STAINS

January 15, 2019

I recently took part in my first performance art event which consisted of 5 artists, organised by the great artist Timo Viialainen that I have had the pleasure of working alongside in the studios of Ulster University the last few months. 

 

 

 

As a visual artist, my work often explores the misrepresentation of women through lens-based media. Stepping out of my comfort zone to do a live performance was pretty scary, but overall I was extremely happy with the results and feedback. This specific performance focused on trauma, rape culture and women's rights. I attempted to remove and cleanse the residues of a trauma that has happened to this body, a female body while also trying to claim liberation. 

 

"Yes, injured Woman! Assert your right!"

 

 

This performance entitled 'STAINS'  involved my body, 5 pairs of underwear, wash basin and a line that I hung the underwear on after reciting my own take on the poem The Rights of Women by Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1792). I proceeded to kneel at the wash basin, while washing a pair of underwear and recited these words throughout the performance;

 

"Woman! Too long degraded, scorned, oppressed. Yes, injured Woman. Assert your right, rise, assert your right!"

"Woman! That angel pureness, that admits no stain. Surround yourself with grace. Yes, injured Woman. Assert your right, rise, assert your right!"

"Woman! Too long degraded, scorned, oppressed. Yes, injured Woman. Assert your right, rise, assert your right!"

"Woman! Felt, but not defined, If debated, then lost. Yes, injured Woman. Assert your right, rise, assert your right!"

"Woman! Too long degraded, scorned, oppressed. Yes, injured Woman. Assert your right, rise, assert your right!"

"Yes, injured Woman. Assert your right, rise, assert your right!"

 

 

 

The performance was paced in order to allow spectators to take in the words I was reciting. After each washing, I would then hang the underwear on a line with a peg, allowing the water and suds to drop down onto the floor. This acted as a metaphor for being hung out to dry. The performance ended with my reciting the last verse above while also taking off the underwear and dropping them back into the wash basin to highlight the continuing and ongoing female battle in today's society. The performance work had close connection to the #MeToo movement and the 'This Is Not Consent' campaign. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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