Submission: Grrl Power

image venus copy

Proposal put forward for Grrl Power exhibition to be held at Constellations, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool during August 2016:

…she makes…

Alison Little is a North-West based fine Artist. Through her creative practice, Alison deals with the subject of sexual violence, disability and marginalised sections of society on a regular basis. Her most recent commission was for Spectrum D, based in Derby. The piece focussed on discrimination again disability and featured a figure thrown from a wheelchair. Her techniques of using polythene sheeting and found material have proved very successful, producing Brain scape for World Mental Health 2015 day and previously ‘Bipolar B’ exhibited for World mental Health Day 2014 at the Williamson Gallery, Birkenhead. ‘Bipolar B’ is a vision of a female sufferer of Bipolar, its prime concern is to address Hyper-sexuality in sufferers. Words are printed on to the shredded paper which highlights different elements of the illness looking at everything from illicit drugs to prescribed medication, manic depression to elation.’ The creation of ‘Bipolar B’ lead to a greater understanding of Bipolar in terms of my own knowledge base and is intended to help improve understanding of the disorder within those who view the form. Personal experience of meeting and working with sufferers of Bipolar was informed further by the reading of autobiographical works such as David Lovelace’ ‘Full Blown: Me and My Bipolar Family’. Filling the form with shredded paper with terms associated with Bipolar was a creative process of greater artistic merit than the final outcome. ‘Bipolar B’ relates strongly to other works created by Alison, the Attack in particular. ‘Tossed’ the first in the series was exhibited at Embrace Arts in Leicester in January- March of 2014 . The exhibition was central to a conference ‘Speaking Out’ where the artists spoke about their works and their relation to domestic violence. Alison intends to create a serious of works dealing women’s issues and traumatic situations in particular.

‘She makes’ has been envisaging specifically for the exhibition, looking to utilise polythene and shredded paper to create a form based on the symbol of the Roman Goddess Venus. My intention is for it to be floor based and positioned in a way similar to Bi-Polar B for the Mental Health Day 2014 exhibition held at the Williamson Gallery, looking to create a form around 150x100x10cm. It would be possible to look at adapting this to become a wall mounted piece, however, I feel it will function at it’s strongest on a ground level location with the view looking down on the form. The use of purple foliage is to suggest growth and creativity, located around the symbolic growth area this suggests the very feminine matter of pubic hair. The use of purple toned papers as the shredded medium is through the imaginative nature of the colour. Purple is often used with feminist movements, originally the colour used by the Suffragettes and currently used by activist groups such as Reclaim the night. Through the use of purple, we are suggesting femininity by not on the level of the use of ‘Barbie’ style pinks which are often protested against by women’s groups; ‘Pink Stinks’ campaign in particular.

For the printed contexts to be presented within the form I look to identify with subjects around the subject of women in the Arts. Activist statements such as ‘WOMEN: THE TIME IS NOW’ and ‘WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT’ alongside demanding statements ‘WE NEED MORE SUCCESSFUL WOMEN ARTISTS’. Statements and media which identify with how traditional female crafts, such as textiles pay less and how women are pushed into female dominated roles: the artist and the childcare facilitator. To look towards the work and concepts of very successful female artists of the Day: Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas in particular. Identification of issues around third wave feminism which are explored by these female creative sector leaders: Bad Sex Aesthetics, Promiscuity, Rape, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Choose not the reproduce, Motherhood and Abortion.

Alison Little

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