Sarah Maple exhibits feminist works in the GIANT Art Gallery

AN ARTIST has brought some of the most daring feminist works she has ever created to a merchandise gallery in Bournemouth town center.

GIANT on the second floor of the Bobby’s building will host a solo exhibition of paintings, photographs and films by British artist Sarah Maple.

Showcasing works from the past 15 years, the exhibition, titled The Opposite of a Feminist, runs from November 20 to February 13.

It follows the inaugural exhibition, Big Medicine, which showcased the work of the Chapman brothers, Jim Lambie, Jeremy Deller and Gavin Turk.

Much of Ms. Maple’s inspiration comes from her Muslim upbringing, with parents of mixed religious and cultural backgrounds. Often using herself to challenge stereotypes and normative behaviors, she confronts complex issues with irony and honesty.

The gallery’s exhibition, which was founded by Bournemouth-born artist Stuart Semple, focuses exclusively on the powerful feminist thread of her larger bodywork.

She said: “Some of these works must have been borrowed from private collections and I can’t wait to see it all again in one place, especially in this amazing space.”

The exhibition features works such as Menstruate With Pride, a self-portrait of Ms. Maple, stained in blood from a period while surrounded by colleagues.

In Signs, Maple herself can be seen holding three signs, a work that won her the Saatchi New Sensations Award while still a student.

Meanwhile, photographic works like his Disney Princess series challenge notions of archetypal storytelling by redefining well-known Disney characters as politicians, scientists and football managers.

The central works of the exhibition, Anti Rape Cloak and Freedom of Speech, are perhaps the most conflicting.

In the latter, a video work in which the artist addresses the camera directly, she initiates a feminist controversy only to be repeatedly slapped to tears, silenced by the sting of violence.


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William E. Bennett