For the Whitechapel First Thursday of March, and 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, all for free admission. 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.
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 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.
Curators: Emy Dignam and Eti Wade.
Amy Dignam is a visual artist who evolved as a mother-artist in 2012. 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).
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 and had been included in Aftertbirth 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)