By Anne Louise Kershaw

Exploring feminism through art & conversation.


WHAT: an exhibition, publication, radio show & live events programme
WHEN: 11th – 28th July 2013
WHERE: BLANKSPACE (43 Hulme St, Manchester M15 6AW) & locations around Manchester

Exhibition Launch : Thursday 11th July 2013 6-9pm.
BLANKSPACE is open Wednesday to Sunday 11am to 6pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

To register for tickets for the equals events programme, click the links below:

Speed Debate and Artists’ Talk
Walk for Women

Sarah Maple, Lollipop Lollipop

Sarah Maple, Lollipop Lollipop

“A major new exhibition, publication and events programme from Manchester’s champions of grass roots arts and culture, Blank Media Collective.”

equals is not just about women, it is about everybody. Through the artwork in the exhibition to the work developed for the publication and the conversations yet to be had, equals hopes to challenge preconceptions, reinvigorate the word ‘feminism’ and take a step closer to achieving a better model of gender equality today.

The project launches at BLANKSPACE (43, Hulme Street, Manchester M15 6AW) with a public preview on Thursday 11th July 2013 at 6pm and runs until Sunday 28th July.

equals is an exploration of the structures and systems that thread through our culture and language with regards to gender and feminism. Curators Nathalie Boobis and Anne Louise Kershaw present work that examines and questions these constructs that are imposed upon both genders; from representations of masculinity and femininity to the restrictions of language in speaking for the female experience. The project is an attempt to consider afresh where and how feminism could shape society.

Margaret Nolan, My Divided Self

Margaret Nolan, My Divided Self

Nolan reconfigures captured effects of lived experience, reinstated with a deeply personal dialogue. Her voice carries alongside universal debate on socio-sexual hierarchies in the age of mass media. – Martin Slidel 2013

The exhibition features nine emerging artists including Sarah Maple, best known for her strikingly subversive self-portraits (“the heir to Tracey Emin’s throne. The best of the new young British artists’ – Andrew Johnson, The Independent on Sunday) and Goldfinger star Margaret Nolan, now a collage artist using photographic representations of her younger self to comment on the objectification of women.

Other works include sonic revisions of Edith Piaf and Tammy Wynette (Rachael Finney), sound, video, textile, installations, interventions and performance, in one case passing 50 feet of analogue film through a sewing machine (Mary Stark).

“We have developed something strongly unique and progressive, attracting some amazingly innovative artists and thinkers with the potential to inspire further ideas and imaginings about feminism and art.” Nathalie Boobis and Anne Louise Kershaw (Curators)

Marlene Haring, Because Every Hair Is Different

Marlene Haring, Because Every Hair Is Different

Through the exhibition, the live events and, ultimately, the publication, equals strives to welcome all voices and to share those voices with the world.
- Nathalie Boobis and Anne Louise Kershaw (Curators)

Accompanying the programme will be a ‘speed debate’ & artists’ talk on Saturday 13th July in Manchester’s 2022NQ (The Basement, 20 Dale Street, Manchester, M1 1EZ) from 11.30am to 5.30pm where participants can engage in conversation and debate directly with high profile voices in UK feminism including: Lucy Anne Holmes from the No More Page 3 campaign, Guardian journalist and blogger Ally Fogg, Edinburgh University academic Vicky Horne, comedian and activist Kate Smurthwaite and Caroline Craido-Perez, the New Statesman journalist who is leading the ‘Keep Women On Bank Notes’ campaign.

The speakers will be in discussion with the artists from the equals exhibition about the themes of their work and the links to contemporary feminism. This will be followed by an artist Q&A where attendees will have the opportunity to ask further question of the artists.

The evening of 13th July sees the gallery on Hulme Street as a live event space. Through live art, film and readings, the evening presentation subverts and re-imagines media typically used to manipulate and define women. Deconstructing the concepts and reconstructing the meanings, an amazing line-up of female artists will utilise sound, image and language to re-explore gender identity. There will also be 2 live radio broadcasts at 7-9pm from BLANKSPACE on Thursday 18th and 25th July.

Red Flag Walks are hosting a ‘Radical Women’ walking tour of Manchester, leaving from BLANKSPACE at 11.30am on Sunday 14th July. Blank Media Collective have also teamed up with Walk For Women, a national campaign to commemorate the 50,000 women who walked to London 100 years ago, converging in Hyde Park, taking action to make a positive change. The Manchester Walk for Women will leave from BLANKSPACE at 10am on Sunday 27th July.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter (raising £1000) the equals publication acts as an archive of the discussions, questions, ideas and art work that have been created as a result of the project. It serves to document the exhibition but also features works created specifically for the purpose, including texts from Angela Readman (shortlisted in 2012 for the first Costa Short Story Competition) among many others. The book will extend the debate beyond the geographical boundaries of the exhibition and events, to further inspire other people and other points of view, leaving a legacy that can contribute to the ongoing canon of feminist debate.

Exhibiting Artists:

Ana Cigon
Rachael Finney
Marlene Haring
Helen Jones
Sarah Maple
Margaret Nolan
Rosanne Robertson
Mary Stark
Debbie Sharp

Publication Contributors & Speakers:

Amy Abbott
Cristine Brache
Sara Brannan
Ally Fogg
Julie Brixey-Williams
Graham Hutchinson
Lucy-Anne Holmes
Vicky Horne
Amy McCauley
Jenny Keane
Angela Readman
Kate Smurthwaite
Caroline Criado-Perez

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/97844742" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

For further information, interviews or images please contact equals@blankmediacollective.org

equals is supported by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts.


Posted Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

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