It's Nice That
Photographer Jim Marshall’s poignant, thoughtful and unseen photographs of Gerald Holtom’s peace symbol in action have been collated into a new book, aptly titled Peace.
The book is published 60 years after Gerald Holtom originally designed the universal sign of peace, a symbol that has gone on to be used on clothing, graffitied onto walls, and most prominently in protest as a stamp of hope. The black and white photographs act as a reflection from the renowned photographer, recognised for his photographs of bands and musicians during the 1960s. Marshall is additionally the only photographer to be honoured with a Grammy Trustees Award for his life’s work.
“Marshall saw himself as an anthropologist and a journalist, visually recording the changing times and explosion of creativity and celebrity in the 1960s,” says Peace’s publisher Reel Art Press. “He loved street photography and in between official assignments, started documenting the CND peace symbol and peace rallies as a personal project.”
The photographs featured in Peace were largely taken between 1961 and 1968 across America charting “the progression of the CND symbol from a ‘Ban the Bomb’-specific protest, to an internationally recognised symbol of peace”. Jim’s photographs display the power of the symbol, even when its shape is only just visible.
“These portraits showcase an idea rather than pictures of famous musicians, scenesters or politicians, and the artful nature of the images indicate that Marshall saw the role of the Peace sign as a crucial character or protagonist within the culture,” says activist and artist, Shepard Fairey, who contributes the introduction to Peace alongside Joan Baez.