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My Silence Will Never Protect Me

Janice Aitken

9th March – 11th May 2018

A photographic portrait exhibition of 17 women in collaboration with Dundee Women’s Festival.

The portraits are shot in a dark studio with the women wearing black and lit stylistically. Asked to utilise coloured fabrics as a way of exercising autonomy over their image, the fabric serves as veil or net curtain behind which domestic life is enacted (for better or worse); a shield against the male gaze, a flag to signal presence or a means of creative expression.

Artist Janice Aitken said, ‘when I was first approached by Sharing Not Hoarding project I was really excited to be given the opportunity to create work as part of Dundee Women’s Festival. A lot of my work is designed to be accessible by people who wouldn’t necessarily visit a gallery and I love the idea of using these public spaces to exhibit art. I am also very interested in subverting the way that women are often portrayed in public spaces like billboards.

The starting point for the work was the way in which women’s voices are often not listened to and the title was inspired by a quote from poet Audre Lorde. The project enabled me to create work that celebrates women in all their diverse glory. The youngest is 15 and the oldest is in her seventies and all were gracious, imaginative and entered into the process of being photographed with great humour. I consider the photographs to be a collaboration between the subjects and me.’ 

The photographic work is complemented by an event on 13th March in DCA at 7.00pm as part of Dundee Women’s Festival. The event will feature readings of stories from many of the women’s lives in the exhibition as well as other contributors. 

Tickets and info: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/my-silence-will-never-protect-me-tickets-43833674701