Feminist exhibition features vulva casts and erotic embroidery in showcase on 'rebel women'

An 'earthenware vagina with light pink glaze, dripping red wax', a love letter to women, and a toothed vagina tapestry may not be the kind of thing you would expect to find in the National Gallery but one Lancashire exhibition features just that.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 8:48 am

The virtual exhibition, entitled 'For Love of (Im)possibilities: Women Daring to Defy the System', features a wide range of impressive and powerful pieces from women across the globe.

Portraits, textiles, storytelling, poetry, and film all feature in the exhibition which opened online on April 16 and will be on show until May 7.

It has been curated by UCLan fine art students Jess Gleave and Kirby Corless, both 21, who aim to 'provide a safe space for all women to exhibit and share their work'.

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Fine art students Jess Gleave and Kirby Corless have organised a virtual, feminist exhibition which features artwork from across the world, photo: Neil Cross

Student Jess said: "We have launched this exhibition to highlight the issues women face in today’s society and also to showcase our work.

"There are 21 artists from across the world, many based in the UK who accepted the open call we issued to be involved in our online exhibition.

"We feel the issue of the treatment of women is especially pertinent at the moment due to the tragic death of Sarah Everard.

"The exhibition is virtual, sadly the public cannot see it in person due to the broad spectrum of artists from around the world and we wanted to make it COVID compliant."

Jess' art explores feminism by using paint, textiles and mixed media to represent topics ranging from women's rights and sex, to love and contraception.

Among the pieces are realistic paintings of women's bodies which sometimes feature bold, capitalized profanities that have been used to describe women in a derogatory way.

"I create art to protest the inequalities women face daily," says the artist, "I want to raise awareness of the battle we as women didn't choose."

Kirby, whose art 'protests against' the use of offensive and degrading language to describe the female body, said: "As an artist, my main aim is for my work to create a reaction, whether that is good or bad.

"I want to create work that other young people can relate to or feel educated by.

"I want to push boundaries and create work that's fresh and contemporary."

As well as exhibiting their own work, the pair put out an open call to women artists, artists who identify as women, and non-binary artists to submit their work.

More than 21 women from across the globe responded to the call and their art can be viewed on the virtual exhibition website at this link (warning: features nudity, profanity and erotic images).