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Bag for Life

  • Object:

    Carrier bag

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, made)

  • Date:

    2002 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Franko B, born 1960 (artist)
    London Arts (commissioners)
    artsadmin (commissioners)
    South London Gallery (commissioners)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour half-tone line-block on plastic carrier bag

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Gill Saunders. Copyright: Franko B / South London Gallery

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 151, box A

The artist Franko B designed this plastic carrier bag as part of the advance publicity for a performance planned for the South London Gallery in 2002. (It was later cancelled by Southwark Council due to anxieties about the nature and content of the performance, given that Franko B's work often involves nudity and blood-letting).

The photograph on the bag is one of several taken by Franko B of homeless men sleeping rough. The bag is lettered 'Bag for Life' as a deliberate reference to the slogan used by supermarkets on their extra-strong plastic carriers. Customers purchase one of the bags and the company promises to replace it free of charge when it wears out. Franko B's bag was offered to the public for £1.50, on the same basis - that the purchaser could send in a worn-out bag and have a free replacement while stocks were available. It is a comment on our society's materialism and wastefulness, and its shameful disregard of those who are seen as un-productive - this wasted human life is shown discarded in the street like the other disposable detritus of our consumer capitalism.

Physical description

Plastic carrier bag

Place of Origin

London (probably, made)


2002 (made)


Franko B, born 1960 (artist)
London Arts (commissioners)
artsadmin (commissioners)
South London Gallery (commissioners)

Materials and Techniques

Colour half-tone line-block on plastic carrier bag

Marks and inscriptions

Bag for Life

Should this bag wear out it will be replaced free of charge.

Published/commissioned by London Arts /artsadmin /SLG


Height: 53 cm including handle, Width: 45 cm

Descriptive line

Carrier bag by Franko B, 2002

Production Note

Attribution note: The bag was produced to advertise Franko B's exhibition, Still Life, planned for the South London Gallery in 2002. The exhibition did not take place.
Reason For Production: Exhibition


Printing ink; Plastic


Colour half-tone print; Line block printing

Subjects depicted

Homeless person; Homelessness


Advertising; Ephemera; Labels & packaging

Production Type

Unlimited edition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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