MAY 25, 2017, PRAGUE CZ
She Spoke // Promluvila was a one-of-a-kind, intimate art event and experience -
a public ritualized ceremony designed to open up space for universal
emotion, personal vulnerability and genuine dialogue.
In this special visual art
exhibition, the power of six women’s
voices was elevated, honoured
These six artists are part of The Becoming Artist Movement - bound together through a commitment
to honouring the feminine, telling the truth and awakening ourselves and others to the parts of our collective humanity that have fallen asleep. The audience experienced a series of carefully crafted rituals that prepare them to meet the art, the artist and themselves in a whole new way; helping to promote reverence and vulnerability
in the relationship between art, artist and audience.
Meet the Artists
MARYANNE HAWES (UK)
is a self-taught artist living on the English/Welsh border. With a background in Garden Design and Portrait Photography, she now finds solace in bringing metaphors of geography, a love of literature, and her fascination with the human
condition to the canvas.
ISABELLE RIZO (USA) is a self-taught artist, a self-proclaimed
Singularity Storyteller and a former digital nomad. A political refugee by birth, she was born in Germany after her family fled post-communist Romania. Now based in the USA her multimedia work combines a love of technology with a call for conscious living.
YASMIN LAMBIE-SIMPSON (USA) is a California based artist
who explores and charts existential territory through the use of traditional 2D and 3D media and objects from nature. She holds an MA in Transformative Art from JFK University in Berkeley, CA, a BFA from the San Francisco Arts
Institute and works as an artist, arts educator and community organizer.
SHEILA METCALF TOBIN(USA) uses observation-based drawing methods to record encounters between people, animals and the plant world, making visible these intimate and interdependent relationships. She received her MFA from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the The Maryland Institute College of Art.
DEBORAH TAYLOR (AUS)
is a contemporary abstract artist living
in Melbourne, Australia. With BA degrees in fine art and education she uses printmaking, collage and painting to make the worlds we inhabit more beautiful and liveable. When not in her studio she teaches other artists
how to bring chance, intention and intuition into their work.
CHANTELLE GOLDTHWAITE (USA) is a self-taught, mixed media artist who lives and works in Northern California. Through an exploration of the natural world and its recurring patterns, form and archetypal female characters, her sculptures, paintings and assemblage deal with sense memories of time and place and contemporary beliefs about femininity, domesticity and motherhood.
Read the Reviews
She Spoke to me
Today I woke up with an incredible feeling running through the whole existence of myself. The experience of last night happening persisted; evoking sensation of power. She Spoke was a special, one-night art event designed to create connections between art, artist and audience. Six female artists came from all over the world to exhibit their fantastic pieces of work. Far away from any typical opening or vernisage. Far away from the usual.
The conversations based on direct and thoughtful questions were the key to mutual understanding. The artists made me think of what I looked at in different and in depth way. Yes, the artists, not only the art itself. The intimate discussion with each of the artist herself let me understand her thinking, her creative process, what the art represents and how it actually came to life. Was the creation spontaneous or conceptual? Is it free or bound? Is the art and its creator vulnerable or confident? Is the approach traditional, free-form or unconventional? What were her emotions then, and what are my emotions now? How does she feel and how do I feel?
The point of sharing this is not to bring you the answers. Because my answers would be mediated. And that's exactly what this carefully designed event avoided, to let everyone connect in his/her own way. So the point is to celebrate the event itself. To celebrate we can experience art through direct and long conversation with the artist about it. Or about something else that joins her with her creation, her life, her experience. What inspires her. How it will inspire me later on... And lastly to celebrate the artists being given a great opportunity for direct opinions, feelings and emotions their work raise in the audience.
Becoming Artists Art Movement founded and led by Jessica Serran, made the She Spoke event happen. And I am very grateful I experienced it. Thank you, Maryanne Hawes, Isabelle Rizo, Yasmin Lambie-Simpson, Deborah Taylor, Sheila Metcalf Tobin, and Chantelle Goldthwaite, that magical powerful feeling still persist in me.
She Spoke He Spoke
michael j rowland
"Who is the happiest? They who value the merits of others, and in their pleasure take joy, even as though 't'were their own." - Goethe.
Straight from Jessica Serran's 'Becoming Artists' stable came 6 incredible artists from around the globe. I have rarely found it so easy to 'take joy' in others' merits as Goethe put it. As Jessica, deservedly, beamed with pride at the gathering she had procured it was immediately evident that she was showing off some massive talents.
Firstly I have to say I was excited to see a group show of painters and painters only. It has become clear to me over the last 6 months that 'Painters', in Prague gallery circles, are still talked of in hushed tones. But it has been this way for almost 4 decades now. The painter still feels they must excuse the medium they have chosen. This situation has lead to some of my favourite conceptual work of course but it almost seems anathema for curators to choose an oil painting over a conceptual piece without a damn clever conceptual reason for it.
While the conceptual has always excited me, the 'She Spoke' experience woke something up inside which, it now feels, has been missing from the local art scene.
You see! You are probably cringing at the very idea. In a recent interview the comedian Stewart Lee said that the most shocking thing you can do these days is be 'sincere'. I believe that is the case here in Prague. Cool, shocking, meaningless and political are our staple diet, which IS cool, but you should have seen these ladies and their bloody, beautiful, painful, powerful paintings. The closest I have seen to this here in Czechia recently is the work of Josef Bolf, Jessica Serran, Marika Volfova and Delaine Le Bas (more about her next time).
My own current series of paintings are concerned with how artists see themselves and how they want to be seen. When Jessica asked each of the artists present 'If you could shake off one thing by the end of the evening, what would it be?' I was impressed and surprised by the answer which each and every one of the artists gave....'To get rid of the feeling that I am a fake.'
This is a profoundly interesting answer. Especially given the current climate of 'art which is unjudgeable'. Where one can appraise the surface qualities of most paintings rather quickly it is practically impossible to claim that a torn piece of paper pinned to the wall with a charcoal scribble on it and the artist's name written in pencil below the pinned paper is 'great'. It can take 4 decades to decide if the torn paper is 'great' or not. It takes time - it takes context.
To walk through room upon room of beautiful paintings was like a breath of fresh air. Nova Gallery does give me this feeling occasionally but there is still a modicum of chilliness to the pictures hung there. The warmth and depth of these works shimmered on the surface and touched all the people I spoke to with little recourse to intellectual probing.
That is not to say these paintings didn't have a wealth of history and mystery hidden within their allegorical, abstract, collaged complexities, they most certainly did. And how did we know that? Because we felt it.
From the bold, messy, written-on abstracts of Maryanne to the wonderful, voodoo-child collages of Chantelle to the pure abstractions complementing the video installations of Isabelle to the beautiful spiritual sound installation and hypnotising coloured hanging sheets of Yasmin to the mesmerising abstract drawings and paintings of Deborah to the overwhelming grace and strength of Sheila's figurative allegories on wood.
We felt it all.
Congratulations Jessica and congratulations ladies on the first International 'Becoming Artist' Artist Exhibition.
Purchase the Postcards
Instead of printing a traditional catalogue we created
a gorgeous set of postcards to help you engage more deeply with the art.
Read about their art, see the work and be posed the very
same questions that guests of the show were invited to answer.