>> I wasn’t able to attend but at round about the same time as the celebration of ‘Female Matters’, a group exhibition exploring sexual liberation co-curated by designer Clio Peppiatt and Ione Gamble of Polyester zine, I was at the Brooklyn Museum, looking at a watershed in feminist-fuelled art, The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago. I hadn’t seen it before and its scale, level of detail and intricacy was potent. Back in London though, small can also be powerful as Peppiatt and Gamble gathered a group of up and coming and exciting UK female artists, working across photography, film and sculpture to outwardly express their hopes, dreams and pertinent commentary on how women are perceived and portrayed today.
‘Female Matters’ is more than just a girl gang of cool artists though. With their central installation of knickers from all contributing artists, they’re cleverly raising awareness of FGM (female genitalia mutilation) and 30% of all sale proceeds will be going to The Dahlia Project, a London-based support group for women who have been victims of FGM. Having watched the documentary The Cruel Cut and attended the FGM panel at the Women of the World festival, Gamble and Peppiatt were inspired to use their own feminist-driven taste in art and fashion and come up with an exhibition that both celebrates this new rise in creative talent as well as highlighting FGM, an often maligned issue where women’s issues are concerned.
Group efforts are just as powerful today as they were in 1979 when The Dinner Party debuted and the issues are still just as pressing. “Don’t fanny about with women’s rights,” reads one of the knickers. That just about sums it up.
Posters by Delilah Holliday
A series of pots commenting on sexual habits by Georgia Grace Gibson
Painted and beaded nudes as part of “Body is a Cake” series by Melissa Eakin
CamGirls photographs by Vanessa Omoregie
Nude ceramics by Charlotte Mei
Hyper coloured photograph by Maisie Cousins
21st century girls photographed by Scarlett Shaney-Langdon
Illustration by Rookie mag photographer Eleanor Hardwick
Collaged photography by Yelena Smith
Photographs by Jessica Gwyneth
GIF from Mary Sims-Howlett short film
Paintings of FGM victims by Felicity Hayward
Print by Clio Peppiatt featured on t-shirts which will be on sale this week
Photography of the exhibition by Carl Tomkinson and Trilion Productions.