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LA, London – and Kinghorn: Fife community library joins global venues for Cold War Steve exhibition

Organiser Ewen Campbell with the Cold War Steve exhibition at Kinghorn Community Library. Pic: Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media.
Organiser Ewen Campbell with the Cold War Steve exhibition at Kinghorn Community Library. Pic: Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media.

Los Angeles, London, the Falkland Islands, Sri Lanka – and Kinghorn.

In a Kingdom coup, the Fife village has joined a list of global venues to unveil an exhibition of the work of internationally-renowned satirist Cold War Steve.

His surreal collages feature politicians, celebrities and other famous figures, usually with Eastenders actor Steve McFadden – the soap’s Phil Mitchell – an unimpressed observer.

Kinghorn library
Community library co-ordinator Ali Maclaurin and library volunteer Fiona Wallace-McMeekin enjoy the work of satirist Cold War Steve. Pic: Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media

The artist – Christopher Spencer from Birmingham – has a Twitter following of more than 300,000.

And Kinghorn Community Library is delighted to be finally joining a list of international locations staging the Covid-delayed exhibition.

Delayed from 2020

The International Exhibition of the People was due to be launched in 2020.

Cold War Steve’s aim was to engage a global audience with the help of communities across the world.

He encouraged communities businesses and venues to download and display his work.

Kinghorn Library supporters Ritchie Feenie and Ewen Campbell came up with the plan to connect Kinghorn into the global event.

A local crowdfunder quickly raised the money to pay for the materials to create the display.

Cold War Steve
Techincal support for the Cold War Steve exhibition came from 15-year-old Archie Campbell. Pic: Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media.

Ewan said: “We all know what happens next, with a global pandemic, lockdown, the continuing social distancing and limitations on our daily lives.

“Fast forward to 2022 – and with the pandemic still nibbling at our heels, but with conditions allowing a cautious opening of spaces like our library, we feel the conditions are right to open the exhibition and bring some satire into our lives.”

Having been curated in 2020 the exhibition is now a sort of retrospective, but the featured figures remain instantly recognisable.

International interest

Ewan added: “Kinghorn Community Library is one of many venues hosting The International Exhibition of the People.

“We are joining a truly global network.

“It includes Brussels, the Falkland Islands, Madrid, Washington State, London, Los Angeles and Sri Lanka, to name but a few.

“We think Kinghorn sits very comfortably within this company!”

Kinghorn Community Library committee member Lindsey Campbell said: “We are all very excited by this exhibition.

“It brings something very different to our community library.

“And it was arranged and funded by Kinghorn people themselves.

“Kinghorn Community Library is entirely volunteer run.

“And while we have run local lectures, music and poetry evenings, author visits and continue to run Bookbugs and other groups as and when Covid regulations allow, this art exhibition is another fine example of what our library can provide for our community.”

The exhibition runs until February 5.

Opening hours are on the library web and Facebook pages.

Who is Cold War Steve?

Cold War Steve, aka Christopher Spencer, specialises in satirical collages originally made on his phone and iPad.

His work first appeared on Twitter in March 2016.

It concentrated on the Cold War era, often featuring Ronald Reagan or Mikhail Gorbachev and with Eastenders actor Steve McFadden in the images.

Cold War Steve
Cold War Steve described 2021 as a “relentless” year for a political cartoonist. Pic: Cold War Steve/PA Wire.

Since he began in 2016, Cold War Steve has staged three solo exhibitions, published two books, and completed commissions for the National Galleries of Scotland and the Whitworth in Manchester.

A giant billboard installation at the Glastonbury Festival and an international TIME magazine cover have also followed.

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