'Strong and Stable My Arse' is all of us

Written by: Sophie Taylor

The Londoner behind ‘Strong and Stable My Arse’.

It’s a simple message. A slogan that’s straight to the point. ‘Strong and Stable My Arse’ is a statement everyone gets with a wry grin as they spot it slathered onto billboards, phone boxes and brick walls around the UK.

So who could be behind such a simple and cheeky, dig in the ribs campaign? Someone who knows his audience, who knows the mindset of the British like the back of his left hand.

As we all know now, one of the most down to earth Turner Prize winners is the man behind the posters.

North Four, North London magazine, strong and stable my arse, Theresa May, prime minister, tories, Jeremy Deller, campaign, politics

Having had the pleasure of hearing Jeremy Deller talk about his work back in 2012 (check out his most well known Acid Brass project and try not playing it on repeat all week), it was quickly apparent during the following Q and A where his head is at. When someone asked why he didn’t study critical theory, his response was characteristically uncomplicated.

Deller politely explained in simple terms why he doesn’t care for artist statements, spending years studying critical theory or using confusing jargon. He’s the antithesis of a rhetoric spewing politician. His projects are about and for the people, speaking directly to us regardless of our background or what we had for breakfast. And while there’s always a political message behind his work, there’s a big old belly of a laugh sitting at the front.

Theresa May’s catchphrase, pushed ad nauseam, provides a deflated chuckle all by itself as we watch a country weaken at the knees at Brexit and a U-turning Prime Minister who holds hands with tyranny.

Pop a Jim Royle-esque ‘my arse’ on the end of that and the chuckle inflates to a fat snort as we scrabble for our phone to snap a pic. Posting it on Instagram with the hashtag #strongandstablemyarse, the laugh subsides slightly as we feel the weight of the message behind Deller’s campaign, now ours too.

Photos via #strongandstablemyarse on Instagram

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