The Power of the Pack

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“Women will draw doors where there are none, and open them pass through into new ways and new lives. Because the wild nature persist and prevails, women persist and prevail.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés

The W Project’s goal has been and continues to be the same – to shine a light on all the women the mainstream media doesn’t. Women who with their creativity and talent challenge the norm, break stereotypes and set the example every single day by doing what they believe in, unyieldingly. Strong, unapologetic and wild.

And so we’ve decided to keep on celebrating the women that inspire us every day under a series of themes. Our first theme will explore the power of the pack. We’ve been connecting with inspiring wild women and their packs to explore the influence the strength in numbers brings to themselves and their creative work. Be it art, music, film or sports, collectives and crews are showing us the importance of belonging, restoring our innate sense of community.

So to all urban foxes out there, come find us and stay tuned.

“The hallmark of the wild nature is that it goes on. It perseveres. That is not something we do. It is something we are, naturally and innately. When we cannot thrive, we go on till we can thrive again. Whether it be our creative life that we are cut away from, whether it be a culture or a religion we are cast out of, whether it be a familial exiling, a banishment by a group, or sanctions on our movements, thoughts, and feelings, the inner wild life continues and we go on. The wild nature is not native to any particular ethnic group. It is at the core of women from Benin, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone. It is the center of Guatemalan women, Haitian women, Polynesian women. Name a country. Name a race. Name a religion. Name a tribe. Name a city, a village, a lone outpost. The women all have this in common – the Wild Woman, the wild soul. They all go on feeling for and following the wild.

So, if women must, they will paint sky on jail walls. If the skeins are burnt, they will spin more. If the harvest is destroyed they will sow more immediately. Women will draw doors where there are none, and open them pass through into new ways and new lives. Because the wild nature persists and prevails, women persist and prevail.”

-Excerpt from Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ book Women Who Run With the Wolves (1995) –

 

 

Champagne Life: Saatchi Gallery celebrates its 30th anniversary with an all-female exhibition

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Women are taking over the Saatchi Gallery space from the 13th of January until the 9th of March. The Champagne Life exhibition marks the gallery’s 30th anniversary and brings together the works of 14 visionary women. As its first ever all-female exhibition, Saatchi pays tribute to its commitment to champion little-known artists in the early stages as well as throughout their careers.

The exhibition’s name is taken from one of the showcased pieces, Champagne Life by Julia Wachtel. This artwork from 2014 displays a repeated upside down image of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in contrast to an image of a poorly copied, plastic Minnie Mouse sculpture. The name as such is drawn from the eponymous song by Ne-Yo, ‘who sings of a life “where dreams and reality are one in the same”. This paradoxical attempt to converge the fantastical with the real is the epitome of a culture driven by the lust for celebrity, and the figure of champagne as a relatively affordable signification of luxury life, the highest aspiration and emptiest cipher’, according to Saatchi Gallery’s description of the piece.

Nevertheless, the selection of artists couldn’t be more diverse – all artists are at different stages of their careers, based in different parts of the world and express themselves through the most different art forms. With artworks ranging from paintings, sculptures, photography up to taxidermy, Champagne Life is anything but one-sided.

Some highlights include paintings of historical reenactments in neon colours by Sigrid Holmwood, monumental clay sculptures by Stephanie Quayle that link ‘man to nature [and] animal to human’ as well as Iranian-born Soheila Sokhanvari’s taxidermy sculpture Moje Sabz that speaks to Iran’s Green Movement uprising of 2009, in which demonstrations lead to the annulment of a fraudulent election result.

Another highlight worth mentioning is Maha Malluh’s sculpture Food For Thought – Al-Muallaqat, which displays 233 burnt aluminium cooking pots arranged on a 4mx10m wall. Based in Saudi Arabia, Malluh draws inspiration from her home country, it’s culture and contrasting ideals. Using objects found in flea markets and junk shops, her work revolves around the impact globalisation and consumer culture has on her country and its people.

Other artists include American painter Mequitta Ahuja, Korean painter Seung Ah Paik, British sculptor Alice Anderson, French photographer Marie Angeletti, Serbian painter Jelena Bulajic, American sculptor Julia Dault, Canadian sculptor Mia Feuer, French sculptor Virgile Ittah and American painter Suzanne McClelland.

Some argue that exhibiting an all-female show instead of making a conscious effort to include a diverse group of artists in general could not be helping the cause, meaning, changing the unspoken subliminal notion that art created by a female artist is any different to art created by a male artist. Nevertheless, if an all-female exhibition is sparking the discussion of gender and equality on all levels, even in the art world, then it must be hitting a nerve. There is no doubt there is need for a greater representation of women in galleries and museums, especially when it comes to contemporary art.

But besides sharing the same gender, none of the artists or the artwork in this exhibition is interlinked in any way, which seems to be the point. Instead it all seems rather simple and even more poignant: Champagne Life brings together a group of incredible contemporary artists and gives them the space to convey their own message, whatever it may be.

See some images of the Champagne Life exhibition in our gallery below.

A HUGE thank you

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Symposium success at Protein

Big thanks to everyone for joining us at our special edition Symposium at Protein! We hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did. The energy was truly special and we were all blown away by the honesty, modesty and sheer incredibleness of our speakers Dame Zandra Rhodes, Sharmadean Reid, and Tara Darby.

If you missed the evening don’t worry, we will be sharing a film of the event very soon. And keep eyes peeled for our next Symposium with Protein planned for early 2016.

Thanks, again, for your support. It wouldn’t have been the same without you!

W Symposium at Protein

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Meet three inspiring and creative women

The W Project, a platform celebrating exceptional female role models, returns to Protein Studios for a special-edition symposium.

This month three exceptional creatives tell the story of their journey so far. British fashion designer and icon Dame Zandra Rhodes, founder of WAH Nails, stylist and creative consultant Sharmadean Reid MBE, as well as photographer and filmmaker Tara Darby.

Always an intimate affair, the W Project invite you to join them for drinks and three brutally honest stories that promise to inspire. There’ll also be a chance for the audience to join in the conversation and ask guests questions. And with lovely Gordon’s G&Ts and Guinness Hop House 13 larger from our  drinks sponsors, we can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly Monday night.

Tickets are on sale at our EventBright page here.

‘W Project Symposium’, at Protein Studios, London, EC2A 3EY, 23 November 2015, 7 – 9pm