Faced with the strange twists and turns of the past year, from Brexit to Trump, it has often felt like the easiest thing to do would be to hide away and refuse to acknowledge that any of this is happening. For many people – women, minorities, immigrants – the world is suddenly an even more hostile place than before. At the same time, our ability to seek refuge is being taken away, with less and less funding for vital social services. In this environment, we must join together to resist – and survive.
Art is part of the battle. When we make art, we inhabit a safe space where we can explore, discover and create: a physical refuge. And a metaphorical one: through art, we expose our deepest selves to the world – but the viewer looks at the work, not at us. We are vulnerable, yet protected.
In this exhibition, the theme of refuge is both literal and metaphorical. FiLiArt: Refuge explores the boundaries of safety and vulnerability in women’s lives, from the hopes and dreams of Syrian refugee girls, to the devastating impacts of abuse, to the transformative space of sisterhood. Each work in this vibrant, diverse exhibition is different – but each one challenges the viewer to connect with an experience that is unlike their own. We invite you to pause at the end of your visit, reflect on what you have seen, and contribute to the collective artwork being produced throughout the duration of the show.
FiLiArt:Refuge is a groundbreaking show that explores the boundaries of safety and vulnerability in women’s lives, from the hopes and dreams of Syrian refugee girls to the devastating impacts of abuse, to the transformative space of sisterhood. Experience vibrant, powerful art from more than 30 women artists working in all types of media, from sculpture and textiles to digital, film and photography. Visitors will have the opportunity to get involved in the conversation at our Symposium, where artists, activists, and academics will discuss how we can support the fight for women’s human rights, challenge porn culture, and overcome media stereotyping, through art. Inspiring women artists will be featured at our daily talks and lead our public workshops.
FiLia is a charity that runs the annual Feminism in London conferences. We believe that the arts have a unique ability to communicate the diversity of women’s experiences and to engage the public with feminism in a fresh and accessible way. We believe that art can be a force for change, and support artists and collectives that draw attention to issues affecting women worldwide. We believe in supporting the artistic self-expression of disadvantaged and at-risk women and girls, as well as the organisations using art to help them. We have curated three art exhibitions that have been featured at London galleries and the Feminism in London conference since 2013, building a network of more than 100 female artists and collectives who bring a feminist sensibility to their art.
FiLiArt: Refuge Art Exhibit, Symposium, and Workshops Dates: 10-16 December 2016 Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 9am-10pm Weekends: 10am-2pm Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG