The War Boutique was originally set up in the summer of 2003, at Area10 in Peckham, London, in part as a reaction to the events surrounding the Iraq war. Local artists were engaged in the recycling of ballistic military materials (flak jackets, stab vests, body armour, etc), as a symbolic gesture of peace.
Through the artistic theory of non-verbal overidentification, as a strategy, the War Boutique aims to record the events that all too readily escape the column inches, documenting them as pieces of social commentary, within an historical context.
It has developed further over the years through a series of workshops, exhibitions and fashion shows, in conjunction with local and national organisations such as the Peace Not War Cooperative, Save The Children, The Damilola Taylor Trust, and Southwark Youth & Connexions.
The War Boutique, through its organic structure, has enjoyed a myriad of creative collaborations, from the worlds of film, theatre, art and fashion, producing works alongside the likes of John Maybury, Gieves & Hawkes, Maharishi, Sarah Lucas, and Banksy.
Its works have hung in The Bristol Museum, The Lighthouse in Glasgow, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and The British Museum, in London.