“In the steady slowing down of the heart”

I remember rooms that have had their part

In the steady slowing down of the heart;

The room in Paris, the room at Geneva,

The little damp room with the seaweed smell

And the ceaseless maddening sound of the tide –

Rooms where for good or for ill, things died;

But there is the room where we two lie dead

Though every morning we seem to wake, and might just as well seem to sleep again

As we shall some day in the other dustier quieter bed

Out there – in the sun – in the rain.

By Charlotte Mew

I would love to hear your thoughts on this piece and so please do join in the conversation with your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sistersole x

 

StyleLikeU & The What’s Underneath Project comes to London!

Talented mother and daughter duo Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum describe asking people to “participate in a project in which they will remove their clothes… To honour how style is not the clothes you wear. Style is not a facade, it is comfort  in your own skin, it is knowing who you are, it is what’s underneath.”

With such a raw, real and unapologetic ethos, a minimalist, open and honest aesthetic, naturally I fell in love with the series. Therefore, I could not be more happy to announce that ‘The What’s Underneath Project’ has come to London! If you are at all interested in beauty, body image, style, and empowering women then you need to check out this incredible collection of shorts! In the words of the creators “We have harnessed a new wave of fashion where style is not about celebrity status, trends or airbrushed photographs. Style is self-acceptance and at the core of every person’s identity… the time to change the conversation on beauty and style is now!

Losing a 30 year marriage and finding her gumption: Gretta.

Other  individuals who participated in the project describe a diverse range of experiences and an array of accounts. Accounts that touch on or directly involve domestic abuse, sexual assault, rape, victimisation, discrimination, issues surrounding gender and sexuality, stories of substance abuse, ongoing problems with addiction and mental health issues. Such sensitive subjects would ordinarily be considered as taboo, very often swept under the carpet and ignored. However, here we see them being addressed confidently, with dignity and tact, in a manner that can only be described as brave and courageous. Also, the comfort and beauty that each individual radiates in their own skin despite having endured some of the most harrowing of human experiences is just breathtaking. Both astonishing and remarkable, the life stories encourage you to find the same sense of comfort, beauty and freedom within, irrespective of our own relative circumstances.

Always intrigued and forever curious, I am wondering as to what your thoughts are? What do you make of ‘The What’s Underneath Project’? What does body image and style mean to you? Just as in the videos, I would also like to ask all of you … What do you think your style says about you? What do you like most about your body and what do you dislike most about your body? When do you feel the most vulnerable? When do you feel the most beautiful? Why in your body is it a good place to be?

SisterSole x

“Presenting the first exhibition dedicated to queer British art!”

Featuring works from 1861–1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) identities, the show marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. Queer British Art explores how artists expressed themselves in a time when established assumptions about gender and sexuality were being questioned and transformed.

Deeply personal and intimate works are presented alongside pieces aimed at a wider public, which helped to forge a sense of community when modern terminology of ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’ and ‘trans’ were unrecognised. Together, they reveal a remarkable range of identities and stories, from the playful to the political and from the erotic to the domestic.

With paintings, drawings, personal photographs and film from artists such as John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington, Duncan Grant and David Hockney the diversity of queer British art is celebrated as never before.

Why is the word ‘queer’ used in the exhibition title?

Queer has a mixed history – from the 19th century onwards it has been used both as a term of abuse and as a term by LGBT people to refer to themselves. Our inspiration for using it came from Derek Jarman who said that it used to frighten him but now ‘for me to use the word queer is a liberation’. More recently, of course, it has become reclaimed as a fluid term for people of different sexualities and gender identities. Historians of sexuality have also argued that it is preferable to other terms for sexualities in the past as these often don’t map onto modern sexual identites. In addition to carrying out audience research, we took advice from Stonewall and other LGBT charities and held focus groups with LGBT people. The advice from all of these sources was overwhelmingly that we should use it. While we tried other titles, no other option captured the full diversity of sexualities and gender identities that are represented in the show.

Text provided by Clare Barlow, curator of Queer British Art.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this post and so please do join in the conversation with your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!

SisterSole x

The Feminist Art Project…

FAPThe Feminist Art Project is an international collaborative initiative celebrating the Feminist Art Movement and the aesthetic, intellectual and political impact of women on the visual arts, art history and art practice, past and present.

The Feminist Art Project is a strategic intervention against the ongoing erasure of women from the cultural record.

The Feminist Art Project re-focuses public attention on the signal achievements of the Feminist Art Movement and shines a spotlight on current feminist art influences, trends and accomplishments.

How does The Feminist Art Project accomplish this?

The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) promotes diverse feminist art events, education and publications through its website calendar. Website visitors can find exhibitions, lectures, artist talks, classes, films and other art related activities in their area or to include in their travel plans. TFAPpreserves all calendar listings in the TFAP virtual archives and requests documentation from calendar participants to add to its physical archive.

TFAP facilitates regional networking and program development internationally and throughout the U.S. by linking visitors to TFAP Regional Coordinators. Regional coordinators and groups work with artists, teachers, writers, curators and venues to develop and promote feminist art events. Interested web-visitors can learn how to become involved with The Feminist Art Project in their own communities by contacting a coordinator in their region.

Does TFAP  promote individual artists on the web site?

TFAP does not promote the work of individual artists on its web site, but rather encourages artists to post their exhibitions, lectures performances and other art-related activities on the TFAP on-line calendar.

Who is eligible to be included on the TFAP event calendar?

The Feminist Art Project aims to effect permanent change by focusing on the impact of women artists and feminism on the art world, feminist content in art, feminist art practice and feminist analysis in art and art history and other cultural arenas. Artists, groups and presenters may post their national and international exhibitions, publications and programs that serve this mission on the calendar. All visual art media are eligible for inclusion.

Are there any fees?

There are no fees of any kind to use or contribute to the calendar or to download TFAP FARE.

How do I list my event or publication on the TFAP calendar?

To post on the TFAP calendar of events, go to LIST AN EVENT and follow the directions. Please do not send listings via email to The Feminist Art Project. Please allow one week for posting.

Who is The Feminist Art Project?

The Feminist Art Project brings together feminist artists, curators, authors and art critics, teachers and other art and museum professionals across cultural backgrounds, generations and widespread locations to refocus public attention on the significant achievements of women artists and the Feminist Art Movement. TFAP’s policies and initiatives are overseen by its National Coordinating Committee. TFAP Regional Coordinators across the globe are spearheading activities in their regions. TFAP’s Program Partners are committed to increasing the visibility of feminist art and to promote The Feminist Art Project.

SisterSole x

An interview with artist Nicola Hunter! By Theatre Bristol…

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What inspired you to become an artist?

I have always been an artist, being an artist has helped me to survive and to make sense of the world. I remember in the chaos of growing up writing poems and drawing my life. I began as a painter and my paintings would take years, a real physical affair. I used all parts of my body and eventually felt compelled to climb inside of them and from there began to use my body as site and soon after began to find ways to use my body as material.

Why have you returned to live performance for this project?

It was never a conscious decision to leave performance behind, it just so happened that my circumstances led me down that path. I became a mother of 2 and then not long after I became a full time single mother (and had to adjust to the challenges and responsibilities of parenting alone and as a woman and a mother in a patriarchal society there are many!) Every piece of work that I have created over the last 10 years has been brought into the world as necessity for me, it is a release of emotion that I could not have articulated in any other way than using the visual language that I have established over the past decade.

Nicola 2

Tell us about the show and what it is about for you.

Lost Bodies is an incredibly personal piece of work, it is about the stages and waves of grief and each time I create the work I go on an authentic journey with it. I have Alison Brierley and Sarah Glass as co-performers who are also journeying with me through our multi-layered collaboration. Alison is my spiritual guide; she prepares the space for transformation, leads me through it and then closes the portal. Sarah Glass and I designed and developed the sound score, which enables me to follow the correct path. Together we take our witnesses on a sensory adventure.

This piece is about the old me and the new me. It is about the journey that I went on to transition and to shed a skin. The journey into the new began with a project that I began in 2014 called Raising the Skirt (www.raisingtheskirt.com) and through this howling, naked, connecting with the earth and my subconscious, listening deeply to my intuition and making connections with some fierce and wonderful humans, the project ignited my fire again. It was in the second year of the project that I met Alison and we connected on a very deep level. Drumming is a huge element of transcendental ritual and the drum we use is hand made by Alison, and the vibrations and sound from the drum is another way to connect with the audience.
My work is always built on personal experience, this piece in particular is about a time my life where I felt very separate to my body, the piece is about finding my voice and connecting with my gut instincts – and in doing so I find my well buried wild. However, it is important to me that I do not open old wounds and so each piece is made for the eyes and the belly of the beholder, I hope that I offer enough layers in the work so that each person involved in the work has enough to want to investigate and go on the journey with me.

nICOLA 3

What do you hope the audience will experience during the performance?

I cannot expect nor demand that an audience take something away, or be specific about the kind of experience that one should have. However, if people find themselves feeling present, walk away with questions and/or are moved in some way then I am happy.

Why is it important for you to share this work?

This isn’t just a performance, this is a journey. I invite the audience to not only witness the transformation but to become part of it. This piece is for everyone that has ever felt so stripped of themselves, sitting inside their pupa, just waiting for that time to break out and show their wings.

This is a piece of work that says fuck you to the breakers, because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

A thoroughly enjoyable interview with artist Nicola Hunter, ahead of her shows this coming weekend at ‘Theatre Bristol’. Wishing her all the best with her performances!

SisterSole x

 

GUERRILLA GIRLS REINVENTING THE ‘F’ WORD: FEMINISM!

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The Guerrilla Girls are feminist activist artists. “We wear gorilla masks in public and use facts, humor and outrageous visuals to expose gender and ethnic bias as well as corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. Our anonymity keeps the focus on the issues, and away from who we might be: we could be anyone and we are everywhere. We believe in an intersectional feminism that fights discrimination and supports human rights for all people and all genders. We undermine the idea of a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. We have done hundreds of projects (posters, actions, books, videos, stickers) all over the world, including Bilbao, Iceland, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Rotterdam, Sao Paolo, and Shanghai. We also do interventions and exhibitions at museums, blasting them on their own walls for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices, including our 2015 stealth projection on the façade of the Whitney Museum about income inequality and the super rich hijacking art. Our retrospectives in Bilbao and Madrid, Guerrilla Girls 1985-2015, and our US traveling exhibition, Guerrilla Girls: Not Ready To Make Nice, have attracted thousands. For 2016 we produced new street and museum projects at Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery, London; and in Paris, Cologne, Minneapolis, and more! What’s next? More creative complaining!! More interventions!! More protesting!!”

The Guerrilla Girls really are quite remarkable, truly intriguing, interesting and inspirational individuals. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and so please do join in the conversation with your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sistersole x