Black and White Building, Shoreditch
UNTIL 24th SEPTEMBER
When Trump called Hilary Clinton a ‘Nasty Woman’, girls around the world latched onto the insult we recognized, having been called bitches all our lives, and it has now become the slogan for a global movement of solidarity amongst women, complete with t-shirts. There has now been over 40 Nasty Woman exhibitions in the USA, and so now almost a year later, it’s our turn.
Nasty Women London x Creative Debuts opens a show of 40+ artists who self identify as a Nasty Woman, raising money for women’s rights, individual rights and abortion rights through Rape Crisis England and Wales and Women for Women International. Trump has given us our rallying cry. And so we queued around the block to see it on it’s opening night (held on the International Day of Peace, no less)
The topics covered are all the usual; tampon tax, self image, race, abuse and sexual consent. But are we sick of hearing about it? NO.
Oh, it’s Saintly Teresa, lying on her back and doing it with an EU flag. I thought the naughtiest thing you’d done was run through that field of wheat! Her necklace reads ‘Strong and Stable’, and a cigarette hangs from her mouth. Ellie Pennick uses overt sexuality to satirize the representation of a post-Thatcher era working class. Who wants this as the next official Fourth Plinth?
Pennick hails from a working class background herself, and her Instagram tells the story of her experience trying to break into the elite (yes, elite) world of education:
My name is Ellie, I am a born and bred Yorkshire girl from a hard working family. Both of my parents unfortunately never had the opportunity to go to University. However, twenty years on, to study is still a privilege and not a right and can be unreachable for lower income individuals without financial help.
I have studied Fine Art for five years, firstly an Extended Diploma at Leeds College of Art, the institution provided free education for me, I was extremely lucky to have this opportunity, therefore, worked hard resulting in a distinction.
After College, I was accepted into Chelsea College of Art, where I was lucky enough to have financial help. To be accepted onto a BA was a massive honour as well as the opportunity to move to London and experience a different world. I was determined to work hard, I lived in cheap accommodation and have worked up to three part-time jobs to fund rent etc throughout the course. I was determined to complete the degree and refused to let financial issues affect me doing so. I just found out I have been awarded a first class honour.
I have recently been offered a place on the sculpture course at the Royal College of Art to start in October. The emotion when I opened the acceptance letter was indescribable. The Royal College of Art has been rated the top Art and Design University in the world. Five years ago when I first pursued Fine Art I would not have imagined I would have opened this letter.
However, I was not awarded a competitive grant to cut the £9500 tuition fees in half. This dream to study at the Royal College of Art has been shattered. I have constantly been determined to reach the highest grades and create the highest standard of work. Tution Fee’s have shot up in the UK in the past few years.
Nevertheless, finance has got in the way of this life changing opportunity. I am working six days full time but that will not even touch the fees I need.
I am relying on the kindness of family friends and strangers to help me pay for my first year.
Needless to say, it really tugged on my heartstrings and gave ‘Our Teresa’ a deep sadness and truth to an otherwise amusing and superficially light-hearted sculpture.
Olivia Lynch presents her photographic series ‘Whirlwind’ , exploring the cyclical nature of abusive relationships, exploring the definition of the abused woman as either a ‘victim’ or ‘survivor – told from a ‘survivor’s’ point of view, awaiting her perpetrators release from prison.
Ellen O’Sullivan stuffs 90 gold dipped tampon down the bog, representing just 1% of the feminine hygiene products the average menstruating woman will use in their lifetime. Why? Because down with Tampon Tax, that’s why.
Nasty Women demonstrates that there are so many issues still to tackle, but we’re not afraid of them- and we’ve got the t-shirt.
Curated by Paige Megan Hawley & Rejane Bidi: In partnership with Creative Debuts. Exhibiting Artists:
Airco Caravan; Alakina Mann; Aleksandra Karpowicz; Alison O’Neill; Amanda Atkinson; Amelie Barnathan; Anna Sampson; Anna Kenneally; Bethany Duffy; Charles Woodman; Charlotte W Stubbs; Christine Rush; Clare Bottomley; Daantje Bons; Dawn Giles; Debbie Scanlan (Wolf James); Devon Urquhart; Elena Legakis; Ellen O’Sullivan; Ellie Pennick; Florence Given; Harley Kilburn; Hazel Soper; Helen Zughaib; Jess De Wahls; Jet Nijkamp; Jodie Deakin; Karina Akopyan; Kat Toronto (Miss Meatface); Kate Aries; Mairi Clark; Mara & Gloria (Artery Ink); Micah Halverson; Nuala Clooney; Olivia Lynch; Paige Megan Hawley; Rachel Letchford; Rejane Bidi; and Sarah Sartori