GODDESS NOW

Bermondsey Project Space

31st Aug – 6th Sep 2020, London

 

The idea for this project was born from a desire to make a collective signal from a female perspective with a sense of philanthropic power, with love not anger and helplessness; to highlight positive change to inspire a  better future. 

-Kate Mieczkowska

 

 Image & Artwork: Rayvenn D’Clark

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Goddess Now brings together diverse art forms from eight female (or identifying as female) artists:  

Imelda Almqvist, BrianDawn Chalkley, Rayvenn D’Clark, Marguerite Horner, Kate Mieczkowska, Aida Murad, Marwa Al Najjar, Dr Ahlam Al Shedoukhy

 

GODDESS NOW WEBSITE

 

This exhibition brings together work from eight female practitioners whose creative and philanthropic work extends beyond the boundaries of culture, gender, politics and economics.  These women are playing key roles in defining the new era, focussing on community, ecology and the well being of future generations in creative and inspiring ways.

-Kate Mieczkowska (Artist and Curator of Goddess Now)

 

The artists included in the exhibition come from different social, political and environmental backgrounds, but they all share a focus on under-represented individuals and social scenarios that create imbalance. In this context, the idea of ‘The Goddess’ (may 'she' be physical or environmental) personifies nature, creation and destruction – the creative energy that brings the work of these artists together.

The exhibition will be a unique way of offering an opportunity to develop a 'healing' and spiritual experience from a ‘female’ perspective. It offers an understanding of 'difference' and 'trauma', social or environmental, as both are linked, and attempts to turn them into empathy and respect – a contrast to the presiding divisive – and fearful – sentiment of these contemporary times. 

During the show, the gallery will host workshops for both children and adults. These sessions will be exploring 'motherhood' and ‘mother nature’ through drawing and filming. Each of the works produced by the participants will be additionally exhibited – as part of the overall event.  

A program featuring panel discussions and talks with keynote speakers will be announced closer to the date. Themes discussed will include community, social sciences, art academia and environmentalism which supports positive change. 

All events will all be free and open to everyone.

 

 Kate Mieczkowska is the visionary creator of the upcoming Goddess Now show, which has already gathered quite a buzz! 

Kate has done a superb job! She is breaking new ground by setting much-needed contemporary standards, such as inviting children to submit their own Instagram short videos and become part of the project: 

VIDEO COMPETITION

She also decided to take on issues many artists stay well clear of: religion, spirituality, The Human Family, the continuum between belonging and feeling like an outsider, cultural patterns of oppression and how artists attempt to reflect and heal this through their work.

DON'T MISS THIS SHOW!

 

 I have been planning and preparing for our exhibition Goddess Now since July last year. It has been a highly enjoyable journey filled with new experiences, a huge learning curve, and since COVID19 has come into the mix one with altered and delayed our plans. During this time I have spoken with, interviewed and collected information from many different artists and the people you see in this show today represent those who I felt to be highly original, professional, and loyal to the concept and integrity of the project. Thank you to everyone who has been involved to get it this far.
Yesterday, I realized that spending so much time on everyone else I had not introduced my own ideas or practice. Last month I would have launched work that has a very close place in my heart. The exhibition title was chosen carefully so I was able to introduce this concept amongst the work of pioneering female artists.
We live in polarised and fearful times driven along by ‘The War on Terror’ recent conflict in the Balkans and high levels of anxiety surrounding religion, especially in the persecution of Muslims and Christians in Chinese occupied territories. In fact, religion in contemporary art is such a rarity and is always the ‘elephant in the room’ when it does come up. I mentioned my idea surrounding this exhibition to my contemporary theory lecturer at UAL two years ago towards the end of my MA and he recoiled in horror. ‘NO, no, no, no, Don’t go there!’ I remember the adamant look on his face vividly. He has good ground to feel this way as he comes from Northern Ireland where religion and violence go hand in hand. Totally understandable.
This experience is vastly at odds with my own though. I achieved an assisted place to a local convent school for girls and it was there that I was introduced to some wonderful women who will always provide a benchmark in my mind for stability, community, love, and devotion to duty. The sisters of the Order of Christian Education and at my time there by Sister Elizabeth McCormack RCE, Sisters Mannion, Shannon, and Rennie. The Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, stories of these biblical women and representations of them were always present and I grew up to understand their importance in my small childlike world in a real and, also metaphysical way. There was recently an excellent documentary on the BBC ‘Mary Magdalene, Art’s Scarlett woman’ with Waldemar Januszczak, about the changing representations of Mary Magdalene or ‘The Magdalene’ and how she became an icon for the fragility of the human condition.

As I have grown older, I understand more about the dynamic figure of The Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, and how she influences politics. In our contemporary times most importantly, how she forms the lynchpin in uniting the three religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Mary, Miriam, Maryam or Mary of Nazareth, daughter of Joachim and Anna, is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran, where she is stated as being ‘an exceptionally pious woman with the highest spiritual rank among women’ The Prophet names Mary as one of the four spiritually perfect women in the world’ ‘ who will lead the soul of blessed women to paradise’ Passages in the Sura on Mary and Jesus details them saving the lives of Muslim refugees, and encourages those in power to support others in need even if they are of different faiths. She is also mentioned extensively in both the Old and New Testaments.
When I left my MA degree course in 2018 I met with an upcoming curator who is now working for the Saatchi gallery. She visited my studios and we had a wonderful; afternoon discussing theology, her recent essays for The Vatican, my experiences with the Catholic faith, female role models in the art scene and also bizarrely crocodiles (or the removal of them from the everglades!) I have since this time been researching the work towards this exhibition. I was grateful to meet her.
COVID19 has many curses and also many blessings. The show is going to go ahead in August as planned. We have more time to think, make work, and also to develop our relationships. I am very much looking forward to showing my work about how Mary the Goddess Now can inspire us to live peaceful and respectful lives.
I am introducing the ideas and images of work in progress and will follow up with the exhibition pieces and accompanying essay in August. Until then lets think of peace, respect, and understanding for others.

-Kate Mieczkowska

 

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