Celebrated neon artist, Eve De Haan shone a light on London’s streets and women’s safety issues, last 15th April, with an illuminated billboard campaign curated by Zebra One Gallery, promoting the Reclaim These Streets Text Me When You Get Home campaign, with all profits donated to make the UK a safer, fairer place for women.
The billboards in places including Shoreditch, Fulham, Peckham, and Dalston displayed Eve’s art – an image of a deserted street after dark, with the poignant, glowing words, Text Me When You Get Home, a familiar phrase which often replaces goodbye for women, representing how safeguarding and safety fears have become a routine way of life for females after dark.
As well as illuminating the dark streets, the urban exhibition marks the start of the Reclaim These Streets movement’s new campaign, which aims to use legislation, education, and community action to ensure no woman has to be asked to Text Me When You Get Home again.
Four original prints, including the piece displayed on billboards, were on sale through Zebra One Gallery with all profits raised going to Rosa, a grant-making charity that funds grassroots women’s organisations to help make the UK a fairer, safer place for women.
Eve says: ‘Many of my pieces celebrate the unique strength of women. The tragic circumstances of Sarah Everard’s murder and similar stories of attacks and harassment towards women around the world show that we still have such a long way to go before we can feel safe. I wanted to share these pieces in a public setting to show support for women and to remind people that a message like, Text me when you get home, has become a part of our everyday lives, and that shouldn’t be the case.’
Reclaim These Streets was formed in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s tragic murder, with the simple idea of holding a vigil. But after the event was cancelled, more than £500,000 was donated to the cause by supporters, leading to a partnership with charity Rosa.
Having already testified to the Home Affairs Committee, Reclaim These Streets are now working with cross-party MPs on amendments to the police, crime, sentencing, and courts bill to outlaw street harassment and kerb crawling.
Jamie Klingler, one of the founders of Reclaim These Streets, says: ‘We are thrilled to be working with Eve. We need to shine a light on all of the places where women are unsafe in public spaces and Eve’s way of illustrating the plight of all women will spark conversation and interest, which ultimately translates into change.’
The billboards for the campaign were generously subsidised by Brotherhood Media and are expected to remain in place for two weeks.
Zebra One Gallery owner and curator, Gabrielle du Plooy adds: ‘As a woman, this is an issue close to my own heart. I’ve lived in London my whole life and – like most women – have had personal experiences which have made me feel unsafe. So I’m delighted that we are able to help with such an important campaign through our art.’