William Kelly Great Peace Mural

William Kelly Great Peace Mural
William Kelly Great Peace Mural

William Kelly declares himself an artist and a pacifist. And the maximum expression of it is this great mural that was exhibited for the first time in 2017 the Melbourne Library, in Australia, the country where he lives today, although its origins are American.

This work has been accompanied by a series of previous drawings, photographs, studies and events in different parts of the world, including the Spanish population of Gernika, the place bombed during the Spanish Civil War and became a symbol of the horrors of war thanks to Pablo Picasso's masterpiece. And it is that Kelly confesses his passion for Guernica, a work to which he feels indebted and for that reason he pays homage to it in that mural.


William Kelly Great Wall

Another of the acts that has taken place at the same time that Kelly created the mural, was to star in a documentary where we are told the whole process and which is titledCan art stop a bullet? In this documentary we are told about the objectives of the work and, above all, the multiple sources from which it draws and which it uses to create its images.

There appear not only the forms of Picasso. There is also the horror of the Vietnam War embodied in the famous photo Nick Ut of a naked girl fleeing a napalm bombardment. A photograph tocredited with being the trigger for the end of the armed conflict. Nazi symbols, bombings, scenes of violent video games or Hollywood productions are also discovered, which are references to the damage that war entails.

Among so much horror, William Kelly also leaves room for hope, beauty and love, that is, peace. Hence, for example, a drawing of the famous sculpture LOVE by Robert Indiana appears. Or it should also be noted that one of the most powerful images in this very personal collage of drawings and paintings is the representation of a hand offering a flower to another, like a bridge that is built to live in peace.

And that is to the author, who has never stopped being a peace activist. He has been very critical of our reality, in which we constantly see children at war, hungry, exiled, refugees, etc. in the media. Something that is very current, but that comes a long way, since he is aware that there have been many wars throughout history and they always end up with cities and places in ruins and abandoned, sterile. Something that also shows in the big mural of him.

But beyond the pessimism, he has his peculiar thesis on the question we have referred to: can art stop a bullet? It's obvious that a painting can't stop a shot, but it can sensitize the minds and hearts of the people who shoot them, in order to avoid pulling the trigger.

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