"The Red Bags": A Monumental Sculpture Installation Reflecting Global Conflict and Human Resilience "The Red Bags": A Monumental Sculpture Installation Reflecting Global Conflict and Human Resilience

"The Red Bags": A Monumental Sculpture Installation Reflecting Global Conflict and Human Resilience

York Museum Gardens presents "The Red Bags," an awe-inspiring sculpture installation that forms part of the renowned Aesthetica Art Prize display. From March 24th to June 4th, visitors will have the unique opportunity to witness this thought-provoking artwork.

"The Red Bags" is a poignant response to the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, while also serving as a profound acknowledgment of the impact of wars worldwide. The installation symbolises the arduous journeys, migrations, and the pursuit of safety experienced by individuals affected by conflicts. Each bag represents the complex human condition, encapsulating the strength and vulnerability inherent in every individual.

York-based fashion photographer, Hannah Lunn, harnessed the power of this remarkable artwork to amplify the controversy surrounding the current war.

Lunn, known for her unique vision and style, collaborated with Russian-born model Irina Holliday to create a captivating fashion editorial. Mrs. Holliday, who had spent most of her life in Novosibirsk, a city

in Siberia, before relocating to Moscow, then embarked on a journey to Montenegro to pursue her career. Eventually, she settled in the United Kingdom with her husband, where she has resided for the past six years.

Irina Holliday, with her personal connections to Ukraine, expressed her deep shame regarding her country's invasion and her profound sense of guilt for the ongoing conflict. Through this fashion editorial, the three artists hailing from Russia, Scotland, and York explore the themes of resilience and endurance amidst the fight for survival. The delicate interplay between fragility and strength is vividly portrayed, serving as a testament to the Ukrainian people's remarkable fortitude in the face of a year-long war.

It is important to note that such artistic expression in Russia could carry severe consequences. The artists recognise the risks associated with their work, as spreading information that challenges the Russian government's narrative on the war is punishable under a bill introduced by President Putin, potentially leading to 15 years of imprisonment.

"The Red Bags" stands as a powerful embodiment of human experiences during times of conflict, resonating with audiences and raising critical questions about the fragility of life and the indomitable strength of the human spirit. This must-see installation invites visitors to engage with the profound narratives woven within the fabric of each bag.

Join us at York Museum Gardens from March 24th to June 4th to witness "The Red Bags" and immerse yourself in an exploration of the resilience and vulnerability that shape our shared human experience.

About the artists:

Irina Holliday:

Irina is a Russian-born alternative model and uses modelling as a way to express herself. Being inspired by books, films and world affairs, she is passionate about creating story driven photographs and videos that would not only catch one’s eye but send a powerful message.


Bea Last:

Based in Scotlast, Bea Last’s creative practise is process-last and investigates drawing in its broadest sense. Last’s sculptural drawing installations use scavanged, recycled materials and objects found such as plastics, paper, fabric, iron and wood. Her installations depend on location, space and environment and are created or reinvented according to that place.

The Red Bags is both a reaction to, and a statement about, global and societal issues such as war and displacement. There is a contrast between fragility and strength in the work, which is both monumental and delicate.


Hannah Lunn:

Hannah Lunn is a fashion and beauty photographer based in York, known for creating visually stunning and impactful images. Her photography style is characterised by a bold, edgy aesthetic that showcases the dark beauty of her subjects, utilising shadows and contrast to create captivating images.

Lunn has a focus on inclusivity and diversity, often aiming to break barriers with her work. Her website provides information for those in the fashion industry about the power of inclusive beauty standards and takes a stand against injustice.