six of them as postcards in the museum shop