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Queenstown artist Stu Robertson is photographing a single white rose, an ancient symbol of peace, in the hands of 10,000 people from every country on the planet — and is now turning to the New Zealand Arts Foundation crowd-funding platform Boosted to raise $55,000 for the next leg of his journey: South Africa and Asia.
The “Peace in 10,000 Hands” crowd-funding campaign kicks off from May 8 to June 12 and will be the largest campaign to hit Boosted since it launched a little over a year ago.
Mr Robertson plans to use the funds raised from Boosted to continue his project in the South East Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa, where several nations are struggling with peace. Every $100 raised from the Boosted campaign allows Mr Robertson to photograph one more person.
When completed, the project will become a contemporary art exhibition on a scale that confronts, provokes and gives rise to a global conversation for peace. Artworks from the project are being donated 100% to charities focused on furthering peace through children’s education, safety and wellbeing.
The photographer has already captured over 1,350 people from all walks of life around the world holding the white rose in the palm of their hands, including Hollywood celebrities Danny DeVito, Demi Moore, Ricky Gervais, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Brooke Shields; as well as famous New Zealanders such as the Governor General, Sir Richard Taylor, Sir Richard Hadlee, Sir Ray Avery, Sir Stephen Tindall, Valerie Adams, Lucy Lawless, and Martin Henderson.
Lesser-known individuals who have taken part range from remote Indian villagers, whose photographed hands reveal fingers lost to disease, to heavily tattooed, bare-chested urban LA street gang leaders.
In addition to the photograph, Mr Robertson also records each model’s personal definition of “what peace means” next to their photograph.
New Zealand Arts Foundation Executive Director Simon Bowden says that Boosted has granted more than $340,000 to fantastic projects in the past year and is proud to support a New Zealand artist taking on the world:
“The Arts Foundation is excited to support our biggest Boosted project to date. His project is ambitious and it is great to see that so many people all over the world are taking notice. The responses to Mr Robertson's images are stunning and demonstrate that the arts know no borders. We are proud to support a New Zealand artist taking on the world.”
During his travels to 12 countries, the photographer has met with several people who have expressed their interest in supporting his art project, including film companies, book publishers, art galleries and US-based social networking businesses. more than that: I would also love for this campaign to be successful so that it can help shine a massive light on the New Zealand arts community, and ultimately help other artists carry out their dreams like I am.”
People wanting to contribute to Mr Robertson campaign can do so by visiting www.boosted.org.nz/projects/peace-in-10000-hands from May 8.
Every $500 raised from the Boosted campaign puts him on the road for one more day in another country photographing the white rose in the hands of hundreds more people.