Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue!

Curated in collaboration with Feminist Library
11 June – 10 September 2022

That the personal is political[1] was never in question for Swedish artist and activist Monica Sjöö (1938-2005). Sjöö’s personal sense of anguish for the earth, and political anger about systemic violence against women were entwined and expressed through the celebration of the rituals of Goddess cultures and non-binary ways of living that characterised her art and activism. A defiance of patriarchy and acute awareness of ecological issues is demonstrated in the body of work brought together for this exhibition of largely unseen paintings and mixed media drawings at Beaconsfield, courtesy of the Estate of Monica Sjöö.

This collaboration between Beaconsfield, Feminist Library and the Estate of Monica Sjöö, bring Sjöö’s life and work into fresh focus. Her unapologetic figuration predates contemporary articulations of an Ecofeminism that regards climate crisis, colonialism and ever-present militarism as interlocking systems of oppression. The urgency of these issues now in 2022 was felt then in 1971: ‘The time is NOW and it is overdue!’[2]

The exhibition of 56 paintings and drawings by Monica Sjöö is placed in contemporary context through a programme of performances, workshops, reading groups and symposia by contemporary artists and writers invited to respond to the issues explored by Sjöö in her life and work.

Contributing artists and writers include:

Sally Pomme Clayton, Katy Deepwell,  Rachel Fallons, Rachel Garfield, Una Hamilton Helle, Minna Haukka, Harriet Hill, Sam Hodge, Islaja, Alexandra Kokoli, Kristin Luke, Nad Ma, Bindu Mehra, Liz Murray, Caitlin Fleming, Fran Painter Fleming, Linda Persson, Raju Rage, Anne Robinson, Anita Slater, Tansy Spinks, Tears|Ov, Rupert White, Linsey Young.

Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue! is initiated by Minna Haukka of Feminist Library and co-curated with Naomi Siderfin and David Crawforth of Beaconsfield.

Concurrent exhibition:

Monica Sjöö and the Poster, 1 July-10 September, 2022, Wednesday-Friday, 11am-5pm
Saturday 1-4pm (Book Shop). Feminist Library, 161 Sumner Rd, Peckham, London SE15 6JL  (see Feminist Library website for August holiday closure dates)

PRESS RELEASE HERE

[1] Hanish, C. The Personal is Political (1969).
https://www.carolhanisch.org/CHwritings/PIP.html . Accessed 27 May, 2022.

[2] Berg, A. and Sjöö M. ‘Images On Woman Power – Arts Manifesto (1971) (trying to give a rough and necessarily incomplete idea of what we are about)’, in Deepwell, K. 50 Feminist Art Manifestos (2022). London: KT press.

UPCOMING EVENT:

Saturday 13 August, 2-5pm: Dissident Drag + Alternative Masculinities with Nad Ma and Raju Rage:

  • 2pm Expressive Embodiment: drag performer and corporeal artist Nad Ma will share a performance and guide us all through expressive embodiment. Bring an object that symbolises/expresses your alternative masculinity
    Open to all: book on Eventbrite
  • 3 -5pm Embodiment Workshop (closed workshop for transmasculine identities from global majority backgrounds* Book on Evenbrite)

*We welcome trans masculine people in the UK from global majority backgrounds who are interested in exploring trans masculine identities in relation to the wider socio-political issues we face. [NOTE: this workshop is part of a series on Trans*(forming) Masculinities with Healing Justice London]

Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue!, installation Beaconsfield 2022. Photo Anna Jochymek

BOOK  below for Beaconsfield events led by contemporary artists and writers June–September 2022

JUNE DIARY

Friday 10-18 June Linda Persson artist in residence

Preview 10 June
Mobile Feminist Library from 6pm by Minna Haukka and Kristin Luke and Feminist Library volunteers (to view Mobile Feminist Library).
Memorial Ritual at 7pm by Linda Persson and Tears|Ov (to view Memorial Ritual).

Wednesday 15 June, 6-8pm: Representation book launch with guests Kara Keeling and Atau Tanaka. In collaboration with Royal College of Art.

Thursday 16 June, 1-5pm: Linda Persson invites artist Sam Hodge to share their practice of grinding and printing (to view Linda Persson and Sam Hodge project).

Friday 17 June, 12-5pm: Linda Persson invites artist Rachel Fallon to share their practice of making protest garments. Walk to Westminster wearing garments for demonstration from 3.30pm (to view Linda Persson and Rachel Fallon project).

Saturday 25 June, 2-5pm: SYMPOSIUM Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue! with keynote speaker Dr Katy Deepwell and panellists Una Hamilton Helle, Bindu Mehra, Annie Johnston, Maggie Parks and Linsey Young. Chaired by Naomi Siderfin.

Monica Sjöö, Women Seeking Freedom, Oil on board, 1969, Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue!, installation Beaconsfield 2022. Photo Anna Jochymek

JULY DIARY

Saturday 2 July, 3-5pm:  Reading Group 1, Sjöö in relation to Kimmerer; Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants (2013) Robin Wall Kimmerer. Led by Fran Painter-Fleming.

Saturday 9 July at 3pm: Finnish performance artist Islaja appears in person to make a Shamanic vocal response (electro-acoustic) to Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue!

Saturday 30 July: Zines, Scenes, Gender, Everything and the Kitchen Table: Queer Culinary Community Conversations with Raju Rage.
Book on Eventbrite (limited availability)

Monica Sjöö, Lament for My Son, Oil on board, 1985/1986, Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue!, installation Beaconsfield 2022. Photo Anna Jochymek

AUGUST DIARY

Wednesday 3  August at 6pm: Reading Group 2 Queer Activism with Caitlin Fleming and archival materials from Feminist Library. Led by Caitlin Fleming.
Book on Eventbrite

Saturday 13 August, 2-5pm: Dissident Drag + Alternative Masculinities with Nad Ma and Raju Rage:

  • 2pm Expressive Embodiment: drag performer and corporeal artist Nad Ma will share a performance and guide us all through expressive embodiment. Bring an object that symbolises/expresses your alternative masculinity
    Open to all: book on Eventbrite
  • 3 -5pm Embodiment Workshop (closed workshop for transmasculine identities from global majority backgrounds* Book on Evenbrite)

*We welcome trans masculine people in the UK from global majority backgrounds who are interested in exploring trans masculine identities in relation to the wider socio-political issues we face. [NOTE: this workshop is part of a series on Trans*(forming) Masculinities with Healing Justice London]

Wednesday  17-20 August: Peace Camp with Sally Pomme Clayton, Minna Haukka, Harriet Hill, Alexandra Kokoli, Kristin Luke, Liz Murray, Anne Robinson, Anita Slater, Tansy Spinks.

Wednesday 24 August at 6pm: Reading Group 3 Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (2020) by Lola Olufemi. Led by Fran Painter-Fleming.
Book on Evntbrite

Wednesday 24 August-3 September: Archaeologies of voice and resistance; Anne Robinson in residence developing her recent research into the repression of sexuality in the Scottish witch trials and beyond.

Wednesday 24-27 August: Rachel Garfield, Art, Sex, Work. Film screening on Flatscreen2.

Monica Sjöö, Mother Earth in pain, Her trees cut down, Her seas polluted, 1966, Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue!, installation Beaconsfield 2022. Photo Anna Jochymek

SEPTEMBER DIARY

Friday 2 September 3-4.30pm: Anne Robinson’s ‘Vocal Resistance’ workshop, followed by Arch ’open’ 5-7pm showing film clips and work from residency and workshop.
Book on Eventbrite

Saturday 3 September at 2pm:  Rupert White, author of Monica Sjöö Life and Letters (2018) leads a gallery tour of Monica Sjöö’s exhibition of paintings and drawings.
Book on Eventbrite

 

Monica Sjöö The time is NOW and it is overdue! is initiated by Minna Haukka of Feminist Library and co-curated with Naomi Siderfin and David Crawforth of Beaconsfield.