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The Light Is Shining Again

The light is shining on Ian Curtis today – Photo: Ilona Burton

It’s estimated that around 15 per cent of the adult population will experience depression at one point or another throughout life. And, accordingly to the World Health Organization, that means there are currently over 300 million people in the world currently living with depression. Whatever the cause, for some of these people, the emotional pain will become too much and they will consider suicide as an option of escape.

Too much pain, maybe too much nostalgia. Between 2017 and 2019, Chris Cornell, Dolores O’Riordan and Keith Flint took their own lives, someway in the wake of the “kill yourself” mantra of their late forerunner Kurt Cobain of Nirvana or Ian Curtis of Joy Division.

In Utero / Kurt Cobain – Frank Scali
Peter Hook facing the Ian Curtis mural

A black and white image of Ian Curtis, the Joy Division frontman between 1976 and 1980, has been painted on a building in Port Street, Manchester, UK, by street artist Akse P19. It attracted a lot of enthusiasm and attention by people and media. Bassist and co-founder of Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook, wanted to stop by and personally congratulate the artist for his work.

Based on a photo of Curtis performing in Brussels in 1979, taken by acclaimed Belgian photographer Philippe Carly, the artwork has been created to mark the start of Manchester music and mental wellbeing Headstock festival, in October 2020.

Akse and Peter Hook in front of the mural

World Suicide Prevention Day is an awareness day observed on 10 September every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world since 2003

On September 2021, Akse realized a mural of Prodigy’s Keith Flint, curated by Headstock Festival, in Dalston, East London, once again to raise awareness of mental health text support service Shout 85258.

Mural of Keith Flint, curated by Headstock Festival, in Dalston, East London
Working on the Ian Curtis mural – Photo: Andy Mac
Akse’s boys for a final pic of the mural
Completed work
The mural from a window
The light is shining on Ian Curtis today – Photo: Ilona Burton

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