The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

Many years ago, in the early 1990s, while I lived in England (Colchester, Essex) & then Paris, I produced a series of drawings & then paintings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR for short.) It was quite a successful series, & was exhibited in its different forms around Europe in the early 90s, & then around the USA & on TV etc. in Canada in the late 90s (the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UDHR was in 1998.)

The UDHR has 30 Articles detailing rights & freedoms for the human race. Therefore, there are 30 artworks in each series, each depicting a single Article.

Here are some images from the series:

Drawing of Article 5 (against torture), pencil & ink

Drawing of Article 5 (against torture), pencil & ink

Drawing of Article 12 (protection of the famil), pencil & ink

Drawing of Article 12 (protection of the family), pencil & ink

With the initial drawings (2 examples above), I wrote the text of the Article by hand at the top of each page, so as to be able to focus more clearly on the content of the image.

Painting of Article 7 (equality under & protection by the law), acrylic on card

Painting of Article 7 (equality under & protection by the law), acrylic on card

Painting of Article 14 (right to asylum), acrylic on card

Painting of Article 14 (right to asylum), acrylic on card

Painting of Article 24 (right to rest & leisure), acrylic on card

Painting of Article 24 (right to rest & leisure), acrylic on card

Over the years, the images have been seen & displayed in a variety of media. They were projected onto a screen at a symposium on art & human rights in Ottawa, Canada, in 1998. They have been seen on TV in Spain & Canada. There is a Powerpoint version with the paintings & UDHR text that has been used at a major event in New York City, & also as an educational aid by teachers around the planet. Some of the images have been reproduced in books & other publications, such as the image (Article 23) below:

Trade Imbalance, published by Cambridge University Press, 2007

Trade Imbalance, published by Cambridge University Press, 2007

The book was written by Susan Ariel Aaronson & Jamie M. Zimmerman, & is available from Amazon, etc.

Ultimately, I would hope that the UDHR series (plural, as there are drawings, the initial series of paintings & also a Spanish series, done in Seville, Spain in 1992) would find a home in a public collection of some kind, a museum or foundation, perhaps. If anyone is interested in that, or in obtaining a copy of the Powerpoint slideshow, please contact me via this blog, or my email at “info” “at” “ayton” dot “net” (that is to confuse spam programs, I hope it doesn’t confuse you.)

There is a web site dedicated to my UDHR artwork: www.udhrart.org, where you can see all of the drawings & paintings, & the details of the shows & so forth. The artworks can also be seen on various other places around the web.

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  1. #1 by portofino spain forum Los Christianos on October 30, 2012 - 5:18 am

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

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