Lot 13
  • 13

Laila Shawa

12,000 - 18,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Laila Shawa
  • Where Souls Dwell III (From the Gun Series)
  • AK-47 replica, Swarovski crystals, rhinestones, Japanese gold powder, feathers, magnets and resin
  • Executed in 2012, this work is number 3 from an edition of 5.

Catalogue Note

“The challenge of altering and removing the raison d’êtres of an AK-47 is irresistible. I turned my guns into jewelled objects that can only be useless!!! In no way was I trying to glorify lethal weapons that are responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

I feel that artists must speak out against the arms race, wars, and the Arms Industry, which drives countries to create unnecessary wars.

According to mythology, the souls of people killed return as butterflies to the place where they were killed. The butterflies in this work represent those souls. 

My first AK-47, was commissioned by Peace One Day, a peace organization under the patronage of the United Nations, and was exhibited at the ICA London in October 2012 under the title ‘AKA Peace.’ Later it was sold in a public auction to raise money for Peace One Day. 20 British artists participated in this show amongst which were Damien Hirst, Anthony Gormley, Gavin Turk and the Chapman Brothers. The AK-47 (Kalashnikov) is the most produced gun in the world, in various versions. There are over 200 million AK-47s in circulation, quite often, and most irresponsibly, in the hands of children.”

Artist’s Statement