On Sunday 24th March, a team of well-known graffiti artists will paint a powerful message across three billboards at Old Street to highlight the three young male suicides that occur on average every day in the UK.1 The work will be displayed for 36 hours before being auctioned in aid of CALM, the campaign against living miserably, dedicated to preventing male suicide.
Everyone is invited to come along and watch the art take shape, plus visitors are encouraged to lay flowers at the site in memory of those lost to suicide.
Volunteers from CALM will be onsite during the day to give more information about the charity and visitors may even get the chance to meet the artists. Refreshments, merchandise and entertainment will also be available.
Jane Powell, Director of CALM, said “The public aren’t aware that suicide is the single biggest killer of young men in the UK. We hope that this brilliantly simple initiative led by BMB will shine a light on the issue. Having the support of such great artists and the co-operation of JCDecaux is fantastic.”
BMB developed the concept of using street art to raise awareness around the issue by focusing on the juxtaposing notion of self-expression; something that inspires street artists to carry out their work, but something that unfortunately holds people back from speaking about their problems.
BMB’s Bil Bungay is the Creative Director on the project, and added “This is such an important issue and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with CALM and Soulful to raise awareness of the rates of male suicide in the UK in the hope that more will be done to work with young men who are feeling at their lowest ebb.”
Graffiti Artist, Koze of Soulful Creative added, “We simply couldn’t turn down the chance to work on such an amazing project for truly a worthy cause. We hope it can make a difference”.
Join the event page on Facebook HERE
The billboard site is on the south side of Old Street at the junction with Pitfield Street and Gt Eastern Street, EC2. View map HERE
Nearest parking: Gt Eastern St, EC2 and at 62 Paul St, EC2.
About the artists
The artists involved go by the name of Koze, 45rpm and Richt and between them have over 20 years experience of painting graffiti around London.
ONS 2011 statistics1:
Suicide is defined as deaths given an underlying cause of intentional self-harm or injury/poisoning of undetermined intent. There were 1,242 suicides of men aged 15-35 in the UK in 2011, making an average of 3.4 young male suicides per day. This compares to 377 suicides of women aged 15-35 that year.