Images of unity: artists design covers for ES Magazine in tribute to Londoners’ resilience

Six leading artists including Sir Antony Gormley and Gillian Wearing have designed ES magazine covers celebrating London’s resilience in the face of recent tragedies. 

Ai Weiwei, Sir Anish Kapoor, Jamie Hewlett and Wolfgang Tillmans have also contributed to the special editions, which commemorate the lives lost at the Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower blaze.

The editions are available around the capital from tomorrow.

The magazine also recognises the work of the emergency services and is published on the 12th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings of 2005. In a shot titled 52 Minutes’ Silence, Wearing photographed 52 Londoners to mark the number of people killed in that attack.


The ES magazine cover by Jamie Hewlett

Wearing said: “On the July 6, 2005 I came out of Liverpool Street Tube station, heard this roar, looked up and the Red Arrows flew by, emitting red, white and blue smoke.

I knew it must be to celebrate that London had won the right to host the Olympic Games in 2012. It was really exciting and it felt the city was on a new high. But the very next day that all turned around. 


Anish Kapoor’s cover

“I went to the minute’s silence at Liverpool Street a week later. For this photograph I wanted to enact that moment of contemplation.

“Silence is a way to think of others, of loved ones, to remember those that have passed. It brings everyone together in a universal participation.


The collector’s edition cover by Wolfgang Tillmans

“London is similarly going through a mourning process now, from the recent terror attacks and the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower this is a gesture of respect to those people as well.”  

Jamie Hewlett, whose design shows fists being raised in defiance, said: “During the recent horrors, the way people pull together makes this a very exciting time — a multicoloured show of strength. United we now stand.”


Ai WeiWei’s souvenir cover

Sir Antony said of his Coffee on Paper cover: “This image comes from trying to think how resilience and common sympathy occurs with every precious existence potentially held in the mind of all and all held in the mind of each.

“The collective reaction to attacks in London and Manchester and the Grenfell Tower fire has been immediate, generous, inspiring.


The collector’s edition cover by Antony Gormley

“There has been an extraordinary evolution in the dialogue between individual and collective experience.”

Among the heroes featured in the ES coverage is British Transport Police officer Emily Lewis, 26, who stayed with stabbing victim Brett Freeman for more than two hours after the London Bridge attack.


London United:  the cover by Gillian Wearing

She said: “Brett was saying, ‘Go! Save yourself!’ I just his held his hand and said, ‘No, I’ll stay.’”

ES Magazine is out tomorrow and Friday.

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