Following the latest ‘Takeover’ in March 2017, Desperate Artwives’ are coming back to Leyden Gallery to monopolise the space once again with the theme of Midsummer Madness.
The Desperate Artwives look to reflect upon and tease out these important and frequently dismissed conversations
Midsummer Madness is an uncertain term evoking and blending divergent sentiments such as pleasure and dejection, fun and chaos. Midsummer itself elicits a kind of madness in us all, where days are long and nights are short and hot. Where images of full ripe fruits come to mind, plump and ready to burst like a woman’s pregnant belly. Madness throughout history has gone hand in hand with female identity, from the burning of witches to the locking up in asylums of women who didn’t fit the patriarchal prototype. Furthermore, motherhood can bring with it ambivalent feelings, happiness, depression, overwhelming pressure and exhaustion, intense love, mind-numbing boredom. Motherhood itself plunges you into a kind of madness.
Midsummer Madness with the Desperate Artwives looks to reflect upon and tease out these important and frequently dismissed conversations, giving voice to these concerns with a feminist commitment. Mother Artists will use their experiences as raw materials, blurring boundaries between Art and Activism, presenting alternative approaches of artistic production by focusing on personal experience as a legitimate and valid creative subject matter.
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.
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 Pilot (September 2016). 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), Granby Space Lower Marsh (2017) and Leyden Galley (March 2017). http://www.desperateartwives.co.uk
Adriana Cerne is an art historian, feminist film theorist, and writer, she also teaches at the RCA and is the co-founder and gallery director at Leyden Gallery. She organises cultural events and curates exhibitions, bringing International, established, and emerging artists into view at Leyden Gallery. Her Curation has led to exhibitions at the Tate Liverpool (Fournier Street April 2014). Her work focuses on the work of women artists and she has co-curated the work of Christine Taylor Patten with esteemed art historian Griselda Pollock – an exhibition that preceded Patten’s appearance at the Istanbul Biennale. Cerne continues to contribute to many significant cultural events including the #eroticcensorship debate (July 2014) and Breastfeed exhibition and related ‘Feeds’ (March 2017). www.leydengallery.com
Photo Credits: Portrait image + Smudged lipstick. Artist: Maja Spasova Title:‘Lipstick Crucifixion’ centre – Horned woman image, Artist:Mieke Vanmechelen Title:‘I (non) I’ Right – Woman and red bricks image, Artist:Susan Swanton Title:‘Invisible Women Left
Who: Desperate Artwives Takeover Leyden Gallery When: Saturday 24th June 6:30 to 9 pm Where: Leyden Gallery 9 Leyden St, London E1 7LE