Brighton artist Jamie McCartney creates bomb-shaped vending machine for Ukraine

Graham Robson February 13, 2023

Brighton artist Jamie McCartney has created a bomb-shaped vending machine to raise funds for Ukraine, which is currently installed in the lobby of Brighton Museum.

The renowned Brighton artist was invited to Ukraine, shortly after the invasion began, to give a talk in Lviv on the Mission of Culture During Crisis. What he saw shocked him, and he created this artwork to help.

Peace Machine #2 is a vending machine that dispenses plaster casts of a bullet and shrapnel from an injured Ukrainian soldier. Created in 2015 after the Russian invasion of Crimea it is currently installed in the lobby of Brighton Museum. You insert £2 and turn the handle to win a capsule that contains one of the casts and a certificate hand-signed by the artist.

One hundred per-cent of the money goes to¬†Voices of Children Foundation, a Ukrainian charity providing immediate psychological services to child victims of the war. There is also a¬†Just Giving page for those you can’t visit the museum but would like to help.

Peace Machine #2 at Brighton Museum

Jamie said: “I¬†converted an arcade vending machine to resemble a mortar bomb. Normally these machines dispense trinkets like toy soldiers to children. But this one isn’t for kids and war isn‚Äôt a game. These capsules are an analogue for the ball bearings used in explosive devices and contain plaster casts of the shrapnel and bullet. Insert ¬£2¬†and take your chances.

“When you hold these items in your hand I hope it will affect you in the same way it affected me. Peace has a chance when war is no longer considered an option. This piece is about all wars but its genesis in Ukraine means I must use it now to help the people there. I must make a stand.

“This is also the only place you’ll ever be able to buy an original artwork by me for pocket change!”