We Are Them, They Are Us is the title of a new solo exhibition by English artist and feminist Margaret Harrison, which will mark her debut in Ireland. The Golden Thread Gallery, an art space located in Belfast, Northern Ireland, will be presenting the Margaret Harrison solo show which will feature seminal works created during her career alongside more recent works. Margaret Harrison, who is regarded as one of the most important artists of her generation, is known for her works that explore political, societal and women’s issues. Golden Thread Gallery are regular exhibitors at SCOPE New York and the London Art Fair, past exhibitions included Can You Hear Me by Susan Miller and Shirin Neshat which featured the ‘Turbulent’ video by Neshat.
The We Are Them, They Are Us solo exhibition by Margaret Harrison, will showcase a selection of works from across the career of the English artist and feminist. Harrison, who founded the London Women’s Liberation Art Group in 1970, has become known for her active role and works based on political, societal and women’s issues, created using a range of media. Previous works include the Greenham Common installation, which recreates a section of the fence that surrounded the Greenham Common military base in the UK. The base was regularly in the news as it was surrounded by women’s peace groups from 1981 until 2000, protesting against nuclear weapons and historic land rights. The Australian Landscape series was also about land rights, touching on issues of how Westerners and Aboriginals viewed those rights differently. For more feminist reading, take a look at Art + Feminism Edit-A-Thon Today! and How Art Fought For Women’s Rights articles.
In many of her works, Margaret Harrison deals with issues surrounding gender inequality and the objectification of women in the modern day society. Harrison has made a number of artworks that portray masculine superheroes combined with feminine clothes and poses, such as the Getting Very Close to My Masculinity (2013) that can be seen in this article. One of the iconic images of Margaret Harrison is that of Hugh Hefner, entitled He’s Only a Bunny Boy, that sees Harrison portray Hefner posing provocatively wearing a corset, stockings and bunny ears, to reverse roles on a man who has made a fortune by the objectification of women. The Scents of Identity works presents images of cosmetic salesgirls in plush department stores, contrasting the reality of their long work hours and poor pay with the glamorous advertising that surround them. For further information on female roles in art, read Erica Simone: Bare Naked Citizen and take a listen to the Widewalls Podcast Special Edition: Femme Fierce.
English artist and feminist Margaret Harrison was born in 1940 in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Harrison has become known as one of the most important artists of her generation dealing with political, societal and women’s issues. After studying in the 1960’s, she set up the London Women’s Liberation Art Group in 1970, while 1971 saw an exhibition of her work, which included the iconic Hugh Hefner piece, closed down by the Police for being pornographic. Her works have gone on to confront various issues including violence against women in Beautiful Ugly Violence. 2013 saw Margaret Harrison awarded the prestigious Northern Art Prize, which celebrates contemporary artists based in the North of England. You may also find the work of Emily Perry interesting, along with the Gender Studies video of Bettina Rheims.
The We Are Them, They Are Us solo exhibition by Margaret Harrison, opens at Golden Thread Gallery on 26th March, 2015 and runs through until 15th May, 2015. Margaret Harrison will be joined by Prof. Hilary Robinson in conversation at the gallery on Friday 27th March from 12.30 – 1.30 pm.
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All images courtesy of Golden Thread Gallery.