Tuesday, 31 December 2019

And The Door Opened: the shop window display - November 2nd 2019-January 6th 2020

The show window display was set up on November 2nd and changed bit by bit throughout the display period as I was able to add complete pots. The titles were added last with quotes from some of the people who attended the launch and demonstration.

And The Door Opened: Drop in Demonstration and Workshop, November 30th and December 7th 2019

The drop in on November 30th brought people in from the shopping mall and library to see me demonstrating how to rebuild a shattered pot. Some people came, having attended the launch, others saw posters, others followed social media posts but most just came in from the mall.

The workshop, where I invited people to bring a broken pot from home and and I would show them how to mend it was all people returning from one of the earlier events. There are no images of the mending workshop, mainly because everyone was too busy concentrating on their work and because I forgot to take any but also because there was a kind of intimacy about the day. People brought their own things with their own stories. I can share one of these though. A woman brought a broken ceramic clown - just the button was broken, a tiny part of it but it was in numerous pieces. She was Nigerian and her father had been a leading trade union activist there. In the 1960s he went to Russia as part of a TU delegation and was given the clown as the TU equivalent of a diplomatic gift. She mended the button with utmost care. At the end she said, 'I'm going to leave out this last piece as a memorial and to honour all the shattered lives.'

And The Door Opened: the Launch, November 25th, 2019

'And the Door Opened' launched, (officiall,) on November 25th, to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Held in the old Post Office in Wood Green, now occupied by Collage-arts and renamed Collage Artspace 4, we had a full house - 53 people came not including speakers or photographer.

Me speaking, introducing the project and welcoming the audience. Speakers on the left, from left: Caroline Hattersley, director of Women @the Well; Fiona Broadfoot, sex trade survivor, founder of Build a Girl, and one of three survivors bringing the judicial review, with the Centre for Women's Justice, to get criminal convictions removed from the record exited women; Julie Bindel, journalist, researcher and campaigner and author of The Pimping of Prostitution,' 2017, Palgrave Macmillan; and next to Julie Bindel is Julie McNamara who compered and led us into the minute's silence before I smashed the pot in the centre of the room. She also ended the event reading Audre Lourde's 'Litany for Survival.' McNamara is a performer, writers, activist and Artist direct of Vital Exposure, 'a passionate plea for social justice.'  Below is a montage of three views of pot then called 'Ten Thousand Men,' that was smashed. It will be renamed once it is rebuilt and images of the women painted inside become dominant.

The images of me smashing the pot and the two below them are by Sylvain Deleu, as is the one directly above, showing a detail of the inside of the pot smashed at the Filia Conference in Bradford. This pot is now called, 'I'm Not The Criminal,' and the image is of Fiona Broadfoot who led the March Against the Sex Trade in Bradford where the pot was smashed. The other images show the pots on display at the event, some complete, some in progress. All photos by attendees - except the one with Fiona Broadfoot talking to journalist, Josephine Bartosch - that one is also by Sylvian Deleu.