To celebrate International Women’s Day we’ve selected five artists who have made work that reflects on women’s histories and experiences, featuring: Dawn Woolley, Lucy Wright, Angela Kennedy, Laura O'Connor and Victoria Lucas.
Visual Pleasure (legs akimbo), 2009
In this series I examine the artificiality of femininity, and the strategies we employ to create the illusion of sexuality. In the photographs the female character is not a simulacra - but the construction of her as an idealised woman renders her artificial. During the shoot I arrange myself on a stage with cut-out furniture and attempt to hold them in place. I struggle to maintain the position I have allocated myself – that of the object of desire. On first reading these images appear to fall neatly into a patriarchal sexual language that Mulvey describes, a construction of sexuality that reduces the female subject into a 2-dimensional representation. But the woman is isolated in a world of her own making – she has created the fantasy of body image in order to appeal to the male gaze. This is the female paradox – she is captive in the panopticon that she built up around herself. Edition of 15.
Make Your Own Entertainment / Homecoming, 2015
Two participatory projects with members of the Staffordshire carnival troupe dancing community (also known as ‘entertainers’) conducted as part of the KULES residency at Olympus Engineering works in Stoke-on-Trent (supported by the Airspace Gallery).
Make Your Own Entertainment engaged with the social history of carnival troupe dancing, previously associated with young female factory workers, and involved the choreography of a site-specific performance in the factory basement which mimicked the action and sounds of machinery.
Homecoming contemplated the relationships between tradition and material practice, augmenting the making processes of troupe dancers, with the imported US high school tradition of ‘homecoming’ ‘mum rosettes.
Activism Art, 2012 - 2014
Over a years worth of Activism Art
Reclaim the Night 2012
One Bllion Rising 2013
International Women's Day 2033
NEFG North East Feminist Gathering http://www.nefeministgathering.com/regular-womens-space.php - helped to organise conference collectively
2013 - 2104 Women's Space - helped instigate a regular safe informal space for women to meet regularly in Newcastle - ongoing
Uncomfortable State Performance, 2020
Uncomfortable State is a response to recent comments made by an Irish TD that the Citizen’s Assembly decision to repeal the Eight Amendment made him “uncomfortable”. As an Irish woman, comments like this by the people in power make me uncomfortable. The rights I have over my own body must be my own and it is the responsibility of the state to recognise and respect this. In ‘Uncomfortable State’ my body will be erased using green screen technology and dissolved into the land being replaced by a video of the Irish Sea, a stretch of water travelled every day by Irish women to access abortions.
Women on Horses, 2015
Women on Horses comprises found footage, extracted from westerns that have been filmed in the Alabama Hills. Each woman has been ‘rescued’ from their aggressive male pursuers through the editing process, and by ‘freeing’ them they ride through the landscape alone and on their own terms.
Published 4 March 2022