Special talk for South London Women Artists

At Studio Voltaire, Clapham


ChetwyndMG SV-24.4.14 5 1024x253

Studio Voltaire gallery with current exhibition of works by Ella Kruglyanskaya 11 April - 8 June 2014


Marvin Gaye Chetwynd gave a recent talk about her work to South London Women Artists at Studio Voltaire in Clapham, set against the backdrop of paintings and drawings by the Latvian born, New York based artist Ella Kruglyanskaya, cartoon like paintings with buxom, domestic females playing on themes of gender and female sexuality as well as social issues and cultural interaction. This was a fitting surrounding for Chetwynd's talk whose work encompasses some of the above.

MGCBat opera

Bat Opera 187 & 188, 2014 Signed and numbered, edition of 150 Two parts: Each 420mm x 316mm


There is a constant state of fluidity and movement in Chetwynd that you feel propels her forward. Here is an artist that lives and works experimentally; you can't help joining in her excitement and enthusiasm when she shares the stories and subsequent re-enactments that form the basis of her work.

ChetwyndMG SV-24.4.14 3 755x1024


She successfully juxtaposes the epic and the everyday - weaving complex stories and events and re-presenting them in a very approachable and down to earth way that can easily be read by the viewing audience - popular culture icons from Michael Jackson and the Incredible Hulk are given equal importance as Hieronymus Bosch and Rabelais. Never weighted with meaning or dogma, they are re-told through wonderment and joy. Here is a woman who triumphs over nature through culture.


Chetwynd talking to SLWA at Studio Voltiare


meriver3 800x600


 A potent mix of theatre, puppets, bats and paintings are the threads that link her range of work that are all polished off with humour and good nature. Far from isolating her audience, you feel you want to join in and this is her public appeal - her accessibility. The cloak (or shield) she wears to protect herself from such generosity and openness in her work is by changing her name. Whether it's Spartacus or Marvin Gaye, her identity is constantly growing and being redefined. 

Image courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ London


You sense her disregard for convention having had an unconventional upbringing and her fascination with the natural world and delight in the grotesque from eclectic sources in history, literature and culture (high and low) that allows her to address big issues like gender and politics, social issues and cultural awareness. The hand-made costumes and props that are very quickly put together to keep the sense of excitement and freshness of the re-told stories add to the sense of fun and often the plain silly, which makes her work sing.

ChetwyndMG SV-24.4.14 4 1024x309


With special thanks to Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Studio Voltaire and Sadie Coles HQ



Marvin Gaye Chetwynd's - Bat Opera 187 & 188, 2014
Studio Voltaire’s editions have been specifically developed to make it affordable and straightforward for everyone to own and collect high quality contemporary art. All profits from the sales of the editions and portfolios directly support the further development of Studio Voltaire’s innovative public programmes.


Special film made by artist Jody Gilby

As the WHYfront march in formation back on the London streets from where they gathered their petitions, they make a formidable group in their judge's gowns and wigs. Is it a funeral march or some other official procession? On first inspection it is hard to tell from the deadpan look on their faces, they each appear to be holding white garments over their shoulders. It is only when they stop and set up a make-shift washing line with pegs attached, that passers by are intrigued by what begins to unfold in front of them. The judges form two lines, an announcement is made introducing the performance (and the title) then the music begins. A couple of sniggers can be heard from the crowd, some even start to dance and try and join in as the mock judges start waving knickers, bras, pants and bloomers set to a Handkerchief Morris Dance. Backwards and forwards they dance in time with the music, they twirl and hop as each in turn start to peg their washing on the line shouting out Man up, She needs a good seeing to, You know you want it ... the list of endemic sexist comments keeps on coming until all their garments are hung out. The garments spell out # A Public Airing. Taking their bows the performance ends and the group then proceed to march off with their washing line back to the busy streets they came from. Some crowd members start to clap, 'good luck' a woman can be heard saying, 'can you do that again', says another, 'I left my camera at home'. Passers by are now starting to ask questions, the traffic stops to let them cross busy roads. Job done. Pure comic genius. What was that all about? 

IMG 1994 640x480

theWHYfront performing #APublicAiring on Parliament Green, Westminster

SLWA lead artist, Kim Thornton hopes that the project highlights endemic sexism, the sort that can be perceived as ‘friendly’ or funny as well as the more sinister, harsher kind.  The idea came when a person kindly helping with the research greeted a group of SLWA artists with the words what have we here, Miss World contestants? Drawing on the expression ‘airing your dirty linen in public’, it was decided to use the task of the weekly laundry to air the sexist comments.  Historically laundry was done on Mondays when women would gather together to chat whilst doing the washing.  The performances take place on Mondays to mimic this task. To bring humour to the performance, a dance informed by the tradition of handkerchief waving Morris dancers was choreographed during which carefully stitched underwear is pegged onto a washing line.  Each lovingly made laundry item is soiled with a sexist comment shouted over it as it is hung and the dirty laundry is aired in public.  At the end of each performance the washing line full of comments is archived, scrolled in the manner of vellum Acts of Parliament. Parliamentary ceremonial dress, as well as the judiciary inspires the costumes worn for this act to give the performance mock gravitas.

Deptford underarches3

theWHYfront performers in Deptford from left to right: Melissa BudaszLouise TownsendJackie BrownKim ThorntonRobina DoxiLaura Moreton-GriffithsMoira JarvisChrissy Thirlaway


SLWA were invited to make a piece of work for Parliament Week, an annual event organised by the Houses of Parliament to try to encourage the public to become more engaged with the democratic processes in the UK.  This year's Parliament Week focus is Women and Democracy. SLWA's Projects Director, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, had the huge task of planning and co-ordinating from the lengthy period of research from the reform, suffragettes and more contemporary influences, looking for a way of working with the theme. On a visit to the Houses of Parliament, we became interested in the Petition Bag. We liked it visually and conceptually, so decided to make a replica of it. 

Canada Water 02 480x640

 Jackie Brown out and about with the Petitions Bag collecting petitions at Canada Water, London


#APublicAiring has been SLWA's biggest collaborative project to date with over 20 SLWA members involvement over several months of research, weekly project planning meetings, petition dates, school workshops, stitch and bitch sessions to make the undergarments for the performances, performance rehearsals, performance dates and a Speakers Corner session in Hyde Park, reading out written petitions from the general public and school children.

Speakers-Corner 640x137

Laura Moreton-Griffiths & Melissa Budasz reading petition cards at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park with Louise Townsend and Pat Keay


 One of the first things we discovered is that on the first International Women's day in 1971 several hundred women marched to Westminster to hand demands to the Prime Minister, Heath. This was the first Women’s Liberation march in England. They had been gradually formulating the demands, through a series of gatherings. 600 women from across the UK converged at Ruskin college, Oxford, to attend a conference, then met each year, sometimes several times a year up to 1978. During their heated and passionate debates, they agreed a set of seven demands. Four were given to Heath, the rest came later. The authors of reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement, Kristin Aune and Catherine Redfern, contemporize these demands as a result of their recent research into whether or not feminism should be reinvigorated or possibly even rebranded, because they found that the demands are still current. Women want :


 1. Liberated bodies

2. Sexual freedom and choice

 3. An end to violence against women

 4. Equality at work and home

 5. Politics and religion transformed

 6. Popular culture free from sexism

 7. Feminism reclaimed

 2013-11-18 15.16.09 640x480

WHYbomb - Feminism Reclaimed, tied to a railing close to Parliament Square, Westminster


#APublicAiring and beyond

We won't be hanging up our gowns and wigs just yet. With performance dates at Peckham Space in December 2013 and the WoW Festival, Royal Festival Hall 8-10 March 2014, as part of International Women's Day, we are keen to promote the project at other events too. What we have discovered apart from the power of the collective is that art can be fun, is fun and by using subversive humour, we can connect to an audience in a direct way and get our message across. The personal is political for everyone, for both men and women, and listening to the views of school children to the people of Peckham, Deptford, Canary Wharf, the Southbank and Westminster has highlighted endemic sexist comments that we face all the time. As theWHYfront say at the end of their performance ... now that's been aired, let that be an end to it!



Washing lines are rolled like Parliamentary scrolls and labelled with the date and time of each performance, exhibited 15-21 November at HIDE Gallery Leathermarket


With special thanks to all the SLWA collaborators:
Bula Chakravarty Agbo, Carol Misch, Caroline Underwood, Chrissy Thirlaway, Eithne Twomey, Jackie Brown, Jana Sedlakova, Jane Higginbottom, Jennie Merrell, Julie Bennett, Karin Dahlbacka, Kim Thornton, Laura Moreton Griffiths, Leonie Cronin, Liz Charsley-Jory, Louise Townsend, Lucy Soni, Melissa Budasz, Moira Jarvis, Pat Keay, Polly Bagnall, Robina Doxi.


Our very special thanks to year 8 & 9 girls at Sydenham School, Kate Slipper, Rebecca Glover and staff; Year 9 boys at Forest Hill School, Jane Gallant, Rebecca Glover and staff and the sixth form at James Allen Girls' School, Chantal Gillingham and Anna Massey for helping us host school workshops where WHYbombs and petitions were made with the students.


With thanks to Liz Charsley-Jory, Gallery Director of HIDE Gallery Leathermarket, SE1 for hosting the show It's In The Bag! and the special event 15-21 November 2013.


 With thanks to Annie2Pins who made the replica of the Parliamentary Petitions Bag and to Julie Bennett for designing the petition postcards and graphic imagery of #ItsInTheBag and #APublicAiring.


With thanks to Wildgoose Studios for allowing us to use Sherborne Jig/Queen’s Delight by Crucible from the Magic Of Morris Volume 1 album and to New Esperance women’s morris dancing team.


With thanks to the Parliament Team Emily UnellGrace Rowley, Penny McLean


A huge thank you to artist Jody Gilby who gave up many hours of her time to make a unique film of theWHYfront during their performances of #APublicAiring.


 Saturday Meeting 02 640x479

One of the team's weekly Saturday morning meetings


home-landscape-264ppiThe yellow trip - A self portrait, by Malika Sqalli


The exhibition, Home: Contemporary Female Masters, portrays women's experience of choosing to migrate and build a home in a foreign country. This relatively new social phenomenon is examined in depth by seven mid career international women artists with strong links to Europe, the Middle East, America and Africa. They explore their experience of establishing themselves and building the elements of what they perceive as 'home' wherever they are in the world.

Curated by Paola Minekov 



Exhibition Concept: http://home-exhibition.blogspot.co.uk/p/exhibition-concept_30.html

Exhibition Catalogue: iBooks for iPad and PDF

 Private View on Friday 11 October, 2013 at 7pm

Exhibition Dates: 11-19 October 2013, Opening Times: Monday – Friday 11:00 – 19:30, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 – 16:00

Sofia Gallery, BCI London, Bulgarian Embassy

188 Queen’s Gate Kensington London SW7 5HL, Phone: +44 (0) 207 591 0179


Caroline Underwood


My work happens as a result of the movements I make, the places I go, the time I spend there.  I spend as much time as I can out and about, being in nature: on boats, on walks; in weather. Much of my work is inspired by the sea.  The other recurring theme is trees.
The focus of my most recent work is – quite literally – close to home. A year ago I relocated my practice to a studio in my garden, in leafy South East London. I have begun exploring, on a daily basis, the green spaces surrounding my home and studio.  Walking and running, morning and night, in sunshine, snow and mist… I have been collecting visual material both in my head and on my cameraphone since January.  This collection of snapshots – glimpses into the world on my doorstep – has inspired a new series of paintings and prints inspired by the South East London landscape.


Diana Ali


The work shown in the exhibition considers displacement and temporary disengagement from our everyday living. Is a ‘home’ permanent or do we have ideals of what the home should be so forever searching? By procrastinating and day-dreaming do we have a yearning to disassociate from the monotony of our habitual base doings? And if so, it is not damaging our reality but briefly dislodging it. Multiple images from the everyday have been manipulated, distorted and misconstrued to represent the many ways in which we can have this escapism. 




Malika Sqalli


 I surrendered the luxury of having a home to explore the concept of home, by going to the other side of the world to find the connection and the sense of belonging inherent to our culture and identity

Stunning are the parallels between disparate locations, parallels which the artist occasionally emphasises by including within a frame two or three images from different countries which work to underline similarities and / or differences in how we view and utilise the environment – the desert in Morocco and California, the seaside in Japan, China, and California; mountains in Morocco, China, Japan. Sometimes Malika shows up herself as a small personal note within the larger images derived from her far flung travels. 



Minna George


"... home has now become state of mind and stability everywhere I find myself to be."

My career as visual artist started with a classical and traditional approach to drawing and painting. Having been born in Ethiopia, spent my childhood in Bulgaria and adulthood to date in London, England my art practice developed with all the travels and changes in my life. I have now found myself using a range of mediums to help support the variety of subject matters that concern me as an artist today.

I find the ability to speak different visual languages exciting and it allows me to have the freedom of expression I need in my work. The idea of “Home” has always been a very broad term in my life, as I was raised as a citizen of the world; home has now become state of mind and stability everywhere I find myself to be. 



Paola Minekov



I left my native Bulgaria at the age of 18 and have since lived in Israel, the Netherlands and the USA before moving to London in 2008.

In the last 15 years or so, I have often asked myself where I belong and what does Home really mean to me. I have lived out of a suitcase, moved to a different flat, city or country every year. I have opened and closed many doors and forgotten more faces and memories than I can remember. Yet I am still confronted with each and every choice I've made since the day I left my parents home in 1998, every day. I have painted cityscapes in an attempt capture a moment or an emotion, but I have never before consciously explored the ways in which my circumstances have affected my life as a woman in my artwork.



Tamar Lev-On 

Tamar-Lev-On HOMES

London life, as a foreigner, an artist and a woman, was a confusing condition that called for identity check. It often made me a cultural chameleon that takes over the surrounding – in order to fit in. 

The film HOMES, a five minutes road-movie, investigates the optional bridging between Israel and London. I am importing nostalgia into reality thus bridging between the worlds. The journey is experienced through a 3-dimentional model of the house I grew up in. It arrives in London on a river, takes a train ride, goes by tube and being carried by me until we reach our new home together, passing well known London landmarks as well as personally significant locations.

Self Portrait with Homes is a hand printed and embroidered wall piece. Images of the houses I used to live in form a repetitive hand printed pattern, used as the background of the piece. The shapes created by the pattern dictate a new, embroidered, road map. The red roads evolve into two halves of a face, together depicting a complete self portrait. 


Tina Mammoser


Home is more than a place. Home is a sense of belonging. So I've travelled and even emigrated to find those places. I'm most grounded, most myself, when seeing something overwhelming - sea, cliff, stars. It makes me feel small but very real. So the places in my paintings were each home for a moment.

having found my home - an entire island country - I'm still compelled to move around, to travel, to explore. Because home is more than the place. Home is the sense of belonging, the way a place makes me feel real. And I feel most grounded, most myself, when witnessing something awe inspiring and overwhelming. It makes me feel small but very real. And that is what my art is about - those moments and places where the world is too large, and being so large it embraces. Taking that light and colour of the place and putting the sensation into a painting that connects individually. Bringing you to where I was.

Because the places in each of my paintings was home for a moment.


Be Smart About Art founder, Susan Mumford will open the show



Parliament Week1 2 

Because the personal is political the WHYfront aka South London Women Artists undertake their biggest collaboration yet - an investigation into the effect of endemic sexism in our every day lives, leading to tongue-in-cheek performances that give the unexpected findings A Public Airing. Informed by Morris Dancing, Artist Kim Thornton will lead the WHYfront back to the streets of the petitioning with a series of discursive and humourous flash-mob performances in November and ceremoniously hang out their laundry and share people's experiences of sexism.


the WHYfront have been asking about your experiences of sexism and HOW CAN YOU AFFECT CHANGE? Here are a selection of responses

  • Yes, discriminated by work (as a man) for childcare, we need to break down the stereotypes
  • My wife has been approached by men in the street, we need cultural change
  • Yes, workmen expecting my partner to make decisions rather than me
  • Changes to branding/merchandise, this is very gender biased at the moment
  • I've seen younger men being promoted with little experience, men and women need to change their attitudes
  • At secondary school boys weren't allowed to do certain sports, both sexes should study what they want regardless of gender



A Public Airing

Monday 11 November 2013 Peckham, Canary Wharf & Westminster

Thursday 14 November 2013 Hide Gallery Leathermarket. Special event 7-9.30pm

Monday 18 November2013 Deptford, The Southbank & Westminster

To catch a performance follow #APublicAiring on Twitter


WHYfront Soapbox

Sunday 17 November 2013 Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park - 11.30am-1pm




15-21 November 2013 around Westminster



HIDE Gallery Leathermarket exhibition dates:

15-21 November 2013


WHYbombs made by Southwark School children will be shown at Hide Gallery Leathermarket during our exhibition It's In The Bag 15-21 November 2013 and at the WoW Festival on the Southbank 8-9 March 2014


Click on the template here to make your own WHYbomb


WHYfront Talk & Discussion Date:
Thursday 14 November 2013. Hide Gallery Leathermarket, 22b Leathermarket Street, SE1 3HP 7-9.30pm
Kicking off Parliament Week and the exhibition It's In The BagWHYfront performers will talk about the project

Come and meet the collaborators - artists Jackie BrownKim Thornton, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, Louise TownsendMelissa Budasz, Moira Jarvis and Robina Doxi

At 7.15pm A Public Airing will be performed
Book your free ticket via eventbrite


All enquiries please contact Laura Moreton-Griffiths This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. facebook.com/southlondonwomenartists Twitter @SLWArtists / @theWHYfront



We’re taking part in Parliament Week 2013, which starts on 15 November. Parliament Week is a programme of events that aims to help more people feel connected with Parliament and democratic life, and inform them about how they can make a difference to society. We will be joining in by holding an event called A Public Airing on 11, 14 & 18 November. Come and watch our performances at Peckham, Canary Wharf, Deptford, the Southbank and Westminster. Parliament Week 2013 starts on 15 November, helping more people connect to Parliament and democratic life, and showing people how they can make a difference to society. Parliament Week offers something for everyone, with partners including us holding free activities across the UK. To find out what’s happening in your area, please visit www.parliamentweek.org



Parliament Week 2013 starts on 15 November, helping more people connect to Parliament and democratic life, and showing people how they can make a difference to society. Parliament Week offers something for everyone, with partners including us holding free activities across the UK. To find out what’s happening in your area, please visit www.parliamentweek.org


slwa postcard parliament-1
Sexism. What would you change?
The personal is political and we want everyone to take part. Share your experience of sexism. Tell us the change you want to see on our petition postcard.
@theWHYfront will be collecting your written experiences from school workshops and road-trips in key areas of London.
@theWHYfront present #ItsInTheBag to schools - in October our road-show will be visiting schools, talking about women and democracy and giving a feminist and historical background to the project. We will ask students of Forest Hill SchoolSydenham School and JAGS to make their petition and work together to make #WHYbombs that will be shown at Hide Gallery Leathermarket during our exhibition, performances and events 14-21 November 2013 and at the WoW Festivalon the Southbank 8-9 March 2014
does sexism exist?
is the word 'feminist' controversial?
aren't more women in power?
did only 39% of women aged 18-24 vote in the last general election?
are only 22% of MPs female?
should we all petition for change?
is humour used to connect and make change?
is a public airing a good idea?


Polling Stations near you @theWHYfront will be out and about asking for your written petitions at Canary Wharf, Peckham Shopping Centre and at Westminster 1-3 October and again at East Street Market SE17, along the Southbank and at Westminster 8-10 October and in Deptford, outside Tate Modern and then Victoria Street 15-17 October. We want to know what you think and what changes could be made. If you can't make one of our road-show dates, please click on the link below to send your petition online - your experiences will be aired in public as part of our performance #APublicAiring.
*Look out for the polling stations and Petitions Bag *Write your experience of sexism and make your petition *Look out for the #WHYbombs at railings near you *Join in *Make your own #WHYbombs  

Next press release will detail performances and special events: 28 October 2013 
Polling Station dates & school visits: 30 September-20 October 2013

Performance dates: 11, 14, 18 November 2013
Exhibitions dates: 14-21 November 2013
#WHYbombing: October-November 2013
Special event Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park: Sunday 17 November 2013 11.30am-1pm

All enquiries please contact Laura Moreton-Griffiths This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
facebook.com/southlondonwomenartists Twitter @SLWArtists / @theWHYfront
southlondonwomenartists.co.uk is a community of women artists based in South London, who present a portfolio online and through exhibitions, workshops and events
SLWA’s 5 key principles are:

* Promoting
* Nurturing
* Community
* Professional Development
* Networking

SLWA is self-managed and self-financed so it maintains critical independence

Copyright © 2013 SLWA  All rights reserved. www.southlondonwomenartists.co.uk