Imagine furiously scribbling down all the misogynistic comments (and unwelcome advice) you or your peers have been thrown over the years by ex’s, colleagues, teachers, family, and total strangers – ‘Are you shaven?’ ‘You drive like a man.’ ‘Put on a bit of weight haven’t we dear?’. Let’s just say there’s not enough ink in the world for this. But there’s enough rage.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re speaking to the artist who collates all these overfamiliar sexist digs and makes iconic art out of them. Willow Stacey’s #thingsmensay series comes from a place of strength, solidarity and utter burnout from biting her tongue.
“Sometimes someone says something to you that sets you off on a whole new journey. For me, it was when I was doing a shift as a waitress in the pub I have worked at on and off since I was 14. A customer said, “If a woman is earning a lot of money she is doing a man’s job” and I was left with that conflict of being at work, trying to stay professional and seething inside.” she explains.
Willow’s medium of choice carries just as much weight than the words. With textile art being excluded from major galleries and shows for centuries due to its association with domesticity, there has since been a monumental shift to empower and spotlight the work made within these realms and the artists holding the thread. The brash words of Willow’s work against the inherently ‘feminine’ materials are enough to make a statement and stir conversation around the subject, and we want in.
Discover Willow’s wider collection from the #thingsmensay series at our spring edition of The Other Art Fair London from 9 – 12 March, 2023.