Monday, 10 July 2017

Opening Night at the 25 and Counting exhibition

Wednesday 5th July 2017 and it's the opening night of the 25 and Counting exhibition at the Panacea Museum in Bedford...
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Yes, this is the 'woman' exhibition I've been mentioning for the past 6 months or so! The name has been changed to reflect the twenty-five plus women who are now contributing.

The exhibition is mostly on the top floor of this beautiful Victorian building, which was part of a religious community until just a few years ago.

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The aim of the exhibition is to make women's art more visible. This seems a noble enough aim, but once I found out just how little women's work appears in galleries around the world... well, I was shocked.

'Work by women artists makes up only 3–5% of major permanent collections in the U.S. and Europe,  and 34% in Australian state museums.'

To attempt to redress this balance, women are putting on their own exhibitions. And that is the goal of Ana Ortega and Sophie Atkins of NOHATcollective, who organised 25 and Counting.

I've written in previous posts about how I found this subject hard. It was so broad yet at the same time so personal. And for me, 'broad yet personal' describes the exhibition, too. Each piece tells something about an individual's experience of being a woman, whether that's her personal story...

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Wendy Matmough discovered Nike the goddess of victory was the symbol of her own home town, which resonated with her own experience of overcoming a difficult marriage.

...or an experience shared by almost all women around the world...

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... or more political  statements about about how women's rights are in danger of being eroded (One of the Monkeys on The Back of Womankind by Helen Jones - I didn't manage to get a photo of this one).

Each one is like a window into someone else's world.

Here's mine, it still seems surreal to see my own work hanging on a wall at an art exhibition!

Thank you and congratulations to Ana and Sophie.

The exhibition is open at The Panacea Museum in Bedford until 12th August.

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