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One of Daniela Raytchev’s recent Art Chess sets, Metropolis is inspired by America’s recent controversial withdrawal from the Paris agreement, which magnified the scale of denial about the reality and dangers of the climate change.
Raytchev poses the question as to whether the challenge of climate change can be seen as an opportunity to demand and build a better world? Climate change has consequences not only on the natural world and its weather patterns, including severe droughts, wildfires, floods and lack of water, affecting food supplies and living conditions, but it also poses a threat to the human rights, with particularly devastating consequences for poorer nations and communities already suffering from inequality and racism. Africa is the home of 7 of the ten countries most threatened by climate change. The economic and social effects are enormous.
The chess set’s industrial looking gold pieces, which represent human force and capitalism, are in ongoing ‘battle’ with the white spiked pieces with blue marble-like effect, representing the nature and the planet Earth. Raytchev agrees with Naomi Klein in regarding “climate change as a battle between capitalism and the planet”.
Raytchev’s work is gaining more of a political and social character. She addresses her ideologies and support for racial, gender and sexual equality as well as for various environmental causes. As with her past mental health-related works, she continues to encourage honesty, equality, and empowerment of those who are less fortunate or discriminated against, through raising awareness of issues about which she feels passionate.
“Fear can’t be the driver. That’s the big mistake the environmental movement made – “we’ll scare the hell out of you and you’ll become an activist” There has to be a counter-narrative that we can have a different economy with more, better jobs.”
Purling London Art Chess sets are individually hand painted by specially commissioned British and international artists and no two sets are the same. From established figures to rising stars of the Contemporary Art scene, Purling has collaborated with 30 artists to date, including Sophie Matisse, Inkie and Thierry Noir. Complete with a numbered certificate signed by the artist and our deluxe, Birds-eye maple boards; each hand-carved, triple-weighted Art Chess is a miniature sculptural masterpiece.
“When I look at our Art Chess sets, I see a contemporary painting over a three dimensional surface. I want to explore the pieces from every angle, look around them and hold them. As I play Art Chess I see a moving and evolving painting, with opposing colours and sides mixing and integrating. The game of chess is a creative art form in itself and for me, it is perfect to play it with a unique and beautiful set. ”
Simon Purkis, Founder, Purling London