Internationally-renowned Dundee-educated artist Frank To is taking his message of peace to Sweden just days after he was asked to speak at COP26 in Glasgow.
The Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design graduate and award winning artist will be addressing the growing pandemic of gun violence in Sweden by showcasing his latest creation, made from destroyed illegal firearms, at the Fotografiska Museum in Stockholm.
To has been invited to present his new soft pastels made from Humanium Metal in Armed Art at Fotografiska, an event where the world’s first pastels made from destroyed weapons will be used.
To has been working in collaboration with IM Swedish Development Partner for the past three years developing a new art medium made from Humanium Metal, which is a new type of alloy made from destroyed illegal firearms.
To’s unique gunpowder technique is garnering him international recognition as a leading contemporary artist amongst art critics and high profile collectors alike, including actor Sir. Patrick Stewart (of Star Trek fame) and New York based Michel Witmer.
Speaking ahead of his attendance in Sweden on Friday November 19, Frank said: “It’s very important that as an activist against illegal gun violence, I try to do my part in tackling this man-made pandemic.
“By physically being involved in the actual process of transforming an item that was used to kill people into something that could be used to address and hopefully give a voice in the campaign against illegal gun violence then I know that I’ve done my duty as a decent human being.
“I am very honoured to have my Humanium Metal pastels to make their first international debut at the Fotografiska Museum where they will be used by community and internationally recognised artists as well as supported by members of the Swedish Government in the Armed Art event.
“As I’m a Scottish artist, it is crucial that I represent Scotland’s shared view on addressing and being pro-active on the destruction of unlawful weapons especially guns.
“I only hope that these gun pastels are the first steps to a world without illegal firearms.”
Armed Art will be hosted at the Fotografiska, Museum, Stockholm Sweden on Friday November 19 highlighting the increasing issue of illegal gun violence in Sweden.
As well as To, artist Mono Masrour will be performing alongside feminist activist and poet Nattalie Ström Bunpuckdee who will give a performance in which she will write poems with To’s pastels.
The event will also be attended by artist Faysa Mohamud and spoken word poet Sara Nazari, both of whom have experienced armed violence as well members of the Swedish Government and United Nations.
The Courier told recently how To’s work had been accepted to the prestigious Royal Ulster Academy in Belfast, just months after selling out in the Society of Graphic Fine Art at Mall Galleries in London
Last week, To was asked to speak at COP26 about his work to help combat global gun violence – and the potential benefit of upcycling guns.