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Threads Exhibition at the Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green Road sjs1 - Work from Andrea Coltman's series 'Second Hand Smoke'/ Credit: Alun Macer-Wright Full view

Threads Exhibition at the Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green Road

Espacio Gallery’s art exhibition ‘Threads’, located on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch, coincided with International Women’s Month, and showcased work from 45 different artists, across the mediums of photography, sculpture, landscape and portraiture.

While some of the work dealt with women’s issues like female genital mutilation head on, other pieces were more abstract or subtle in their themes. The majority of the artists whose work was on show are female themselves, although two men were invited to offer their perspective. One of these is Adam Lucy, who was previously featured in St John Street News in July 2017, and has gone on to be featured at Tate Modern.

In comparison with this previous work, Adam said his photography on display “has more of a story to it: it’s about addiction, motherhood and the connection between mother and child”.

Figure 2 ‘Heroine’ – Adam Lucy’s work on display/ Credit: Alun Macer-Wright

The theme of the exhibition was of course “especially on topic now” as Adam put it, given the recent news agenda surrounding the Time’s Up movement and #MeToo. “This is the right time for the exhibition. It’s engendering conversations about really important things like the women’s movement, like women’s liberation, the #MeToo movement.”

Among the most intricate pieces of work was a collage entitled ‘Free’ by Jo Evans. Upon close inspection, you could see that it was made up of small fragments of the recently discontinued five-pound note, which featured Quaker and social reformer Elizabeth Fry.

‘One Hundred Years’ by Frances Featherstone, which features a statue of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst / Credit: Alun Macer-Wright

The exhibition consisted of a journey through women’s lives around the world, fulfilling its ambition to “reach out beyond the boundaries of national borders, language, culture and belief”. It particularly reminded us that the fight for female equality is still in its relative infancy in so many countries.

Closer to home, Frances Featherstone’s portrayal of a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst standing tall amidst a blur of pedestrians serves to portray her as a timeless figure, watching closely over our modern lives.

Special events took place for International Women’s Day on March 8, including a hands-on art workshop and a puppet show.

A percentage from the sale of the artwork on show will go towards Reach All Women in War (RAW in WAR), a human rights organisation which works in conflict areas and with victims of war.

A gallery of all the artwork on show can be found at https://www.theartistspool.co.uk/

Written by Alun Macer-Wright

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