Feminism, sex and Strange Hungers: Sadie Hennessy at the WW Gallery
An exhibition of classily feministic art by Sadie Hennessy, Strange Hungers is on show at the WW Gallery.
In the display titled after the 1963 British Pulp Fiction book, the artist uses subjects and techniques popular among the feminist artists. Among others, Hennessy creates camp sculptures full of erotic hints, such as unicorn-like rocking horse with a huge penis on its horsehead and rampant wig tresses called “Happily ever after”. Or a pseudo-scientific retro prop porcelain head shaped as a phallus, decorated with names of numerous sexual practices, fetishes and deviations. The artists is exploring different modes of sexuality, focusing on the fear of feminine physicality as well as female lust, mother love.
Collage has been another technique favoured by female artists such as Barbara Kruger. Hennessy’s collages and prints alter the accustomed aesthetics of sensational gossips magazines, Olympic pictures, and pop-visualisations by adding unexpected elements or writings, such as oversized phalluses or porn-like commentaries. The banality and predictability of pornographic imagery is one of predominant focuses of her art.
The style developed by the Hennessy, who won the Jealous Graduate Art Prize for her final MA show, Accident & Emergency, at Central St. Martins in August 2010, is fairly humorous and deliberately kitschy. The pieces are meant to critically engage with the popular culture and especially, with the idea of “Britishness”.
As a result her art empowers women by mocking and uncovering what has been unsaid, neglected, outraging or abused, as other great female activist artists did before her.
Sadie Hennessy: Strange Hungers runs from 20th June until 14th July 2012, Weds–Fri 11 – 6pm and Sat 11 – 4pm at the WW Gallery, 34/35 Hatton Garden, EC1N 8DX.
For further information about Hennessy visit her website here.