I managed to pop in to see Judy Chicago’s exhibition ‘Deflowered’ at Riflemaker, Beak Street between the demands of Christmas preparations. To be honest I was as much struck by the gallery as I was by Chicago’s work. The building had originally been a brick kiln in the 17th Century. Now with its walls lined in wood and dark rickety stairs it felt like a cocoon, far from the bustle of Soho just outside.
The exhibition is on three floors with the ground floor displaying Chicago’s Corvair car bonnets in sprayed acrylic. Hard and shiny with their bright symbols of feminism; cats, butterfly wings, and female body parts these large works sat rather incongruously in the rough unpolished space . I rather like the way this juxtaposition sets off little trains of thought which go beyond the gallery and the work shown. It is this discordant twist that I continue to search for in my own work…that is when there is a moment to catch breath and contemplate beneath and beyond the clamouring Christmas cheer.