Louder Than Bombs was an exhibition about Art, Action & Activism at the Stanley Picker Gallery.

Each week for seven weeks, a different artist created a week-long live art installation through the Live Art Development Agency. For our residency, Prick Your Finger turned the gallery into a factory sweatshop.


To set up our sweatshop, we sourced unwanted sheep fleeces from within the M25, and constructed the world’s first bicycle-powered wool mill.

Riding the bike could transform a sheep's fleece into seductive yarns.

Our aim was to ask the world to listen to sensible ways of profiting from nature without exploitation.

Visitors could learn about the different stages of making clothing out of fleece, from carding to spinning, to creating their own knitwear.


We charted production line efficiency on the walls of the factory office. The workforce were given regular tea breaks to ensure worker satisfaction. They could also clock in extra hours during Overtime at the Factory Disco.

Speaking of music, the title of the exhibition - Louder Than Bombs - was borrowed from a compilation album by iconic anti-establishment group The Smiths. In turn, they borrowed it from Elizabeth Smart’s extended prose poem By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.

The whole exhibition was part of a wider collaborative research project between Kingston University and Kyoto Seika University in Japan called The Art of Intervention: The Intersections of Public and Private Memory.


Watch the factory at work.


Listen to an interview


The exhibition blog

Art that cannot shape society and therefore also cannot penetrate to the heart of questions of society, [and] in the end influence the question of capital, is no art.
— Joseph Beuys, 1985

Get involved

Book an exhibition, talk or workshop about this project: contact Rachael.


Stanley Picker Gallery

Live Art Development Agency

Art Of Intervention