‘MY MATE DAVE HAS COME OUT TONIGHT IN MY DEAD HUSBAND’S WEDDING SUIT’ EXHIBITION LAUNCH
An exhibition exploring the social and political meanings behind graffiti in women’s public toilets.
Revolution and liberation are born in conversation. Sometimes that conversation starts in unlikely places. Female and unisex toilets become a canvas for a diverse audience to participate in debates, jokes and spontaneous declarations that express individuality and an insight into the culture of a place. Taking it’s title from a cubicle door, ‘My Mate Dave Has Come Out Tonight In My Dead Husband’s Wedding Suit’ explores the disruption to an everyday act and space through the creative and improvised disposition of amateur graffiti, as well as analysing its societal and political effect on its audience by artistic means. Six Manchester-based artists document and respond to cubicle graffiti seen around the city.
Curated by Natasha Kay-Sportelli
AMY BROWN – UNTITLED (OIL ON CANVAS, 594 X 841MM)
“My work explores the concept of having a platform to communicate and share ideas, which in this instance is a toilet cubicle wall. The figure shown intends to display a presence that’s hard to ignore. I wanted to analyse aspects of diversity from the piece’s exploration of medium and colour.”
NATASHA KAY-SPORTELLI – UNTITLED (PHOTOGRAPHY PRINTS MOUNTED ON BOARD)
“I have chosen to document the graffiti I’ve seen in the bars and creative spaces around Manchester, as I think it a unique look into the anthropological studies of the city’s inhabitants. Using inspiration from the Mass Observation project and the theories of Michel De Certeau, I have attempted to capture the moments of individualistic pleasure and madness in resisting conventions of an everyday act.
Here, the women’s public restroom is transformed into a curatorial space by the politicisation and conceptualisation performed by it’s users.”
MARIE LANGLEY AND DOM BROOKS – THE DOOR (PRINT ON PAPER)
“In collaboration with tens of women – from close friends to perfect strangers – we have together to create a show of solidarity, in a time where navigating life’s waters can be nothing less than treacherous for a woman. Without this crucial conversation dominating the everyday, we risk becoming accustomed to these happenings; unable to choose a moral standpoint. All of the comments in the work are real and have been experienced by myself and other women.
(A special thank you to Stockyard 9 for supplying the door and, though they remain anonymous, every woman who contributed their story to the piece.)”
ADELAIDE HUGHES – SECURITY BLANKET (SOFT SCULPTURE, 81 X 105CM)
“A monologue, a conversation and a safe space, public toilets inhabit all three. In a society where women and men and their surrounding space can often have a conflicting relationship, the tiles of the restroom are the patches on a blanket. A space of refuge, comfort and a dense area of ever flowing consciousness. My work encompasses my identity as a woman and my relationship with the domestic and public sphere through relevant materials. I am always fascinated by unusual places and occurrences that embody unlikely activity. The mundane cubicle visit becomes a menagerie of free speech, debate, political platform, a support network, a vat of inspiration and art.”
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