Desperate Artwives Stage Leyden Gallery Takeover To Coincide With Breastfeeding Exhibition

To coincide with Leanne Pearce’s Breastfeeding exhibition, Desperate Artwives will stage a ‘takeover’ of Leyden Gallery, and present a curated programme of performances and interventions. This will coincide with the Whitechapel First Thursday in March. The artists will perform and temporarily install work designed to challenge and excite the audience and consider the political and creative meanings central to domestic and maternal experience. Desperate Artwives insist on the importance and significance of the maternal and female voice within contemporary art and invite you to come along and experience how we manifest the feminist mantra,’ the personal is political’ in our work.

Desperate Artwives is a collective of accomplished female artists whose creative practice interrogates their experience of being wives and mothers and questions social expectations and values which frame this role. The collective provides the encouragement, the opportunities, the validation and the contextual political framework and lightens the load saving time and providing the resources needed to exhibit and promote their work.

Desperate Artwives insist on the importance and significance of the maternal and female voice within contemporary art

Eti Wade is a visual and conceptual artist identifying as a mother-artist. Her work is included in the Brooklyn Museum Feminist Artist Database and the Birthrites Collection at Salford University. She has recently exhibited her first solo show on a (m)other’s watch at Goldsmith, University of London (curated by Samantha Lippett) and had been included in Afterbirth Project at Whitemoose gallery Barnstaple (2015), The Egg The Womb The Head And The Moon at ArtsMill, Hebden Bridge (2014) and Identity and the Self at Garis and Hahn, New York (2013).

Wade regularly publishes and lectures about the new maternalist aesthetics and contemporary maternal art practices, recently giving papers at the M.O.M conference, New York, MIRCI conference in Rome and Motherhood and Creative Practice at London South Bank University.  She was a Photography and Arts educator for 15 years and run the Photography MA at the University of West London.

Amy Dignam is a visual artist who evolved as a mother-artist in 2012. Italian-born Amy moved to London in 1998 and graduated from Central Saint Martins College in 2005. Amy is the founder and curator of the Desperate Artwives project, co-founder of the Mother House. Her work was recently shown as part of the ‘Artist as Mother as Artist’ exhibition at the Lace Gallery in Nottingham and is included in ‘The Egg, The Womb, The Head And The Moon’ collective and exhibition at Artsmill, Hebden Bridge (2014). Desperate Artwives have exhibited at the Vibe Gallery (2012), Leroy House (2012), Barbican Arts Group Trust (2014), Crypt Gallery (2014) and at the Granby Space Lower Marsh (2017).

Nine performances, one for each month of gestation have been chosen: 

1- Feminist Pound Shop and The Naughty Corner – Jane Hellings

2- A Balancing Act – Katy Howe

3- Semaphore Aerobics – Susan Merrick

4- Bonnet-Bombers – Fiona Stirling and Amy Russel

5- Do You See Me? – Sexcentenary

6- Double Burden – Delpha Hudson

7- 69 Soft Toys – Dagmara Bilon

8- Falling Apart and Keeping it Together At the Same Time – The Sequel – Slavka Jovanovic

9- Matricide – Angela Lloyd

Desperate Artwives ‘takeover’ of Leyden Gallery  2nd March 2017

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