A short but infinitely sweet show put on by Cross Street Arts to celebrate the diverse and explosive brilliance of women, Nasty Women Wigan featured a hotter than hot selection of artists raising money for two local charities who support women.
Originally #NastyWomen provoked online feminist solidarity galvanising hundreds of thousands women across the world when Donald Trump muttered those eternal words at Hilary Clinton during a live presidential debate… “Such a nasty woman.”
Striking a cord with all women at such an outrageous statement. Subsequent #NastyWomen exhibitions fired up everywhere and its open submission process focused on the solidarity of women coming together. Co-director of the movement Jessamyn Fiore sees the art exhibitions as a demonstration of “the power of our collective strength and determination and creativity and compassion. We will not tolerate any move backwards in time in terms of the policies that affect my body, my health, my quality of life, my freedom.”
The tremendous variety, funny and clever pieces of artwork gathered in one area is a coup for the Wigan exhibition. Attracting artists who explore aspects of themselves, the female body or wider views of feminism. They chose pieces representing different facets of being a woman from live performance, music, film, collage, textiles, painting, illustration, sculpture and photography.
From a personal viewpoint and being interested in our interaction with the landscape, my research and consequent involvement in #NastyWomen Wigan made me think about the landscape as a cultural artefact. Thinking about the patterns and traces of human occupation, the fact that woman are originally associated with fertility and Mother Nature. Do women perceive and engage with the landscape differently? What role does the landscape play in shaping women’s identity? And how do women’s lives become visible across the landscape? Answers multiplied into more questions and I ended up creating a cheeky collage based on the shape (landscape) of the female body incorporating references to popular culture, uplifting slogans, inspiring female role models and less we forget, Trump himself.
I love the fact that each of the artists involved would have been asking and answering a set of questions of their own around female identity. I leave you with a set of images from the resulting #NastyWomen Wigan exhibition – courtesy of Cross Street Arts!
|‘Heart of Thunder’ Framed collage, 2017|