Making waves: the power of art

Making waves: the power of art
Many renowned artists are using their creativity for a cause.

Protest art has a long and exciting history of questioning, antagonising and upsetting the status quo. We explore four artists embracing this movement around the world.


Ai Weiwei


As an activist, contemporary artist Ai Weiwei draws attention to human rights violations, particularly in his home country of China, where he has been persecuted by the government for his stances.

Weiwei has been credited with expanding the definition of art to include new forms of social engagement.


Pussy Riot

The Russian feminist punk-rock band has become a symbol of opposition to the oppressive Putin regime.

The group shocked the world with its protest performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in 2012, which was directed at the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for Putin.



An anonymous artist with an international cult following, Banksy takes on large-scale institutions around the world.

The guerilla street artist’s works interact with global politics and issues, such as capitalism, anti-war, anarchism and anti-consumerism.


Rangi Kipa

A New Zealand artist at the forefront of contemporary Māori art, Rangi Kipa uses his work to challenge boundaries, create dialogue and confront ideas of identity in the modern world.

He has had a long-standing interest in Māori art forms and tribal traditions.


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