Southbank Centre Hosts First Women In The Arts Day

Women In The Arts Day

As part of the Southbank Centre’s annual WOW – Women of the World festival 2014 the organisers will be hosting the first Women in the Arts Day. The festival, which marks International Women’s Day, on Saturday 8 March is led by Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly, and supported by Bloomberg, the annual festival, now in its fourth year, celebrates the incredible achievements of women and girls and looks at the most potent topics for women today, featuring voices from around the world.

The first Women in the Arts day will consist of 200 women working in the arts and cultural sector asking what new steps need to be taken to achieve gender equality across the industry. The day will start with an introductory talk with guest speakers including Iwona Blazwick, Director of Whitechapel Gallery. There will also be “think-ins” addressing the state of play for women in culture and creative industries. This is not a public event.

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Hairstyles and Headdresses is the first UK exhibition of work by renowned Nigerian photographer, who recently passed away, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere. The Hairstyles series began in 1968, driven by Ojeikere’s desire to document the many different types and meanings of hairstyles worn by Nigerian women. In essence, Modernist fashion photography, the resulting images poignantly document a nation undergoing immense social and cultural change following post-colonisation. This exhibition also ties in with the events Weave or Natural: The Politics of Afro Hair and Afro Hair Meetup, taking place on 8th March which continues last year’s conversation on the politics of Afro hair.

Southbank Centre presents a solo exhibition Excavations by London-based, Iraqi-born artist Jananne Al-Ani in the Hayward Gallery Project Space. This exhibition focuses on Al-Ani’s interest in the landscape of the Middle East, its archaeology and its visual representation in the West. The films and photographs exhibited explore the aerial reconnaissance and mapping techniques of modern warfare while replicating the point-of view of the fighter plane or drone. To coincide with the exhibition there will be a talk between Janenne Al-Ani and Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator of Hayward Gallery on 8 March.

A festival for everyone, the programme for this year’s WOW 2014 is more comprehensive than ever with a ground-breaking mix of talks and debates, keynotes, concerts, performances, film, comedy, exhibitions. workshops, WOW bites, how-tos, speed mentoring and networking opportunities.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said: “There is not one country in the world where women have full equality and in most countries injustices are commonplace. I founded WOW – Women of the World festival four years ago to ensure there was a high-profile cultural place where hundreds of women’s stories could be shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced and hearts expanded. WOW is now one of the largest women’s festivals in the world and will keep growing, with festivals starting up around the UK and spreading to more and more countries.

WOW 2014 will give you access to a plethora of important conversations, hidden issues and life-changing projects. Women can and must support each other to make changes on all levels. Men can and must be part of realising that changing landscape. It will be a better world for everyone, and our children and grandchildren, both boys and girls, are untitled to expect progress from us.”

Jananne Al-Ani was born in Kirkuk, Iraq in 1966 and currently lives in London. Solo exhibitions of her work include Beirut Art Center, Lebanon (2013); Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC (2012) and Art Now, Tate Britain (2005). Recent group exhibitions include the 13th Istanbul Biennial(2013);  Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013) CaixaForum, Barcelona and Madrid (2012-2013) the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012); Topographies de la Guerre, Le Bal, Paris (2011); 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Women War Artists and Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006). Recipient of the East International Award and the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award, her work can be found in public collections such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Modern, London; the Pompidou Centre, Paris; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC and Darat al Funun, Amman.

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere  (1930-2014) was born in Nigeria  and his photographs are dedicated to Nigerian culture. Solo exhibitions include J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Moments of Beauty, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland which toured to Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria (2011); Hairstyles: J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Blaffer Gallery, Art Museum of the University of Houston, USA (2005); J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Hairstyles 1968 – 1999, Mamco (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain), Geneva, Switzerland  and J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France. His group shows include International Art Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2013); The Global Africa Project, Museum of Art and Design, New York, USA (2010-2011); The Idea of Africa (re-invented), Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland (2010); 70s. Photography and Everyday Life, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2010) and 100% Africa,Guggenheim Bilbao, Pigozzi Collection, Bilbao, Spain (2006).

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. The Royal Festival Hall reopened in June 2007 following the major refurbishment of the Hall and redevelopment of the surrounding area and facilities.

Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company’s strength—delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and accurately—is at the core of the Bloomberg Professional service, which provides real time financial information to more than 300,000 subscribers globally. Through our philanthropy programme, we help charities and non-profit organisations around the world with education and literacy programmes, health and medical research, social work, arts and culture, public parks and the environment. Bloomberg’s support of WOW – Women of the World builds on a long history of support across Southbank Centre that has encompassed a wide range of arts exhibition, public commissions and literature programmes.

Image: Hayward Gallery Project Space presents a selection of works from London-based Iraqi-born artist Jananne Al-Ani. Working with photography, film and video, Al-Ani has an ongoing interest in the landscape of the Middle East, its archaeology and its visual representation in the West through the technology of modern warfare.

WOW FESTIVAL Wednesday 5 – Sunday 9 March Southbank Centre