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here come the girls

Here Come the Girls 2009
Manchester Art Gallery Atrium
1100 Wine Glasses

Commissioned by Manchester Art Gallery to celebrate the festive season and specifically to link to their exhibition Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism. The primary reference is to Meret Oppenheim’s iconic fur teacup, saucer and spoon, Object. In a contemporary culture where women are just as likely to drink wine as tea the vessel still functions as a metaphor for the female body, but in the 21st century sexual politics have evolved.

Each glass is individually rimmed with lipstick using the artist’s lips. Cosmetics, particularly lipstick, are often advertised as a way to enhance feminine power and choice, and one cosmetic company even used the slogan ‘It’s not makeup, it’s ammunition’.

“While thinking of ‘strong women’ femininity, power and Christmastime, I was reminded of the recent Boots TV commercials with crowds of women getting glammed up and marching out to celebrate to the Sugababes ‘Here come the Girls’.” Susie MacMurray

The work offers a space for rumination on the evolution of feminism and perceptions of female power/empowerment in it’s various guises – cultural/political/sexual. Also on the different ways women choose to exercise that empowerment (including binge drinking), the ambiguities it throws up, and psychological bargains we strike with ourselves.